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Palm Pre – 8 Reasons Real Estate Agents Should Upgrade Their Phone

palm preI just said yes.

I finally got my Palm Pre and in full disclosure, no one would loan or give me one to try out, nor did I ask. The truth is that ultimately, it was time to bring my phone up to the level of the technology I am accustomed to.

Rather than do a review of the Palm Pre (that’s been done to death), I thought I would enlighten you as to why you should ultimately drop your Treo, Centro and other devices that bind you to antiquated systems- consumer demand forces change naturally.

You as a real estate professional have bent over backwards to adopt new technology, become more mobile, taken on social media to merge with the communication age- but your phone hasn’t come with you- why?  The reason floats right back to the electronic e-key that latches you to MLS mediocrity.

Change has come.

Ask yourself the following:

  1. If you’re doing a listing presentation, are you able to whip out your phone and with the touch of a finger, slide through listings? No, not unless you’re using a 3rd party vendor and even then, it’s presented on a technology that has lived and died. The fact is, it isn’t impressive in the sense that you can tangibly demonstrate how you’re always able to promote property quickly and easily, even with your phone.
  2. Are you able to demonstrate with the slide of a finger your youtube profile with the videos you shoot of listings? Or is it slow and clunky and a let’s wait for the page to load kind of moment?
  3. Are you able to pull and assign clients to your Googledocs account so that they may print and view at their leisure all with the click of a button?
  4. Can you immediately snap a shot of their home while standing by the car and post it to Facebook to show off a pre-MLS listing?
  5. Can you immediately access an application with today’s mortgage rate from your chosen lender via an application for buyers you’ve just met on the street? Or is this a call you back cold kind of  moment?
  6. Can you receive Facebook or Twitter messages from your clients without loading email?
  7. Speaking of email, can you read, respond, or forward with the slide of a finger?
  8. Can your phone pinpoint exactly where you are on the map without even touching it? Even further, can it tell you where you made the wrong turn? Or do you pull over with your client in tow and break out your stylus and start clicking, poking, waiting,  and loading?

I can do all of these things and a hell of a lot more at a speed unparalleled, and I can do it without fumbling for a stylus.   I have a phone that impresses both my buyers and sellers, it makes a statement, and it backs up our claims of being ahead of the curve- we can demonstrate that we can reach buyers, sellers, title companies, and them no matter where we are (oh hey, they can reach us too)- that we truly have global reach, not just reach from the office.

As I’m drafting this post, I see this from @dakno on Twitter (courtesy of NAR)

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70% of home sellers want to deal with a Real Estate Agent equal or above them in technology

The bottom line is that it’s the finer details that impress our clients, it’s the wow factor, and how you market yourself today that goes far beyond your sign and lockbox as a feature.

We talk a lot about defining our value, but I think the most easy thing to miss is how we actually demonstrate our value. The ability to absolutely demonstrate their product not only at your fingertips, but at the fingertips of buyers. In other words, what good is a 3rd party application you brag about for consumers if you yourself cannot demonstrate it?

So do it today- whether it’s iphone or palm pre, it matters not.  What matters is that you took control and released yourself from the excuse your local MLS enslaves you with- just stop it.  You’ll be glad you did.

[cb type=”company”]palm[/cb]

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Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.



  1. Bill Lublin

    June 24, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Dude; I love the passion – and am glad to see that someone with a high level of “tech love” is into the Pre

    So now the question (for me) is when can I get a verizon version? I thought it was September or later, and then someone told me there was rumor it was sooner – too much drama
    In any case have a blast with your new toy!

  2. Benn Rosales

    June 24, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Rather than toy, I’m thinking more along the lines of a extension of my arm- client product at my fingertips, although the toy factor is high!

    I don’t know much about the who what when and what when it comes to releases, I’m guessing sooner rather than later, Palm really needs a win with this product.

    and by the way, don’t you have an iphone? heh

  3. James Malanowski

    June 24, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    My wife bought me a Pre for an early Father’s Day present. I’ve had it for a couple of weeks now and I LOVE it! Since I use GoogleApps to power all my back-office stuff (calendar, mail, etc) the Pre syncs everything automagically. I’ve got all my info in my phone without all the black magic I used to have to do on my other Palm devices.

    The OS is amazing and I can’t wait to see what developers will do once the SDK gets out into the wild. Everything you stated is 100% correct … I mounted a touchstone in my truck and when I’m driving around I set the Pre on the stone, plug an audio-out jack in and I’ve got a hands free phone, navigation system, MP3 player, and Internet radio device playing through my truck’s audio system.

    The phone – actually, should be called a hand-held computer – is perfect for e-mail, mapping, and more. The camera takes great photos and the integration with e-mail and Facebook is great. I stayed away from the iPhone because I hate on-screen keyboards, so the Pre form-factor is what I’ve been longing for. The possibilities are endless for this system and I can’t wait to see what the future brings!

    Glad to see I’m not the only one in the RE biz that thinks this phone is awesome!

  4. Stefanie Hahn

    June 24, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    Ok, I knew I wanted a Pre, but I’ve been getting beat up lately by my iPhone friends for loving Palm. Now, I am officially salivating …

    Thanks for the great information!

  5. Chuck G

    June 24, 2009 at 6:54 pm


    Sounds great — how does it stack up to the iPhone in your opinion? I have neither, so I’m interested in your opinion on this…


  6. Chuck G

    June 24, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    @bill — from the horses mouth on the availability from Verizon:

  7. Chris Griffith

    June 24, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    What has been the downside to the Pre?

  8. Erion Shehaj

    June 24, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    When we got our iPhones a few months ago, my life literally changed. News, Email, Facebook and most of all Twitter are a whole different universe on a well equipped touchscreen with a sexy interface. I don’t own a Pre and I haven’t gotten to play with one, but from what I understand it’s iPhone-ish. An upgrade is definitely in order. It will change your life 🙂

  9. Barry Bevis

    June 24, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Aargghh- I want on but our Board uses GE SUPRA boxes that require an IR port.
    Until they work out the software to link to a bluetooth key fob I’m stuck with my Centro.
    I like it but I really want the PRE.

  10. Benn Rosales

    June 24, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Barry, seriously, set your phone free. There is alternative to using your phone for ekey, just do it, MLSs won’t upgrade until there is demand- do us all a favor and cut the cord.

  11. Benn Rosales

    June 24, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Bottom line? How many capabilities are you giving up in order to continue to use your phone to open a door when ekey offers a tool to do it seperately?!

  12. Barry Bevis

    June 24, 2009 at 10:23 pm

  13. Benn Rosales

    June 24, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Ours is black and about 1/2 that size, and it stays in the glove box, why would you carry that around?

    It’s just illogical to give up powerful technology for one simple task/function especially when IR is done, gone, over (might as well help it along)- bluetooth is next, and all of these phones have bluetooth.

    Keep on keepin on Barry!

  14. Elaine Reese

    June 25, 2009 at 11:16 am

    I just got a BB Curve along with the eKey fob. My goal was to eliminate my home land line which I was keeping ONLY for the key pad updates. I also wanted to stay with Verizon. I had had a Voyager with the touch screen and didn’t care for how it “went places” on its own. So the BB seemed to be the answer and I love it … like having a handheld laptop.

    I’d be interested in reading how people compare the Pre to the BB.

  15. Benn Rosales

    June 25, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Elaine, as a PDA, BB serves well, however, the only real reason to move to a touchscreen phone would be your online life, how you use it to utilize the web- speed is everything, and the applications don’t hurt.

    I’ll tell you though, I don’t miss the bulk of my treo when I’m working and traveling.

    I’m not a cell expert, what I am an expert in is coverage of these services specifically in my local market (SXSW proved yet again that At&T fails in Austin), and I also know Apple, but blackberry- it’s really not my bag, sorry!

  16. tomferry

    June 30, 2009 at 12:26 pm


    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I was at a seminar last week and someone pulled out a “flip style” cell phone … whoa! I had to give the guy the money to upgrade.

    You said it best here, “You as a real estate professional have bent over backwards to adopt new technology, become more mobile, taken on social media to merge with the communication age- but your phone hasn’t come with you- why?”

  17. Jake

    January 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I got a Pre a few months ago and have never looked back.

    I kept my Treo and manually update it every morning with a quick hotsync to open keyboxes.

    Its a little hassle to carry around both but what I can do with the Pre boggles peoples minds. My broker is incredibly jealous.

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