What can the iPhone do for REALTORS?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Showcase IDX

The latest gadget from Apple is coming out on the 29th of June and it is set to revolutionize how people use and think about their cell phones. The iPhone is really 3 devices in one: a cell phone, a video iPod and an internet browser with email. As they did with the iPod, the iPhone has been designed to work within a simple, modern interface which makes it very intuitive to use for users of all levels.


The iPhone will be able to do some things for REALTORS that other portable devices can't do or at least do as well. Firstly the design is simple, yet impressively sleek. This is something that Apple does so well and definitely will give the iPhone a wow factor well into the future as Motorola, Palm and RIM have a long way to go to catch up. Obviously this will show clients that you are up with the latest technology and have style doing it. But that is really just superficial, its whats it can do for your business that really counts.

The phone is operated by a 3.5 touchscreen display that you use without a stulus pen. It does operate on quad-band which means you can take it around the world without any issues. As far as its size, it is about the same size as a Palm Treo 750. One very nice touch for REALTORS is visual voicemail which shows you all your voicemail in a list and allows you to select which voicemails you want to listen to as opposed to just wading through skipping, saving and deleting message after message.

At the end of the day it's a cell phone, a really nice cell phone that has some features that could benefit agents. Do REALTORS need to rush out and get one? Probably not if you are already using a Treo or Blackberry. I would wait until it dies and then think about it. The price will have come down by then!


  • Looks really slick! People will want to talk to you (at least for a while) just to see your phone
  • Allows you to access your website online - Warning not all MLS's are compatible with Safari (Mac Internet Browser)
  • Large screen will allow you to show clients internet listings and virtual tours/video anywhere.
  • Allows you to visually view all your voice mail
  • Will sync with your contacts on your computer (outlook)
  • Has your email account accessible 24/7 (pop & IMAP4)
  • 2 megapixel digital camera with photos you can email from your phone to anyone
  • 4 or 8  Gigabytes of data storage - you can use it for more than storing your Hall and Oates collection
  • Simple to use intuitive user interface
  • Built in microphone for on the fly recording
  • Conference calling built in
  • Google maps support
  • Calendar/Organizer application


  • Price (4GB will be $499 (2 year contract) and 8GB will be $599 ( 2 year contract)
  • It will not work with Supra Lock boxes like the Treo
  • There is a good chance it will not allow you to access the MLS through its Safari internet browser
  • You have be on the AT&T (formerly Cingular) network if you want one when they launch or for a good while thereafter. (only a con if you are not on AT&T)


Scott Lockhart



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David L. Britt
Platinum Realty, LLC - Olathe, KS

Scott, I posted an article on the iPhone a few weeks ago and will await the release.  I'm not going to be an early adopter, I'll wait to see how it develops. 

Jun 14, 2007 04:38 PM #1
Sam Thompson
Ditech Mortgage - Southern Pines, NC
Ditech Mortgage
i still have 'the brick' cellphone from suncom.  it works great.. i can save contacts, 3 way calling, it has a calc, i can text..  3 years later and still ticking...  these new ones scare me because i drop mine all the time and it still works great.
Jun 14, 2007 04:42 PM #2
Scott Lockhart
Showcase IDX - Atlanta, GA
CEO, Showcase IDX
you know what? Some of those older phones were just built better, have reliable features and really good battery life. That said, I would take a look at a PDA device especially for the email capabilities whether it is an iPhone or not. These days with the focus on internet leads and response times to emails in general there is a whole generation of homebuyers who are looking to use email over speaking on the phone. You can also get ones that can take a fair bit of punishment - I have dropped my BlackBerry 8700 more times that I ever should and it is going strong with remarkable battery life considering I am using it near constantly. It also has a great alarm clock.
Jun 14, 2007 04:50 PM #3
Wayne and Lynda Gomillion
Real Living Hagan Realtors | Pinehurst ~ Southern Pines, NC - Pinehurst, NC

Thanks for an illuminating post!

Jun 14, 2007 05:10 PM #4
Nalliah Thayabharan
Expert Building Inspections Ltd - Markham, ON
Home Inspector - Commercial Building Inspector Toronto

Hi   Scotty! !

Thanks for sharing this info with us. Keep posting !

Nalliah Thayabharan

Commercial and Residential Building Inspector

Expert Building Inspections Ltd

Jun 14, 2007 09:23 PM #5
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Listing Agent
THe commercials for this phone certainly make it look intriguing.  I can't wait to have the dust settle, so I can speak to someone that actually buys and uses it....maybe mid August.  I just hate buying new product that might have bugs that need to be workedout.  I fell for the Volkswagon Touareg.
Jun 14, 2007 11:35 PM #6
Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton
Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC - Hilton Head Island, SC
Wow, this looks awesome.  I was ready to buy it until I saw at the end of your post that it is not compatible with the Supra lockboxes. 
Jun 14, 2007 11:39 PM #7
Steven Dean
RE/MAX Allegiance 202-547-5600 - Washington, DC
Why assume you cannot access the MLS through Safari? There are no problems accessing MRIS with it.
Jan 21, 2008 12:06 PM #8
Lu Doan
AgentShield.com - Naples, FL

Down in Naples, FL, the MLS (sunshineMLS) cannot be accessed via Safari (only Internt Explorer).  It cannot be accessed via iPhone or MACs.  Bummer!

Mar 05, 2009 12:41 AM #9
Nick Mintier, Formerly Amerivest Realty, Naples Fla

I know this comment is a long time after the fact...but. Sunshine MLS in Naples Florida is IE only (as noted above) HOWEVER, if you download the app Atomic Web Browser ($.99) you can access Sunshine!

Open the app after downloading it. Click the Gear symbol to the left of the browser window.

Click the "Settings" heading. Then Click the "identify browser as..." button.

Then simply select IE8 then back out of settings and VOILA! Go to Sunshine and search like crazy.

I just did this on my wifes iPad and she's messing with it now. I'm not sure if any functionality has been lost by doing this, but the search function works fine as well as pulling reports.

Please pass this info on to other realtors in your area as we can all use as much help as possible!!

Jan 06, 2011 09:32 AM #10
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Scott Lockhart

CEO, Showcase IDX
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