Here is a simple little test to do when you are out shopping for a cottage, ski chalet or summer home. Take out your cell phone and try to call a friend.
We all think that there are communication towers everywhere and that cell phone reception (and the accompanying data transmission) will work throughout North America. Not so. Telephone companies need to know that there are sufficient users to warrant having a communications tower installed. In addition, the range for some towers may not go too far with geographic interference such as hills and mountains. Of course cities and towns will get reception but not in remote and sparsely populated lakes and mountain areas.
If you are in real estate and need to be constantly available to clients, rule out areas with no cell phone reception. Your smart phone is not going to be so smart if it cannot pick up a signal.
Some cell phones have better reception than others. See if you can upgrade to get reception so as not to rule out a specific cottage country. Talk to others living in the area and find out if they have cell phone reception. Maybe they have found a work around.
Without reception but with a land line, you can do a couple of things:
partner with another agent. Leave your smart phone with them so that they can monitor your calls and messages and contact you at the lake to let you know if you are needed. Trust is leaving your smart phone with a friend or business partner.
call your company a couple of times a day to keep in touch with the booking group and the receptionist. Let them know you are away but will be collecting your messages daily.
Tell all of your active clients that you will be away. Give them your number at the lake or, better still, the number of the agent who is handling your files.
Last year I traveled in Italy and had constant blackberry reception and access to all of my messages. This year, I drove for 70 minutes to a friend’s cottage and lost reception after 55 minutes. One of the benefits of buying a cottage with no cell phone reception is the peace and quiet you and your teenage children will have.
Do not assume there is cell phone coverage everywhere in the world. Test before you buy.
Photo credit: British communications tower, Derry
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