My mother broke her hip the Friday before Christmas, and had surgery to replace it the next day. This was quite a shock to her....at 83 she stands tall, works out daily, prunes her own trees, lays sod (yes, really!) and you have to pry her off their Harley trike.
Mom and Dad live in Texas, and my husband and I live in Minnesota. We were planning to be in Texas for the holidays anyway, and I wasn't too worried about an avalanche of client inquiries over Christmas. I packed all my equipment and felt pretty much like I could handle things remotely.
Now that I'm going on my 3rd week here, I've had a chance to test my "road worthiness." I've been a road warrior for years -- I am fairly well set up to do business anywhere. (As REALTORS we have to be.) Still, see if you notice what's missing from this list:
- Notebook PC with built-in wireless
- Anti-virus software and firewall for protection when using wireless "hot-spots" (like most Starbucks have)
- An all-in-one place email account
- Automatic text alerts and emails for new prospects
- Sprint Broadband wireless card (seems almost as fast as DSL)
- Wireless mouse
- Flash drive to copy files off computer for backup or portability
- A subscription to GoToMyPC.com so I can log into my office computer from anywhere at any time
- e-fax so I can send and receive faxes from my email account
- Treo 650 phone so I can call, text, and carry my Top Producer database and calendar with me (and sync to Top Producer servers)
- Adobe Acrobat Professional (to fill out and save PDF contracts on line)
- Wide angle digital camera
- Tom Tom GPS system
- A car charger for everything, AC adapters, and/or a power inverter (more universal charging in the car)
Sounds like I've got the bases covered, right? Well, there's one critical thing missing: a small printer/scanner.
While I've been here I've had to do listings and offers remotely. The only drawback is that at some point I have to sign a few of the docs myself. That means I need to print them. And then I need to scan them into the computer to send them on.
Thank heavens for Kinko's.
Will I get a little printer? Probably. Eventually. For about $99 it would be a good investment, but they are still kind of bulky and one more thing to haul.
For now, I am content to watch Mom zip around the house with her 4-wheeled walker (complete with handbrakes) and help my folks adjust to making a few changes (that really means Dad is going to have to do a LOT more around the house). And throw in a few side trips to Kinko's.
I'll be home soon. We have in-home care set up for Mom: a physical therapist, plus a house cleaner and a sitting service (the "sitter" comes in as often as you like and helps with daily chores like showering, cooking, organizing and such).
We'll return to Texas every a few months to see how things are going (phone calls don't tell the whole picture).
And I think I'll buy that little printer and leave it here. :)