Your smartphone is your lifeline. It can also be a major distraction, or hurdle for your business if you do not utilize the tool well. Last week we held a class for local agents wanting to learn more about their smartphones and how best to use them in their daily business. Here are the highlights from the class, and don’t be shy! Comment below if you have any favorite tips to share.
Show me the $$$
The first part of the class we talked about the ways you can actually save money on your monthly bill. Many agents are not utilizing their REALTOR® benefits! Take advantage if you can and save some cash on your monthly expenses. Keep in mind that as an agent you are considered a “heavy” user of technology. Your phone will wear out more quickly than the average consumer. Waiting too long to upgrade your phone can lead to lost calls, texts, and potential business. Why? The technology of your chosen provider’s network upgrades to adapt to work with the latest phones on the market. When you are using a phone that is several years old it is not optimized to work on the newest network. Talk to your trusted CPA and your provider about switching to a business account. It may save additional funds and help out with organizing your business expenses.
Apple vs. Android
The debate comes down to personal preference. Apple boasts a simple to use interface but can be more expensive to maintain. Android offers more affordable pricing but beware of their app store. Android’s app store is not regulated like Apple’s. Often there are “Mirror” apps of commonly used apps that users can accidentally download that can cause issues on their phone. Both phones are comparable in performance and are interchangeable amongst different laptops. There is no need to match your phone to your laptop any longer. If you are set up in cloud management, you should be able to move smoothly between all types of devices.
Back it Up In the Cloud
It is critical to back up your contacts, text messages, and photos for those “life” moments, when your phone fails, dies or becomes lost. Many agents are frustrated with lack of space on their phones, and the solution is affordable and simple to fix. Bite the bullet and grab some additional storage. As a busy entrepreneur, you will be responsible for managing large amounts of data. The good news is that additional cloud storage can cost you well under $100.00 a year depending on what plan you choose. To optimize your phone’s performance make sure that it is updated, and that you have data managed responsibly. Make sure that you know your ID and password and keep them in a safe place.
Apps Can Save The Day
How long does it take you to create a professional looking Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)? Do you have any idea how your clients are using Zillow’s consumer app? Can you make quick notes on your client’s so you can keep up to date with their “needs and wants”? There are four categories of apps that you should curate for your phone.
Search- The apps that help you find homes, and improve your safety
Social- Marketing your personal brand
Storage- The apps that help you manage all of the documents, photos, and important information
Customer Service- How you manage communication, reviews, and add additional value to your clients.
Apps Can Also Ruin Your Day
Games, coupon apps, and some lesser social media apps can slow down your phone or even invite virus issues onto your phone. Uninstall any spammy or lesser “star” apps from your phone. Security is a priority for agents on their phones. Your client’s personal data can be compromised. Take steps to keep a clean phone interface. If your phone is acting suspiciously make sure to bring it into your carrier and have them check things out.
Utilize PIN codes, fingerprint, and Two-Factor authentication settings whenever possible. If your phone ever becomes compromised you and your clients are at risk. Remember that your phone number is much more public than the average consumer. Be extra conscious of scams, as criminals target agents. Agents are targeted for many reasons, especially because criminals know that you have access to financial information. NEVER give personal financial information over the phone or via email without verifying the source is real and not a phishing scam.
You already have a free virtual assistant on your phone, via Siri or Google Assistant. Research commands and start integrating their assistance in your workday. Both of these assistants can help with reminders and calendar management.
Less is more. Make sure that your phone is not bogged down with too many apps and unmanaged data. Run updates at night over the fastest available wifi. If you are not sure that your phone contacts are backed up, schedule an appointment at your local provider (most now offer this service for customers) and make sure that your information is protected. Make a commitment not to be intimidated by your technology and you will find success right in the palm of your hand.