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2014 Terms to Know When Using a Smartphone

 

When you leave the house, cell phones are everywhere, and most of them are Smartphones. Everyone seems to have one, kids in school, adults, even seniors are using them. When you enter a phone store there are so many different brands, features, and service compatibility. It’s hard to know which phone is better than the next, which phone has all the ‘new’ technology and which phone will have the function to do what you want it to. Here are some terms to know when reading the info cards next to all the phones on the wall of the phone store.

 

3G, 4G: This refers to third- and fourth-generation mobile telecommunications services for high-speed culluar data transmission. While 4G is faster than 3G, LTE (below) is faster yet.

Android version: A version of Google’s popular operating system, which determines compatibility with software apps. It is denoted by both a name (generally a type of food) and a number. There are several, with the current version referred to as Android 4.4, or KitKat.

CDMA: Code Division Multiple Access, one of the competing 3G and 4G standards for radio transmissions over cellular communications networks, is used in the U.S. by providers Verizon Wireless, U.S. Cellular, and Sprint.

ETF: Early termination fee, which is the amount a cellular service subscriber must pay in order to terminate a service contract before it has ended.

GSM: Global Standard for Mobile Communications,the other 3G and 4G standard for radio transmissions of cellular communications, is the more popular wireless standard for mobile communications worldwide. It’s used in the United States by providers such as AT&T and T-Mobile.

Gesturing: Controlling a smartphone by moving your hand, eliminating the need to actually touch the screen.

LTE, WiMax: Standards for high-speed mobile broadband Internet service. WiMax is being phased out in favor of LTE, the newest standard.

SIM card: Subscriber identity module, a removable identity card required in GSM phones to activate the hardware and service.

Unlocked: A phone purchased without a service contract, usually at full retail price.

 

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Tech Tools REALTORS® Love the Most

 

Real estate professionals are spending money on mobile technologies to make their businesses more efficient and expand their reach to clients, according to the 2013-14 REALTOR® Technology Survey conducted by NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Technology.

Make Sure You’re Using Tech the Right Way

The survey, based on more than 1,200 responses, found that brokers spent a median of $1,410 on technology for their real estate business last year, which is up from $1,122 in 2012. Agents spent a median of $848, up slightly from $822 in 2012.

Tools that allow for conducting business quickly and conveniently from any location were rated the highest by REALTORS®. In the survey, they cited the most valuable technologies for their business:

  • Real estate software for forms and contracts (particularly Authentisign, DocuSign, ZipForms, DotLoop, and FormSimplicity);
  • Mobile apps (such as Dropbox, e-Key apps, Evernote, Google Maps, Open Home Pro, Paragon, and Supra);
  • Electronic tablets (iPad cited as most valuable tablet);
  • Property databases (such as local MLSs, Realist public records database, realtor.com®, Trulia, and Zillow);
  • CRM solutions (Top Producer® and e-Edge);
  • Social media (Facebook and LinkedIn)

Smartphones and tablets — iPads, Androids, Surfaces, or Kindles — are the tools that are most likely to be on REALTORS®’ shopping lists this year, with 29 percent of those surveyed saying they plan to purchase one this year. REALTORS® say they spend a median of 44 percent of their time corresponding or doing work for their clients on a mobile device.

The most popular smartphone among REALTORS® continues to be the iPhone. Fifty-two percent of REALTORS® say they own an iPhone for their business, while 36 percent use Androids and 3 percent use Blackberry devices.

Besides technology devices, real estate professionals are using social media to generate leads and stay in contact with clients. Ninety-one percent of REALTORS® say they use social media in some capacity: 70 percent say they use it to build relationships and network, while 64 percent say they use it for marketing and generating leads. Facebook is the most regularly used social network among real estate professionals (at 77 percent), followed by LinkedIn (75 percent).

“Technology has transformed the way REALTORS® do business, but in real estate, being high-tech can never come at the expense of being highly accessible,” says Mark Lesswing, NAR senior vice president and chief technology officer. “Advances in smartphones and social media have made it easier for REALTORS® to stay in touch with their customers, but maintaining a strong, personal relationship with clients is still at the heart of the business.”

The full results of the 2013-2014 REALTOR® Technology Survey can be downloaded at crt.blogs.realtor.org.

 

 

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