Elyse Umlauf-Garneau is a Chicago-based freelance writer and former senior editor with REALTOR® Magazine.
High-tech Ride: Brian Waskiewicz
Ride along with salespeople who are gaining a competitive edge with mobile technology.
May 1, 2000
Being wired for business on the road doesn’t take a Ph.D. in PCs or a pile of money. Mobile tech tools just keep getting cheaper and easier to use. To help you find the right tools for your mobile operation, we tagged along with three on-the-go pros who’ve reached beyond just lickety-split phone and e-mail communications. These three use mobile technology creatively to cultivate contented clients, do more business, and simplify their lives.
As part of this series, meet Brian Waskiewicz.
Brian Waskiewicz, ABR®, CRS®
RE/MAX Classic Realty
Associate broker Brian Waskiewicz doesn’t mind bumper-to-bumper traffic as much as the rest of us. It gives fellow drivers a chance to jot down his Web address, which is plastered across the bumper and windshield of his 2000 Ford Excursion. The vehicle is both a rolling advertisement and an office for Waskiewicz, who went high tech after having an “aha” moment at a NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® trade expoabout four years ago. “I realized I was at a point in my career where I had to either hire assistants or find a way to automate,” he says.
Waskiewicz went the high-tech route and abandoned the bricks-and-mortar office entirely. Now everything he needs to run his business is within reach of the driver’s seat in his giant Excursion. A Gateway Solo laptop sits on the center console, which he personally wired with a power inverter and two electrical outlets so that he’s not dependent on fickle batteries. The cigarette lighter keeps his Nextel digital phone juiced up, and his printer, fitted with Velcro, clings to the passenger-side floor. He carries a Phillips Nino 510 palmtop and an Epson PhotoPC 750Z digital camera. His laptop contains a DeLorme atlas with GPS navigation, which maps out and sequences the most efficient routes for showings.
“The tools help me provide clients with information in a quicker and more professional manner,” he says.
Waskiewicz describes a typical scenario. He’s out with buyers, and they pass a house that’s not on the to-see list. Without leaving the truck, he can pull up all the property stats from the MLS database he’s downloaded on his laptop, call the listing salesperson, and get permission to access the house. After a walk-through, he does a market analysis, writes up an offer, drops off the clients, and presents the offer.
He also uses technology to earn sellers’ confidence. “FSBOs have become more successful in our market,” Waskiewicz says, “and sellers are negotiating harder on commissions.”
To distinguish himself from his competition, and to show how efficiently and effectively he can market and move properties, Waskiewicz trots out his multimedia presentations, his Web site, and his mobile tools.
“The ability to be mobile and sell at a kitchen table isn’t an option but a necessity,” he says.
A day in the life of Brian
|7:00 a.m.||Download MLS data to laptop|
|7:30 a.m.||E-mail new listings to buyers|
|8:00 a.m.||Update sellers on market activity|
Schedule appointment for Thomas
Terry & Keith Jones (Westand)
Show homes to Shane Fitch
Market analysis--new-home search
Monthly newsletter with MS Publisher
Take digital photos of new listings
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