Inman is interviewing real estate professionals in every area of the field to talk about technology use. Here’s Rachael Hite, a business development specialist with Finance of America Mortgage Winchester and an Inman contributor.
What model phone do you use and why?
I have been an Android fan girl for a long time; I’m currently using the Samsung Galaxy S5. I primarily use Google products for almost everything.
That being said, lately I have had “Apple envy” because the best new apps seem to be Apple first … Android later.
What are your top three apps on your phone?
Pages Manager (Facebook), YouTube and Pinterest. I’m a content junkie, and Pinterest is my favorite drug of choice. :)
YouTube is my favorite learning tool. I have self-taught myself so many things, from video editing to fixing my washing machine!
How do you split your digital time: How much mobile, how much desktop?
I would say about 60 percent of my day I’m online working. I’m flexible. I can work just as easily from my phone as I can from my Chromebook.
For serious graphic and video work, I prefer to work on my iMac. I have a Chromebook (my preferred writing tool), a Samsung Tablet 10.2 and my phone. My iMac is great for editing photos and video, and then I have a standard Dell PC laptop that I use for training and presentations.
Each device has a purpose and offers balance in my day. (Yes, I just said I go between Windows, Android and Apple daily — #tech-addict.)
Describe your job. What do you do every day? How does technology support (or not support) your daily job description?
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my job. It is unique because I get to wear many hats. I’m Hootsuite-certified in social media, and I teach real estate licensing classes about proper use of social media.
Technology supports everything I do. I offer one-on-one training with agents to help them remedy specific issues they are having. The bulk of what I do is create quality content and original marketing for real estate.
I’m very blessed that I have had mentors and supporters who have helped me turn my passion into a full-time career.
Do you consider yourself an early adopter of technology? Or do you wait to see what’s working for other people?
I love new tech. When I find something wonderful and new, I cheer out loud. I try to channel that enthusiasm into my teaching and training.
Many agents I work with have been defeated, confused or overwhelmed by technology. My personal mission is to help them find tech that works for their skill level and give them the confidence they need to enjoy it and succeed in their business.
What’s the biggest technology-related challenge you face today? How do you solve it?
Combating “tech fatigue,” as I like to call it. Agents are overwhelmed and frustrated with the pace of technology. Tech is often not user-friendly for what agents are trying to accomplish. Rapid evolution of tech has spurred “FOMO” (fear of missing 0ut).
No one wants to be left behind, but you have to choose your battles and find a tech plan that works for your lifestyle.
What do you think is the biggest overall challenge facing the real estate industry? Will technology be able to address it?
Technology can be a positive bridge between consumers and agents. The challenge is finding a user-friendly experience for both parties. Mobile technology will make it easier for us to connect, but it has to be neutral and factual. This is why the new RPR app is awesomesauce! Use it!
How do you feel technology is changing the real estate industry? Are these changes making the industry better or worse? Why?
The rise of technology and the availability of information has benefited the consumer. I think transparency and information makes our industry better as a whole.
What email system(s) do you use? Which one is your favorite and why?
Gmail! It works! It’s easy to use and very mobile-friendly. Combine it with the Yesware add-on and it is a powerhouse for dealing with clients.
Which CRM do you use? What do you like about it, and what feature do you wish it would add in the future?
I’m going to be honest. I have tried too many CRMs and I’m not happy with any one of them enough to endorse them in anyway. The only platform I’m advocating for at this moment is postable.com because I love the mini database.
Do you use a calendar app? Which one? What do you like about it?
Currently I’m using Sunrise with my Google calendar. I was having trouble reading my Google calendar app on my phone (which is ridiculous because my phone is huge). Sunrise is easy to read and I am finding that it is easier to schedule clients with.
Do you use digital documents, which ones?
My digital life exists in Google Drive. It is easy to use, and their product suite is functional. I have everything in once place and I can pick up any of my gadgets and keep working.
Do you own a camera? What kind? What do you like about it?
Currently, I use a Sony Alpha NEX-5T. It is lightweight and user-friendly, and takes beautiful pictures and video. I still have my Nikon D40 SLR camera that I bought the year my son was born (2007) that I pull out when I feel like playing “photographer.” It’s a workhorse and has taken a ton of abuse! For everyday photos, my S5 takes great pictures.
What kind of laptop or tablet (or both) do you own?
I have an Acer Chromebook that I love. It boots up in seven seconds, the resolution is gorgeous and it is very comfortable to write on. Since the Chromebook has entered my life, it has become my favorite device. Word of caution: Not everything is Chromebook-friendly yet.
Do you have a Nest thermostat in your home?
I live in a 1950s Cape Cod that is a WIP (work in progress), and I have other home improvement projects I’m tackling before I try to bring its system into the future. I actually use regular weather thermometers around the house to monitor temps, and I adjust the heat manually! LOL
Do you play games on any of your devices? Which ones?
I play games with my kiddo on his Wii. My devices are for work, not play. I’m too busy to “Candy Crush” my life away.
Which websites do you visit every day? Why?
YouTube, Hootsuite, Canva and Facebook. YouTube is how I start my day. While I’m making breakfast and getting dressed, I can watch short videos and TED talks to get pumped for the day. Again, most of my work is online, and these are the sites I use to learn, grow and manage work.
Which social media app do you use the most on your phone? Your tablet? Your computer?
I’m still primarily on Facebook and Twitter. I’m having difficulty finding Snapchat people! Snapchat me! User name: rachaelbhite.
What’s on your technology wish list — for yourself or for work?
Apple Watch for me … for work, more video equipment. I really enjoy making videos!
Where do you get most of your leads: portals or other sources?
I hung up my license over a year ago, but when I was working I utilized ZTR, Facebook and personal client referrals.
What is your favorite technology, one you actually get joy out of using?
Social media. I enjoy making meaningful connections. How awesome is it that I can chat content development strategies with someone from across the world on Twitter? It is amazing!
Social media allows me to travel and chat anywhere I want to go. I have the world in my hand.
What is your favorite “unplugged” activity? I’m a huge bookworm.
I’m not sure if reading on my Kindle Paperwhite counts as unplugged … but I read every night before bed. If you are a voracious reader such as myself, you need a Kindle to save you from overdue library fees and bankrupting yourself at the bookstore.
I also enjoy art, yoga and hiking outdoors with my dog. My lifestyle is really hectic. I really treasure reading to my son, spending quality time with my family and stealing a few quiet moments for myself.
Read Rachael Hite’s “Ultimate guide to selling tiny homes.”
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