Chance Shoppers: Linda Soesbe

Ride along with salespeople who are gaining a competitive edge with mobile technology.

June 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 associate broker Linda Soesbe, who is ready for business.

Linda Soesbe, CRS®, LTG
McGinnis Better Homes and Gardens
Colorado Springs, Colo.
(linda@coloradohomesource.com)
www.coloradohomesource.com

These days, the seven-year veteran is toting a Nokia cell phone, an e-mail pager (tied to her Web site so that she can respond rapidly to requests), a Supra eKEY Palm Vx, and a Sony Mavica digital camera. Her Dell Inspiron 7000 laptop, which is loaded with three different ready-to-use multimedia presentations, sits in a flip-down desk on the passenger seat of her car.

Soesbe’s high-tech mobile office is a necessity, she says, given the buyers she works with today. They don’t want to spend time schlepping from house to house. And with more technology companies calling Colorado Springs their home, more technosavvy buyers and sellers are showing up on her doorstep (or cyber doorstep, as the case may be).

But it’s not only technology tools that keep her mobile. Her trunk holds marketing materials, Beanie Babies giveaways, and bottled water for parched relocating passengers, who, unaccustomed to the high altitude, often get dehydrated. And, of course, she always has files of important forms she might need.

Soesbe sometimes staffs a booth at one of three local malls where her company has set up marketing centers. When shopping traffic is slow, she works on her laptop, which has served as an icebreaker with tech-curious shoppers. People stroll up and start quizzing her about the computer and then say, “By the way, I’m thinking of selling [or buying] a house, but I have a few questions.” More than a few of those “by the way” stops have proved valuable: About 97 percent of Soesbe’s $2.8 million sales volume in her first year came from such encounters.

Soesbe makes great use of digital photography. For example, she creates slide shows on disk for relocating prospects. “When they go back to the hotel, they can’t remember the difference between the second house they saw and the sixth,” she says, “so they load the disk and look at the properties again.”

In one transaction, a local businessman didn’t have time to house hunt, so Soesbe created an online tour of several homes. She met the buyer in his company parking lot and used her laptop to review his options.

“Without my mobile technology,” she says, “I wouldn’t have sold to that buyer.”

A day in the life of Linda

Friday

8:00 a.m. Calls
10:00 a.m. Pick up Mr. Miller at Broadmoor Hotel
Showings: 1 in Southwest;
2 in Northwest; 1 in Broadmoor;
1 in Peregrine
2:00 p.m. Meet Mr. Musselman for final walk-through
3:00 p.m. Musselman closing at Stewart Title
4:30 p.m. Fax papers for Cates transaction to lender
5:00 p.m. Drop off papers at Tiffany Square office
6:00 p.m. Listing appointment, McDuffy, Forest Glen Ave.
7:00 p.m. Citadel Mall duty
Other to-dos 2 mailings (mass mail labels 142 and 174)
for Dawnlite Dr. and Lancaster Dr.

Elyse Umlauf-Garneau is a Chicago-based freelance writer and former senior editor with REALTOR® Magazine.

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