What model phone do you use and why?
I have an iPhone 4S. I would upgrade, but my original iPhone still works great, I like it, and it’s comfortable and familiar.
What are your top three apps on your phone?
OurGroceries — although I use it for general list-making tasks of all types.
Evernote — it’s a great way to keep track of notes, docs, works in progress (such as this question list as I write my answers).
Google Maps — essential for weekly caravan and viewing properties.
How do you split your digital time: how much mobile, how much desktop?
About 50/50. I preview a lot of info on my phone, then shift to my laptop to follow up.
Describe your job. What do you do every day? How does technology support (or not support) your daily job description?
I’m a Realtor. When I’m not in front of, or calling with or for clients, I’m online creating marketing content, researching leads, printing, mailing and the like. Technology is critical. I cannot imagine how all of this was done back in the day when it was handwritten triplicate carbon paperwork and a landline.
Do you consider yourself an early adopter of technology? Or do you wait to see what’s working for other people?
I’m a midrange adopter. I do not need to have the newest version of each item or system. I always wait until the second iteration of something for the bugs to be worked out. I pay attention, though, and watch carefully for something that could help my business and me.
What’s the biggest technology-related challenge you face today? How do you solve it?
I do suffer from the “Shiny Object Syndrome.” There is always something coming down the pike, and I’ll spend time exploring it. I also struggle with trying to pull it all together. Someone needs to invent the “Full Realtor Suite” of everything in one place so that I don’t have to flit from thing to thing. It’s a real time suck. I spend a lot of time looking for something that I filed in a safe place that’s too safe.
What do you think is the biggest overall challenge facing the real estate industry? Will technology be able to address it?
I think the biggest challenge overall is keeping up with changes on every level. I’m supposed to be the expert in front of my clients, but if I’m not sure how to operate some change to a system, it gets really frustrating. I’m not sure if technology can address and solve this or if technology is the root of the problem.
How do you feel technology is changing the real estate industry? Are these changes making the industry better or worse?
It changes how we do our work. We still help people, but how we help them with all of the new tools that come along is how technology is changing the industry. Technology is making the industry infinitely better because knowledge is power, and the technology gives us access to knowledge and information instantly.
The caveat is that faster is not always better. Someone was telling me that they signed their purchase contract on their phone with DocuSign. I asked if they read the contract, to which they answered “no.” It’s nice and convenient, but did their agent serve them well? Not in the least bit.
I still print out all of the contracts and addenda and go over it with my clients point by point so that there are no surprises or “gotchas” later. Am I a dinosaur? Maybe, but my clients are fully informed this way.
What email system do you use? Which one is your favorite and why?
I use the Web version of Outlook. It’s user-friendly and mostly intuitive. Google Mail still daunts me. It feels like a different language that I cannot seem to get my head around.
Which CMS do you use? What do you like about it, and what feature do you wish it would add in the future?
I’ve tried several, but still go back to my self-made Excel files out of frustration. I cannot find one that is intuitive and easy to figure out.
Do you use a calendar app? Which one? What do you like about it?
I use Google Calendar, as I can access it from every device and it performs well.
Do you use digital documents?
I use zipForms. It’s the only one that I’ve tried and it meets my needs.
Do you own a camera?
I do my own listing photos since I have all of the equipment and know how to use it. I shoot with a Canon T3I. DSLR is a learning curve, but I’ve pretty much mastered it, shoot in HDR and layer/edit in Photoshop. My photos stand out and give me the desired results.
What kind of laptop or tablet (or both) do you own?
I have an Apple iPad 2 and a MacBook Pro.
Do you have a Nest thermostat in your home?
Do you play games on any of your devices?
Which websites do you visit every day? Why?
I visit most social media sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, every day, as well as Google News for an overview. I keep up with friends and clients this way, read articles and try to keep up with what is going on in the world.
Which social media app do you use the most on your phone? Your tablet? Your computer?
Facebook is the one that I access on all three devices.
What’s on your technology wish list — for yourself or for work?
Updating my phone to an iPhone 6, but I’m just not ready to make the plunge quite yet.
Where do you get most of your leads: portals or other sources?
Target marketing and referrals from clients.
What is your favorite technology, one you actually get joy out of using?
I cannot say that any one thing gives me “joy,” but I do like doing research, so I love the instant access to just about anything on the Internet that I care to delve into.
What is your favorite “unplugged” activity?
Playing bluegrass and swing music on my fiddle. I play with several area bands. Being acoustic, it’s about as unplugged as I can get.
Read Lorelei’s post “How to spread hate and discontent through social media.”
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