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Mobile Technology
Beep, Buzz & Benefit/Users/adamp/Desktop/Stuff for FAR/Magazine Assets/NOV08/images/BuzzBeep

We’ve got five killer tools that will help you on the road.

The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the cell phone trumps them both—at least as a sales and marketing tool for real estate professionals. Here are five cell-centered technologies that may bolster your bottom line.

CellSigns Mobile Agent
mymobileagent.com
Similar to Zillow Mobile (see next page), Mobile Agent allows homebuyers to retrieve information about a property—price, square footage and even photos—using nothing more than their cell phones. However, true to its name, Mobile Agent caters to real estate professionals as well: When buyers sign up for the service (which is free for them) via your Web site, all subsequent information requests are logged into an interactive system that’s linked to Google Maps (so you can see what homes and neighborhoods are hot). Meanwhile, buyers who request information receive additional options like “Get Comparable Listings” and “Request Showing/Call Back.” Mobile Agent charges a one-time setup fee of $299 and $34.95 a month.

Traffic.com
If you’re constantly running late to appointments because of traffic snarls, check out the services offered by Traffic.com. For starters, sign up for MyTraffic alerts. You’ll receive reports via text message at designated times, like when you’re heading to work or leaving for your daily lunch meeting. You can also dial the toll-free Traffic Line, (866) 698-7232, to get reports for your city and even specific roads. In fact, if you’re signed up for MyTraffic, you can say, “Home” to hear custom reports.

Smarter Agent
smarteragent.com
Smarter Agent puts a virtual you into customers’ cell phones, enabling them to find nearby listings using their phones’ GPS capabilities. All they do is download a special program (one that’s branded with your name and company) from your Web site and then hit the road. The program leverages a phone’s GPS navigation hardware to determine the buyer’s location and then delivers localized search results. It also provides detailed information about each property: price, number of bedrooms, photos, estimated taxes and so on. A “Call to See” button lets the buyer call you directly to arrange a showing.

TagNow
tagnow.net/RealEstate/Agent/Home.aspx
TagNow aims to improve the response experience for the buyer while generating more touch points for you. Just add a special toll-free number to your marketing materials; when buyers call the number and input the corresponding property code, they can immediately connect to you, get a listing sent back via text message or even get a link to a personalized Web site for the property. Meanwhile, the caller’s information is delivered to your own phone so you can make contact directly. TagNow plans start at $35 monthly with a $50 one-time setup fee.

Zillow Mobile
zillow.com/labs/zillowmobile.htm
Want to check the property value of a home—even if it’s not listed? Zillow Mobile puts the power of Zillow in your phone: Just send a text message to
z@labs.zillow.com, including the street address, city and state (or ZIP code). In a flash, you’ll get back a message packed with details about the house, including Zestimate (Zillow’s estimated value), square footage, number of bedrooms/baths and so on. (If this sounds familiar, it’s because HouseFront, (see page 36) offers a similar service.) Zillow Mobile costs nothing to use, though standard text-messaging rates apply.

The Florida Association of Realtors and Florida Realtor® magazine do not endorse any products mentioned in this article.