November 21, 2011 — Almost every year, I head south in November to spend some time with REALTORS® from all over the world at the National Association of REALTORS® Conference. It is a great way to find out what is new and happening in terms of technology and get an idea of the upcoming issues for the real estate community. This was a habit that I started long before I was on the Board of Directors at the Toronto Real Estate Board and I am happy to be able now to go and represent our Members.
I am often asked by friends, family and other REALTORS® how my “holiday” was. Anyone who has been would never ask that question as from sunup until way past sundown, there is so much to learn, see and discuss with others, that coming home is the holiday. It usually takes a few weeks to sift through the information and get a grip on what the issues were and where the learning focused.
There is a lot that I could share with you but since I am often asked what decisions should be made around iProducts, Android and BlackBerry tools, I sat in on a few sessions to get some clarity.
Here are my thoughts.
Yes, there are probably 200 devices out there that you can buy but it is all about the apps and at this point the big time winner seems to be Apple.
This is not to cut out other devices but the reality is that most of the apps being produced by the technicians are for the iPad or the iPhone first; they usually then follow up with Android, Windows and BlackBerry applications depending on demand. If you choose a non-Apple product, you should do so with this in mind.
All of that being said: I do have an iPad and I love mobile computing. Here is a short list of some of the apps available for you as a mobile REALTOR® using an iPad.
REALTOR® Specific: REALTOR®.ca, FaceTime, Dropbox (put it on all your devices), Pages, PDF Expert, TweetDeck, Touchbase, Opera Mini (to view our present platform of TMLS), Skype, Prezi Viewer, Evernote, LightTrac, HootSuite (Syndicates your Social Media), 360, OpenHomePro, Docusign and Docusign Ink. My American friends would also have Trulia, Houzz and Zillow.
Lifestyle Specific: Calendar, Contacts, Messages and Reminders, and for iPad2 users: the Camera (though it is not great), Kindle (for readers), Accuweather, IMDB (for movie buffs), Yelp and Star3map.
I am happy to hear from you with any suggestions for other applications. Please bear in mind that these are the applications that I use, and some of them are new to me as well, since the 2011 National Association of REALTORS® Conference.
For REALTORS: You may be aware that tax guidelines allow us to attend two conferences per year. They offer a great opportunity to learn a lot and build a strong referral network amongst the 20,000 attendees from all over the world. I look forward to seeing you at the next international conference and in the meantime, be sure to save May 2 and 3 on your calendar for the Toronto Real Estate Board’s annual REALTOR® QUEST conference – you’ll want to bring plenty of business cards for networking, as this event attracts more than 7,000 REALTORS® from throughout Ontario.