Another Top 10 . . .I came up with another top 10 list I wanted to post. I've been getting hits on my blog recently from other Real Estate Agents around the country, so I thought I'd share this little pearl of wisdom.
This is a collection of tools that I could not live without nor could I provide the level of service to my clients that I'd be proud of.
01. Palm Treo 650 - It's my phone, my PDA, my lockbox key, a modem for my laptop, occasionally a camera and even provides entertainment in the form of games or MP3's while I'm waiting for an appointment. Cost: As Low as $299 with activation
02. Canon G3 Digital Camera - This little baby takes awesome pictures. Makes up for my lack of photographic skill. Adding the wide angle lens and external flash for pictures of bedrooms and bathrooms was a GREAT addition. It also takes AWESOME panoramic photos as well to be stitched together later. Cost: Approximately $599, Flash $110, Wide Angle Lens with adapter $150
03. Adobe Photoshop CS2 - Again, if any of my pictures are dark, need to be cropped or I have a series of panoramic photos that need to be stitched together, this is the ultimate photo editing software. Photoshop Elements would be a worthy substitutue for those on a limited income. Cost: $649, Elements $99
04. Send2Fax.com - Having my own personal 1-800 fax number that turns received faxes into scanned PDF files and e-mails them to both me and my assistant saves me countless trips to the office. Having the ability to send faxes from nearly everywhere is priceless. Cost: Varies according to plan
05. Go2MyPC.com - Having the ability to log onto my home PC or my assistant's PC to retrieve files from anywhere with an internet connection again saves countless hours driving to and from the office. Cost: $20/month for connection to 2 PC's
06. WineCountryGiftBaskets.com - The ultimate gift basket site for closing gifts. Baskets tailored to a wide range of tastes and a variety of prices makes this a no-brainer. I've never gotten more compliments on closing gifts than I have since I've started using these baskets. Cost: Varies on type of basket purchased. $30 - $250
07. Expresscopy.com - 1 day turn around on full color flyers with reasonable color printing costs. Awesome service for uploading, printing and mailing your Just Listed/Just Sold postcards too. Simply upload your card design, upload your mailing list in Excel format and they will print your cards, address them and mail them out. All for $0.69 per jumbo LAMINATED postcards. Cost: Varies by product
09. Pioneer AVIC-N2 Navigation System - If you really want your clients to think you know what you're doing, you've got to have a navigation system! Simply type in up to 5 addresses and it will pick the shortest route to take you to all 5. Need to find a restaurant for a quick bite to eat or to sign a contract, no problem. Know a phone number of a business, but no clue on the address, easy. Never get lost again. I also added the XM satellite radio tuner and the iPod connector so I'm always entertained when I'm making the rounds to visit clients. Cost: Approximately $2,500 installed.
10. Continuing Education - You can never learn too much in this business. In Washington we have to have 30 clock hours of continuing education every two years. IMHO, this is not nearly enough to keep you "in the know" and well informed about the real estate industry. I try to hit 90 - 100 hours per year on average. Whatever your state's requirement, it's not likely enough. Cost: Priceless (sorry to steal the MasterCard tagline)