Use the BEST Tool or System or Program, even if you have to *gasp* duplicate your work!

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Education & Training with Sell with Soul

cell phoneI recently made the executive decision to throw my Palm Pre Smart Phone out the window (okay, not literally, but I was tempted) and go back to having two devices - a simple LG flip phone (that WORKS) and a Blackberry Curve (that WORKS)!

Yes, I will now have two mobile phone bills every month (although it turns out it's only about $10 more) and will have to tote around two different devices everywhere I go, but OMG! I'm seriously deliriously happy now that I have a phone that WORKS (I can actually HEAR people talking and they can hear me - what a concept!) AND a mobile data device that does exactly what I want it to do, perfectly!

The Palm Pre, while a fancy-looking little piece of machinery, did neither. The phone (sorry) sucked and the email/data functions didn't always work right. Not to mention the fact that I was already on my 5th replacement device since March, which has been enormously time-consuming and frustrating. I can't help but wonder what will happen to all these Palm Pre's out there on the market when their one-year warranties run out and their owners are stuck in a two-year contract...

Anyway, the lesson I learned was that sometimes One Size Doesn't Fit All. That it might be much more efficient to simply find the BEST tool or system or program for the job, that does the job excellently instead of trying to find one tool or system or program that does it all, but does it all mediocre-ly.

For example - Contact Management. Most contact management systems claim to do everything a busy real estate agent could possibly need them to do. Manage contacts, monitor dates & deadlines, send out cards and letters, send out email and eNewsletters, create drip campaigns, provide a website, set showings, request feedback, do the dishes...

But I'm guessing that many of these additional features (beyond simple contact management) function marginally well at best. Or not even. Which is going to create enormous frustration for the agent who just wants to get the jobs done... and done well.

Not to mention the frustration the poor agent has just trying to figure out which system: 1) fits into his budget; 2) syncs with his particular smart phone, email program and/or operating system; 3) is relatively easy to learn; 4) allows hassle-free import or export of data; 5) offers good customer service; 6) is robust enough to grow with his busness, while 6) being relatively easy to learn (yep, that's an intentional repeat) and 7) fits into his budget (ditto).

I wish I could close out this blog with firm recommendations on the Best Product for Each of Your Needs, but I'm still on the hunt myself. Personally, I use Outlook Express (now Windows Live Mail) for my personal email, Constant Contact for my mass emails and Aweber for my registration and assignment-based products. If I were selling real estate full-time I'd probably use Top Producer for contact and contract management.

Anyone else have some function-specific tools they'd like to recommend over the All-In-One's?

 

 

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Rainer
390,804
Nor Yeretsian
Envoy Capitol Realty Inc. - Toronto, ON
Envoy Capitol Realty Inc., Brokerage Toronto

Jennifer,  if it works it is good ... even great !

Cheers

Nor Yeretsian

Nov 09, 2010 10:45 PM #1
Rainmaker
713,351
Cheryl Johnson
Highland Park, CA

Years ago, an online friend called it "The Toolbox Approach" ... a professional carpenter has a box full of different tools, each for a different task...

On a personal level, I am seriously considering getting a Jitterbug to use as a PHONE.  My iPhone is a great mini-computing device, but I don't care for it as a phone, it does not nest comfortably against my ear, and I find it hard to position the tiny speaker over just the right part of my ear to actually hear anything.

Nov 09, 2010 10:47 PM #2
Rainmaker
484,282
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Cheryl - that's it exactly. I tried to use my Blackberry the other day as a phone and could barely hear the other person. I found myself pressing it harder and harder against my ear - which didn't do the trick of course. The day I switched back to two devices was a happier day than it should have been, given the relative insignificance of the event!

Nov 09, 2010 10:58 PM #3
Ambassador
1,370,364
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

Why didn't opt for an iPhone. I heard it's a mini-computer.

Nov 09, 2010 11:17 PM #4
Rainmaker
484,282
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Loreena - I already had a Blackberry. I looked into an iPhone, but I wouldn't use all the features to justify the initial expense of purchase. I just need mobile email and basic web...

Nov 09, 2010 11:23 PM #5
Rainmaker
484,282
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Oh, and I really really don't like touchscreen navigation. Give me a "real" keyboard!

Nov 09, 2010 11:23 PM #6
Ambassador
524,384
Cindy Marchant
Keller Williams Indy NE 317-290-7775 www.marchantteam.com - Carmel, IN
"Cindy in Indy" , Realtor, Fishers Real Estate

Amen Jennifer...if I am going to have a phone I want buttons to push down...  I love my blackberry...it does only what I need and no more.

Contact managment is a whole different animal.  I have a team of three and two of them swear by Top Producer...problem is "you" still have to execute the tasks.  I still am looking for a elf/genie that can "do" the stuff!  lol

Cindy in Indy

Nov 09, 2010 11:44 PM #7
Rainer
93,559
Lorraine Sayer
Monument, Black Forest, Falcon, Fountain homes - Colorado Springs, CO
Realtor ABR,CDPE,GRI - Colorado Springs,CO RE/MAX

Jennifer; I'm thinking you are on to something here...get back to basics.  You don't want to know how many times I've pocket dialed folks on my iphone- it's almost too sensitive.  And I do miss my keyboard:( 

Nov 10, 2010 01:23 AM #8
Rainmaker
91,326
Sue Gabriel
Cleveland, OH

Not to mention the battery life (or lack thereof) of the Droid. I keep putting off doing what you did, but today just may be the day I head down to the local Verizon store and reactivate my flip phone. This little Droid is a great computer, but a LOUSY phone!

And I still like my handy-dandy Outlook for Contact/Contract management stuff. Maybe someday I'll need bigger, better, faster...but for now it works. And it's free!  : )

Nov 10, 2010 01:30 AM #9
Rainmaker
565,629
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Jennifer - I understand completely, it is tough to find a one size fits all solution. I have an iphone and dread when I have to replace it. I have yet to be able to sync it with my outlook calendar and contacts, and no one has been able to figure out why.

Nov 10, 2010 01:42 AM #10
Rainmaker
484,282
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

I spent more than a year (and several hundred dollars) experimenting with mobile devices trying to find The One that I loved (hmmmm, sounds familiar). Finally figured out it doesn't exist. The perfect phone, that is. ;-]

And yes, Sue, I gotta say - the battery life issue has been sweeeeet! My flip phone stays charged for days even though the battery is probably 3 years old and the Blackberry even longer.

Cindy - I actually like that concept - that TP reminds you to do things, but you actually have to DO it yourself. The control-freak in me doesn't like to delegate, especially to a computer!

Nov 10, 2010 01:42 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,027,000
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

LOL...I have carried two devices for years....and when my sweet little Razr flip phone died a few months ago, you would NOT believe what I went through in trying to replace it.  Everyone looked at me as if I was crazy, "whatcha mean, you just want a phone for phone calls?"  They couldn't comprehend the simplicity of it all.

My husband's iPhone died 18 months into a 2 year contract, so I know the answer to the question posed above...you get stuck buying a new phone at full price.  Aarrgghh!  I'm just happy he didn't throw it at someone at the store.

Nov 10, 2010 03:10 PM #12
Rainmaker
309,513
Samantha Smith
214.422.0729 www.SamIAmHouses.com - Rowlett, TX
Sam I Am Houses, Simply Texas Real Estate

I have a Verizon Storm and am pretty happy with it BUT I see all the fabulous stuff my honey's phone (sprint HTC) does (like immediatly post videos to internet) and will be switching when my contract is up.

Nov 10, 2010 03:36 PM #13
Rainmaker
713,351
Cheryl Johnson
Highland Park, CA

I'm wondering if a Bluetooth would make the iPhone more acceptable as a phone ... tho I'm not really thrilled with the idea of wearing the thing .... nah ... I think I'll stick with my Jitterbug idea.  (The Jitterbug as a phone -- one that might actually be comfortable to hold while talking; and my iPhone remains a portable computing device...)

Nov 10, 2010 10:49 PM #14
Rainmaker
761,644
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

I LOVE my Blackberry! it even works OK as a phone...  But for Business purposes (calendar and Email) you realy cant beat it, and it is pretty seemless with Outlook. (not sure about outlook express)

I would vote for the full Outlook program..

I have also had pretty good luck with ACT as a database, it does "talk" to Outlook, and is pretty easy to figure out. I have tried a few others that were impossible to figure out... I think the biggest issue here with a Database type program is that you need one, Pick one and just use the darn thing!

I was a fan of the palm prior to it becoming a cell phone, and do miss certain aspects of it, but anyone I have ever known that has had one as a smart phone has had problems.

Nov 11, 2010 06:40 AM #15
Anonymous
Sherry Siegel

Maybe it's different on the other side of the continent, but I go with Motorola and Verizon. After one year with the LG, I was ready for an upgrade, especially since our local MLS is set up for mobile use. Love that when I'm showing property and we pass a listed home that didn't make our show list, yet my clients want to know about it, I can pop the address in right then and discover if the home has features that work for my clients. I don't miss the keyboard in the old LG at all. SWYPE is so much faster, intuitive, and doesn't really care how big the tip of your finger is as you glide smoothly from letter to letter. Did I say FAST? Yes!

Nov 11, 2010 05:03 PM #16
Rainer
2,824
Karen J. Mills
R J Smith Realty/Real Estate Solutions - Pine Bush, NY
Pine Bush NY

Well, all of this is exactly what I have been wrestling with for several weeks.  What I deduce from all of you is, of course, what I have known all along - that one size does not fit all,  Each of us has our own preferences as well as pet peeves.  I will make a list of mine, and then remember to stick to it even under pressure from the "helpful" staff at my local verizon store. 

  A note about the Droid:  My hubby has one, and we had to replace it 3 times in the first 2 weeks to get one that would charge correctly and stay charged.  Now it is still fully charged at the end of the day.  Don't give up!

Nov 12, 2010 01:56 AM #17
Anonymous
Chris Head

I'm a TP user and needed a phone before the Iphone release, so ended up with a Windows phone for better web use than the other options available at the time.  Now, my preference would be to go back to a plain old flip phone with no data and a separate tablet with a data plan.  I find the whole internet experience on my smart phone painful!

Chris Head
William Raveis Real Estate
Norwell, MA

Nov 12, 2010 11:16 AM #18
Rainmaker
149,563
Ann Cordes
Century 21 Randall Morris and Associates, Waco - Waco, TX
Home Ownership is Not a Distant Dream

I'm with Chris # 19. I have a Crackberry Storm that is great except it is a pain to use for internet. Love everything else about it. My contract is up with verizon next month and can't decide to stay or go to Sprint and get an EVO.

#18 What does a car loan have to do with a phone discussion?

Nov 15, 2010 01:38 AM #19
Rainmaker
484,282
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Rich - thanks for your comments and yes, they are welcome here. If anyone else has comments about IXACT, please do share. I'd be interested to hear how it compares - learning-curve-wise - to Top Producer since it's about the same monthly price...

Nov 21, 2010 06:03 AM #20
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