Type on a Virtual Keyboard, Track Yourself, and Show & Tell

A monthly rundown of the latest gadgets that can help you succeed in real estate.

January 1, 2008

Type Away on a Virtual Keyboard

Tired of thumb cramps from using those tiny keys to type on your PDA? With the I-Tech system, you can aim a red laser across a surface to create a full-size, 63-key operating keyboard. The projected image works just like a normal computer keyboard—you’ll even hear a clicking sound that reassures you it’s registering your keystrokes. Use the laser keyboard for e-mail, word processing, and spreadsheet tasks. The battery-powered I-Tech laser, which is about the size of a small cell phone and communicates via Bluetooth, is compatible with smart phones, Macintosh and Windows PCs, newer BlackBerries, and most handheld devices (PDAs and tablet PCs). $179.99. Hutchison Harbour Ring Ltd., Grawn, Mich.; 866-228-9132; www.virtual-laser-keyboard.com.

Your Personal Tracker

Make sure you’re staying true to all those New Year’s resolutions for your business with a device that lets you track your business details. You’ll be able to quickly tell where you’re overachieving or underachieving. TraxItAll is a Palm OS software tool for smart phones that lets you track your sales activity, number of showings, new clients, contacts, financial information, appointments, and more. With its electronic log sheets, you name what you want to track and then plug in the data. Keep track of your data daily in three ways: count (how many times something happened); yes/no (whether you performed a certain task); or average (level of whatever you’re tracking). Create monthly, quarterly, and yearly reports. $35; January sale price is $28. TraxItAll, Chicago; www.traxitall.com.

Show-and-Tell

Lights, camera — action! Make your e-mails 3-D by sending clients streaming videos of your home tours, real estate information, or just simply you talking about your business. With Talk Fusion, send video e-mails that require no pesky file downloads. You create the video message and send it to Talk Fusion, and you’ll soon get a hyperlink for the video to include in your e-mails. When customers open your e-mail, they click on the link to view your video message on a customized, colorful playback screen. Talk Fusion tells you how often your video has been viewed and who has clicked through to your Web site to cue you in to your audience. $59.99 for the welcome kit; $250 one-time cost for a starter package to upload your videos; monthly subscriptions start at $20 per month, while overall costs depend on how many times your video is viewed. Talk Fusion, Brandon, Fla.; 813-651-4030; www.talkfusion.com.

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