You all probably know I’m a big technology fan, and I love trying out new gadgets. Some of them are really useful and can be great tools to improve your work as well. Here are some I discovered recently. I haven’t tried them all (yet), but they look promising.
1. DJI Phantom 2 + GoPro HERO4 Black
Mount the drone with a camera and get unbelievable shots of properties. I recommend trying out this Phantom 2 quadrocopter, which is extremely easy to use. The Wi-Fi connection reaches over 300 meters. Moreover, you can also boost the reach by adding the Wi-Fi Range Extender. However, the original 300 meters should do the job perfectly without any trouble at all.
The basic model of the Phantom 2 quadrocopter will cost you approximately $625 CAD, which is a surprisingly low price, considering that you are actually going to fly a real drone!
You should also check your local rules on flying the UAVs before you do so, since some of the areas might have restrictions; you can check the short version of the Canadian regulation here. (But stay tuned, as I’ll be publishing another article about this soon!)
As for the camera, my advice is to go big, because the picture is all that matters. My top tip is the latest camera from the GoPro family — the HERO4 Black. The HERO4 Black takes Emmy Award-winning GoPro performance to a whole new level.
GoPano micro is a revolutionary lens for the iPhone 5 that enables you to create 360° panoramic videos. You just snap the lens to your iPhone 5 and tap to make 360° videos instantly. It’s an absolute game-changer. You can also buy the lens for the iPhone 4S/4. The GoPano for iPhone 6 hasn’t been announced just yet.
You can get your GoPano micro for $98 CAD in the online shop. GoPano also offered an option for a 360° panorama lens for regular cameras starting at $875 CAD. However, they have unfortunately been sold out for quite a while now. But I think it’s worth the wait!
3. Mini Mobile Robotic Printer by ZUtA Labs
An Israeli start-up that will fit a whole printer into your pocket is set to hit the market somewhere in the first quarter of 2015. After raising $487,000 CAD on Kickstarter, the company first shipped printers that fit into your palm (I still can’t believe the words I’m writing!) and are able to print directly from your phone, tablet or laptop onto any size of paper.
The printer is activated by sliding a hatch at the bottom of the device, which will reveal the inkjet. The inkjet lasts for over 1,000 printed pages, and the battery lasts for over one hour per full charge (it takes three hours to fully charge).
Can you imagine that while you show your customers their new house, the printer will print out all the documents you need them to sign right on the spot?
What I came to realize more and more as my client base started to grow was that my phone rings almost constantly. However, my smartphone’s battery often doesn’t agree with my busy schedule and simply decides to run out of power in the middle of my active day. I also found that this phenomenon always hits me when I’m busiest.
The reason I told you this story is because every Realtor knows it to be true. We need to have our phones powered up at all times to be available to chat with our clients whenever they want to talk to us.
Duracell came up with an amazing idea that I simply adore — a cordless charging system called Powermat. To charge your phone, you just need to lay the device down on the Duracell charging surface. When you’re on the road, there is an option for a portable Powermat to charge your device.
The only drawback is that the products are limited to certain types of phones. So far, Duracell makes wireless charging cases for Samsung Galaxy S III phones and the iPhone 4S/4 and 5S/5.
5. inReach satellite communicator for smartphones
In the previous review, I emphasized the importance of our accessibility as real estate agents, and I would like to offer you one more suggestion from the same category. InReach is a world-renowned company that develops satellite communication systems that let our customers reach us anywhere on the planet. Plus, I guarantee you are going to feel very cool just knowing you have this device.
The price of this small and very portable device is $249 CAD. Better communication, however, is not the only thing you will receive when you decide to buy the InReach system. It also comes with the DeLorme Topo North America GPS maps (full U.S. and Canada coverage) and NOAA (U.S.) nautical charts — something I’m definitely going to use a lot.
So which one of these do you find interesting? Do you think there is a use for these gadgets, or will they be forgotten in no time?
Richard Silver is a Sales Representative with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada and has been a member of the Toronto Real Estate Board and an active REALTOR® for 33 years. He loves teaching about technology and and how he has adopted it into his successful real estate business. You can see more on his blog at Torontoism.com