The New World Of Real Estate Is On Your Phone

By Richard Scheinin
The Mercury News

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) At a recent California Realtors’ expo there were dozens of vendors in booths, representing old-school services and products like mold-and odor-removal services; title companies and property inspection services. But the real focus for many of the realtors was all about the new world that’s unfolding around them. Stay relevant, they were repeatedly told, and keep up by leveraging technology.


Walking into Exhibit Hall D at the Santa Clara Convention Center earlier this month, real estate agent Lisa Faria scanned the day’s schedule and spotted a talk she wouldn’t miss: “Look at this one,’A Day in the Life of a Mobile Savvy Agent.’ I am so not a mobile savvy agent. I definitely need that panel.”

A few minutes later, she got the lowdown from Kristi Kennelly, a national speaker for who used to be a Broadway dancer. Seriously. Among other shows, she appeared in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

The opening act for the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors’ 26th Annual Convention and Expo, Kennelly led her audience through a fictitious day on the phone: how to succeed in business by trying hard, with apps.

There’s an app, she explained, that tracks mileage for tax purposes (MileIQ), as well as an app (Legend) that transforms photos into videos with written sales pitches, and yet another app (FiveStreet) that answers clients’ 3 a.m. inquiries with prewritten messages: “Catching a few zzz’s right now. Can I call you at 8 a.m.?”

You know, leveraging technology.

“Mobile-friendly is what it’s about,” said Kennelly, who proposed an app for just about every 30 minutes of the workday, starting at 6 a.m.

Faria, who works for Coldwell Banker, intends to use “Great Schools,” which can get agents up to speed with detailed ratings, reviews and test scores for neighborhood schools, and “slydial,” which lets an agent leave messages for clients without their phones ringing.

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