mobile technology

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Shoe PhoneAs I mumble to my kids, “Well, when I was your age…”

we only had land lines (they then look at me confused and ask “what’s a land line?” – at which point I smack them, because I know they know what a land line is, they are just trying to make me feel old). But seriously, do you remember, clearly, the emergence of cell phones? I do. I got my first Mercedes in 1990 and it had a hard wired “car phone” – about the size of a shoe. Shortly after that I had a hand held cell phone and I remember getting one of my first cell phone bills (picked up by PepsiCo – thank goodness) for $1500!

We very indulgently gave our oldest son a cell phone when he entered high school (that seemed appropriate), our daughter when she got into 7th grade (that then seemed appropriate) and by the time our youngest was on his way to Middle School – he already had a cell phone. Two of my three children now have iPhones (I don’t) – and it all got me thinking about how different our lives are now that we have cell phones.

The US has over 265 million mobile phone users – about 85% of the population. But only 65 million of those mobile phones are text and web enabled. Does that surprise you? It did me. So let me see, nationally, only 24% of mobile users are text and web enabled but 100% of my family of five are text and web enabled? How’s that?!? Then there is Taiwan where there are 106 mobile phones for every 100 people!

Have you seen the Andy Rooney piece where he films people walking and texting – talk about clueless (and dangerous)! Texting while walkingThere has been a 107% increase in text messaging in the past twelve months alone! 2.5 billion text messages are sent each day in the U.S. We average 357 texts per month v. 204 average calls a month. And listen to this one – a Voice Mail message will be responded to in an average of 48 hours – a text message will be responded to within four minutes! Why is that?!? I know when I need to get a hold of my kids I text – they never pick up their phone. And I have many clients who prefer to text. My mother and her perfect written script and formal correspondence is rolling over in her grave. Glad she’s not around to see this.

Does it surprise you that in the four states that have outlawed the use of cell phones while driving (New York, DC, Connecticut and California) none have seen a change in the number of accidents? Is that because it really doesn’t affect driving, or is it because everyone ignores the law? This same study showed that driver reaction time is 33% worse when using a cell phone than when driving under the influence of alcohol!

Mom's on the phoneI see or hear at least one “Danville Mom” being pulled over by the cops every week with a cell phone in their hand, ala Maria Shriver. Speaking of cell phones and being pulled over, did you know that one phone available in China has a stun gun attachment that packs an 800,000 volt punch?! (Actually, that might be kinda handy.)

Now here’s a reassuring fact – if you think the volume on your cell phone is declining over time, or you’re losing your hearing, check the holes covering the receiver. Most phones have almost a full ounce of ear wax and dirt build-up – ewwww!

Mobile HomeSo what does “Going Mobile” have to do with Real Estate? Everything! (It’s just not about mobile homes anymore!) 79% of buyers and sellers want to know that their Real Estate agent is more technically savvy than they are. Real Estate agents have been pushed harder than many other professionals to be technically buff or lose the business, and that’s forced many old schoolers out.

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Real Estate agents can now use our Smartphone to open the lockboxes on our listings instead of the old SupraKey. We can access the MLS and even find foreclosures around our current location, map area, city or zip code with mobile apps. What that means for you is, we can get ‘real time’ information while viewing properties without going to the office. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. As mobile technology grows and improves, we can expect even more applications to make mobile real estate better and easier for both the agent and the consumer.

You want to be able to reach me 24/7, and I need to be able to get you the information you want quickly, no matter where I am. Real Estate services are no longer about us offering you information – you have all the information we have, at your fingertips. It’s about the interpretation and application of the information that’s out there.

Mobile and information technology is everywhere and we either embrace it – or get run over by it. Personally, I love my Blackberry. I couldn’t do business with out it. Besides, after my first one had its screen cracked, I could jokingly call it my “crackberry” even though I wasn’t addicted to it the way the term references!

So, it’s your choice, call me, text me, e-mail – just remember, I’m here to provide you the best residential real estate service available!

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