Elyse Umlauf-Garneau is a Chicago-based freelance writer and former senior editor with REALTOR® Magazine.
Johnny-on-the-spot: Judy Weichold
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 Judy Weichold.
In the hot northern California market, where houses often are listed and sold in less than a week, high-tech mobility tools keep you in the game.
Buyers in the area--often tech heads themselves--expect to be kept in the loop, so associate broker Judy Weichold can’t afford not to use some mobility tools.
“If we aren’t Johnny-on-the-spot, we don’t have a chance to disseminate information to our buyers because the house will already be sold,” says Weichold.
Like Waskiewicz, Weichold had an epiphany four years ago at an NAR trade expo and bought her first digital camera and PhotoShare software. Since then, she’s armed herself with a new Kodak DC210 Plus Zoom digital camera; a Dell Inspiron 3500 notebook computer; two cell phones (a Motorola car phone and a Nokia cell phone with the same phone number); a Motorola pager linked to her voice mail; and a brand-new Supra eKEY Palm Vx with Top Producer.
But it’s Weichold’s Web site, which she uses in concert with her digital camera, that’s fundamental to her success.
Weichold uses high-tech wizardry to provide top-drawer service to buyers looking for properties in the $350,000–$550,000 range, mainly working couples with limited time. Such prospects can’t duck out of the office and zip over to every hot property when it comes on the market. So Weichold steps in and provides virtual previews of properties using her digital camera.
She finds properties she thinks fit clients’ needs, takes 10–15 interior and exterior shots, uploads the photos to a special folder on her Web site, and sends an e-mail link to the prospects. They can then weed out the houses they don’t want to see.
That approach recently helped her close a deal that’s becoming more and more common: a remote sale. A prospective buyer saw a property, but the buyer’s spouse, in Los Angeles, couldn’t visit the house. Weichold created a digital slide show at her Web site, and the out-of-town spouse “toured” the property online and gave the home a thumbs-up.
A day in the life of Judy
|7:30 a.m.||Check e-mail; review schedule|
|9:00 a.m.||Check MLS|
Brokers open houses. Run slide shows of
other houses on laptop; hand out slide show
disks and color flyers. Get e-mail addresses.
(E-mail a thank-you later, with link to online
Meet Lamberts, transferees, at deli. Check
MLS on notebook computer for new listings.
Take digital photos of the homes they like
best to upload later to a private page at my
Listing appointment, Perlmans. Bring pre-
listing packet with exterior digital photos and
CMA. Take inside photos and notes. Show
Web site live, plus PowerPoint presentation.
Pull over to a parking lot; return calls;
|6:00 p.m.||Meet Hahns at office to write up offer|
Upload sneak preview of new listings to my
Web site; e-mail link to other salespeople
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