… by Doug Devitre
The power of a computer in the palm of every person enables our society to receive, disseminate, and share information faster than ever before. The mobile phone we once relied on only made calls. Now we can watch videos, communicate face to face, and share documents from anywhere, anytime, and in any format.
Entrepreneurs can now be more flexible in servicing client needs with minimal investment and without being physically present. Innovations like cloud computing, mobile video, and apps systematize business operations. The time saved by integrating these into practices gives professionals more time to focus on prospecting, appointments, and sales opportunities.
Take a look at the My Documents folder of your computer and ask yourself which documents do you send out most to clients, customers, or partners on a regular basis. A company brochure saved as a .PDF, template employees can edit in a .DOC. file format, or .XLS spreadsheet that others can perform calculations from the equations you create.
Two tools www.Box.net and www.Dropbox.com will store the documents others request online and give everyone quick access to preview, download, and share. Every document and folder of documents is assigned its own unique hyperlink.
Download the apps for Box and Dropbox to your iPhone, Blackberry, etc. and when logged in all of your documents will be ready to share right from your device. This way when you are sitting in the fast food drive thru and someone requests your company brochure you can send it without waiting until you get back to the office.
Would you rather watch a 2 minute video or read a 500 word article? Personally I like videos because they explain advance concepts with visuals rather than trying to interpret text. YouTube videos are different than other video hosting providers because they can be watched on most devices just like they can be on a computer. Every video uploaded to video is a link. This link can be shared by email, text message, Facebook, or Twitter and watched on the mobile phone when clicked.
Instant Lead Follow Up
A website that asks for customer contact information in exchange for a special report, product offering, or service inquiry must be responded to quickly or lose the opportunity. The contact information can be emailed to you however few people check their email every 5 minutes. In addition to the receiving the lead by email set up a system where you receive a text message. Every mobile phone carrier has an email to text message address. Find yours here. Include this email in your website follow up system in addition to your business email address so that when someone inputs their contact info you receive both a text message and email in order to follow up.
The mobile phone that rests in your pocket runs applications very similar to the ones on your computer. Although they may not have the same functionality the ability to access contacts, documents, and budgets make it is easy to follow up on the fly. Some of my favorite iPhone apps are Box.net for online document storage, Kayak for booking travel, Tripit for storing travel plans, and Groups for email groups and group instant messaging.
Small business owners have many options to run their business while on the road and there is no one single solution. Those options can be customized to fit your specific needs by innovating solutions that the provider may not have intended. The more creative, practical, and succinct you are at arriving at your objectives the easier it will be to make more money from your mobile device.
Doug Devitre, Chief Experience Officer of Doug Devitre International, Inc. helped real estate professionals, brokers, and associations save money, time, and creates value using affordable technology solutions all over the world. Join Doug on the conversation on Facebook, on Twitter @DougDevitre or subscribe to Doug’s blog to get the freshest ideas on how to use technology in real estate.