Laptop Phone, Energy Use Tracker, and Vacant Home Watcher

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

July 1, 2009

Use Your Phone Like a Laptop

Discover your smart phone’s full potential with the Redfly Mobile Companion. The lightweight gadget could easily be mistaken for a subcompact laptop with a screen, keyboard, and touchpad. But it’s actually just an extension of your smart phone, allowing you to more easily surf the Web, type e-mails, view attachments, or make presentations on the go. The device, which connects to your smart phone wirelessly or with a USB cable, has been tested on dozens of Windows Mobile smart phone models. Two versions are available at $229 or $299. Celio Corp.; Salt Lake City; 801-596-2008;

Track a Home’s Energy Use

Help home owners cut energy costs and reduce their environmental impact. The Home Energy PowerCost Monitor shows real-time electricity usage for the entire house and spells out potential savings from turning off appliances. The digital device attaches to the home’s electricity meter and sends power consumption information over a wireless connection to a base unit placed elsewhere in the home. $109. TerraPass Inc.; San Francisco; 877-210-9581;

Keep an Eye on Vacant Homes

RapidVision Plus maintains a close watch on properties when owners are away. The security system is battery-powered and designed to be self-installed, so you can move it from property to property. When sensors are triggered, an alarm signal and a 10-second video clip are sent to a monitoring station. You can also view on-site video from an online account. The standard system includes a control panel, keypad, and two motion-sensor cameras for $1,295; the monthly monitoring fee is $49.95. Rapid Security Solutions LLC; Sarasota, Fla.; 866-967-9997;

Erica Christoffer
Product Manager

Erica Christoffer is the product manager for REALTOR® Magazine, driving growth and helping make data-driven decisions for the editorial products and programs that fall under the publication's umbrella. Erica also co-manages the magazine's 30 Under 30 program. During her tenure as an editor, she wrote and edited hundreds of articles for the magazine and launched the Broker to Broker section. Connect with Erica via email: