Archive Monthly Archives: August 2012

Should Every Realtor Have an iPad ?

Steve Jobs with iPad

Sylvia and I have two children. We didn’t want three, only two. So after the second daughter, I visited Dr. Chopp (really his name) and that was that. Although I admire and love my friends with bigger families of 3, 4 and 5 kids, I like having just two offspring. We didn’t want a third, for many reasons.

What’s this got to do with iPads? Well, I don’t want a 3rd digital device to haul around either. I have a laptop and an iPhone. I don’t want a 3rd electronic thing, simple as that. Enough is enough. I have enough digital overload, I don’t need something else to plug in and care for. I refuse to add a third device, period.

That said, the geeky side of me really, really wants an iPad, but I can’t match the emotional desire to have one with any relevant productivity benefits. To me, it would have to prove itself as a productivity tool, first and foremost. I don’t need a toy. Until a tablet can function like a laptop replacement, I have no use for one.

Does this hurt our productivity as Realtors? If you believe all the hype, yes. But as I’ll explain in this article, no, there is nothing that Sylvia and I need to do as Realtors that would get done better, faster or easier with an iPad.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of iPad for Realtors that I see and hear about most often.

Listing Presentations Tool
In the old days, Realtors used notebooks and flipped the pages while sitting with a seller. Later, PowerPoint came along, which required a laptop. And now, agents can dazzle prospective clients with presentations on the iPad. Continue reading

Posted by Steve
3 years ago

If People Bought Houses The Way We Buy Cars

Person with a newly bought car

I’ve been buying and selling stuff lately other than real estate. Mainly with Craigslist ads. Washer/Dryer left over from a sale. A Fridge too. Bought a used car for my daughter, and we’re selling our minivan. It’s funny how the non-real estate inquiries differ so much from real estate inquiries.

First up, I’m selling our trusty 2007 Honda Odyssey. It has 107,000 miles now, and we no longer need it. Our oldest daughter is in college and youngest in high school. We just don’t haul around gaggles of kids to parties, playdates, etc. anymore. Plus, the van is a 16 mpg gas hog. As a replacement, we bought Sylvia a 2012 Hyundai Sonata Limited, which achieved 38 miles per gallon driving our daughter up to TCU in Ft Worth last week! It’s a neat little car. GPS just like the Honda, and built in blue tooth connectivity for the phone. So, when driving and the cell rings, Sylvia just taps a button on the steering wheel to answer and start talking hands free. It’s roomy inside and nice enough for taking clients around, but more economical and easier to drive and park than the minivan.

Anyway, if real estate buyers were like auto buyers from Craigslist, and you were selling a home, let’s say, for $285,000, you might receive a text message saying “wil u take 235 I buy today“, and similar gibberish. What sort of dummy thinks this method of engagement is an effective initial communication for a purchase discussion? After enough of these pings, all of which I ignored, I altered my ad to say “Calls only. DO NOT TEXT. Text messages will not receive a response“.

So now I just get calls, thankfully, from intelligent people . For the Odyssey, the buyers all ask the the same opening question: “Has the timing belt been replaced?” Huh? No it hasn’t. But after enough of those calls I took it down to Howdy Honda to get the timing belt replaced. It’s just an $800 preventative maintenance thing that’s recommended at 7 years or $100,000 miles. I just figured a new owner would get it done, but that’s not working. These Honda buyers are tough! Way tougher than house buyers.

Continue reading

Posted by Steve
3 years ago

Austin Real Estate Staging – Colors in Interior and Exterior Design

House with Blue Door Photo

One thing I have noticed lately while showing and listing houses is Buyers like COLOR!

No longer are the neutral tones the best advice for someone putting their house on the market. My last buyer clients went under contract on a home with colors they fell in love with. This home was painted a soft yellow in most of the living areas and a pale blue in the master bedroom. They absolutely loved it.

Another home I recently listed which received multiple offers within a week had a vivid red/orange chair rail in the entry hallway! No longer am I telling sellers when I list the house to paint everything neutral. Neutral is OUT!

The Front Door is Very Important
Another interesting observation I have made is the importance of the front door color. I used to recommend red, always. Now with the hot weather, I am recommending painting the front door a soft shade of teal (greenish/blue).

Continue reading

Posted by Sylvia
3 years ago