Written by Realty Times Staff

It can be difficult to stay on top of your game and ahead of other real estate agents when technology is constantly changing. However, updated technology makes the purchasing process more advanced and intuitive when working with your clients. Before deciding on what technology you want to purchase, consider the following points:

Should You Consolidate or Expand Your Devices?

Since devices are able to handle more and more tasks, you might think that real estate agents are consolidating the number of devices they use. However, recent trends show that professionals and consumers in mature markets are expanding the number of devices they use. In fact, a Gartner study predicts that by 2018, consumers in the mature market will regularly use more than three devices.

To keep up with this trend, you also may want to consider having several types of devices that excel at different tasks. For example, have a smartphone for text and email communication with your clients and a tablet for signing contracts and showing high-resolution pictures of properties.

Should You Consider a Hybrid Device?

While the convenience and portability of a tablet is surely alluring, at the end of the day, it might not be powerful enough to entirely replace your desktop or laptop computer. This makes it worth considering investing in a laptop/tablet hybrid. These devices maximize portability and mobility without making sacrifices in what the computer can do.

If you just want an easier way to type, show listings and sign contracts, a hybrid is a good choice. But if you want more storage and computing power, have a separate laptop or desktop in addition to a tablet.

What Other Tools Should You Consider?

The CRS data blog claims that one of the most important things for real estate agents to consider when choosing the right mobile tools is to keep the client in mind. This includes designing a mobile-optimized and responsive website, marketing your services and listings on mobile-friendly platforms and creating content that is easy to read on a mobile device.

The second piece of advice this article gives is to use a tablet. When choosing a tablet, Apple’s iPad Pro or iPad Air 2 and Google’s Nexus 9 seem to be some of the best options on the market. The benefit of using an iPad is that your clients will likely have a general idea of how to use it. In addition, there are countless apps to choose from for iOS. However, the Google Nexus tablet is gaining headway in the market and features over 700,000 apps. Plus, it is quite a bit cheaper than the iPad — the Nexus starts at $399 and the iPad Air 2 starts at $499. Before you purchase a tablet, it’s best to visit your local tech store to try each device because one might feel more intuitive and comfortable to you than the other.

Remember, to use the Internet on your tablet while out and about, you need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network or you need to purchase a data plan for the tablet. Check with your local provider, as the options may vary from device to device. Also, remember to back up any photos, content and contracts with a cloud storage service, so you never have to worry about them getting lost or deleted by accident while on the go.