Creating a mobile real estate warrior part 2: hardware to succeed

If you’re expecting a blog with instructions on how to wield a sword and chakram while belting out an almighty “Ayiyiiyiyiyiyi” like Xena, then you’re reading the wrong blog!If however you’re looking to become a mobile real estate warrior, brandishing your own “weaponry” like a pro, then you’re at the right place. This blog is the second in a short series of blogs on how to build yourselves (or your teams) into efficient and effective mobile real estate warriors.If you missed part one of this blog series, I suggest taking a read of that to truly understand the fundamental concept behind how to become a mobile real estate warrior.This blog will cover off some of the hardware you need to be truly mobile…Smartphones

The first item in the mobile real estate warrior’s toolkit is a smartphone. A smartphone is a mobile phone that offers more advanced computing ability in comparison to a typical mobile phone. Today’s smartphones allow an agent to access their email on-the-go, browse the Internet as well as being able to connect to their real estate CRM software (like Rex).Smartphones offer the ability to always be connected with your clients and systems no matter where you are. I’m speaking from experience when I say that there’s nothing worse than having a buyer’s enquiry email come in from a real estate portal, but not having immediate access to it because you’re out on the road and you don’t have a smartphone (or in my case, it was in getting repaired and I had a “normal” mobile phone) and calling them a few hours later to find out they’ve gone through another agency’s listing and made an offer on that property. With the plethora of smartphones available, there’s really no excuse to not be using one.Some of the best and most popular smartphones include the Apple iPhone, the HTC Velocity and the Samsung Galaxy S2.The iPhone runs Apple’s native iOS software, which is very intuitive and easy to use, while the Velocity and Galaxy S2 both run Google’s Android software which is also very easy to navigate through and use. Picking the smartphone that is right for you, but as of the time of posting this blog, the three mentioned here are my top three recommendations.TabletsThe next item to add to your mobile real estate warrior toolkit is tablet. Tablets are mobile computers, larger in size than smartphones, with an integrated touch screen. Tablets are easier to carry around with you on the go than a notebook/laptop, and provide very similar functionality to notebooks.Three of the best tablets available today are the Apple iPad, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201.Again, the iPad runs the native iOS software, while both the Galaxy Tab and the Prime are running Android. The Prime can be connected to a keyboard/dock (optional extra), that transforms it (clearly where the name came from) into what is essentially an Android laptop.To be truly mobile, your tablet needs to be able to connect to the Internet while you are out and about meeting with clients. The Galaxy Tab and certain iPad models are 3G compatible (meaning you can put in a SIM card with a data plan and access the Internet on the go), but the Prime only has Wi-Fi connectability – which is not an issue as you can tether it to your smartphone or use a mobile broadband connection, which brings me to the next weapon in your mobile real estate warrior arsenal…Mobile Broadband Connection

Obviously to truly utilise and benefit from being a mobile real estate warrior, you need to be able to connect to the cloud when you’re out meeting with clients. To do that, you need a mobile broadband connection.Your smartphone is already going to have the ability to connect to the Internet, and you can allow other devices (like a tablet without 3G/4G, or a laptop) to connect to you phone’s Internet connection – this is called tethering. Most phone data pans are not that large, so tethering devices to your phone can turn out to be an expensive option depending on your data plan.A much more cost effective way to have Internet on the run for your non-3G/4G compatible devices is to use a mobile broadband connection which you can get from a 3G/4G wireless modem (sometimes called a dongle) from any other telcos. I’m not going to list every single mobile broadband provider, but obviously companies like Telstra, Optus and Vodafone all offer mobile broadband options. You need to weigh up the different data plans and pick one that is right for you.LaptopsNo mobile real estate warrior toolkit would be complete without a laptop. Whether you’re a Microsoft Windows fan, or an Apple fan you need have a laptop for anything you can’t do on your smartphone or tablet. I’m not going to give you a “top three” in this section. There are so many laptops available, each with pros and cons. Some have small screens, some big. Some are thin and light, some are not. What will suit your requirements won’t match someone else’s, so pick a laptop that you like and will suit your needs. I do recommend getting one of the thinner and lighter models though as you don’t want to be lugging around a heavy laptop all day.Portable Printers and ScannersThe last two pieces of hardware you need to complete your arsenal are a portable printer and a portable scanner. It just makes sense that if you’re honestly trying to be a mobile real estate warrior, that you’ll be able to print and scan while on the go. If you’re with a client and you need to print off a contract, you’ll be able to. The same applies if you need to send a document to someone in a hurry – if you’re out of the office and won’t be back for hours, pull out your mobile scanner and voila, it’s done!HP and Canon both produces portable printers with batteries that will last for up to 500 pages of printing.For your scanning needs, you could get a handheld portable scanner from Pico, or something more robust from Canon.Next week…Now that we’ve armed you with the arsenal of tools you need to become a mobile real estate warrior, next week we’ll go through some cool software to go with the hardware that will make you unstoppable!

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