Quick Listing Brochures By Phone

A new software allows you to instantly create and distribute a digital brochure using your camera phone.

August 1, 2005

If you eagerly embrace mobile technology and operate in a hot market, you’re likely already taking advantage of a camera phone to e-mail snapshots of the latest listings to clients.

Now you can take that capability a step further by using a new software application by New York-based Cellstory Inc. Its recently released Cellstory for Realty allows you to use your camera phone to create professionally designed brochures, ads, and flyers in minutes and send the formatted information via your cell phone directly to buyers and online property listings. So far, this is the only program of its kind that provides this ability to create formatted digital brochures and transmit it instantly via your mobile phone.

In competitive markets, being the first to deliver this kind of information quickly while you’re still at a property can make the difference in being the first to make the sale, says Bill Oliver, Cellstory founder and president.

How It Works

Oliver defines a “cellstory” as the digital equivalent of a paper flyer—a formatted one-page brochure with listing information and photos. Although a cellstory can contain video and audio, the real advantage to this application is being able to take property photos, add basic text descriptions, and create a well-organized marketing brochure that can be sent instantly to clients’ e-mail or for posting on the Web. (Click here to see an example.)

Creating a cellstory is actually a two-part process. First, you log on to the Cellstory Web site and choose from a number of customizable design templates. These templates offer a variety of ways to present the photos and property information, which determine what information and photos you need to gather on-site. You also can create an address book on the Cellstory Web site to expedite distribution of the information from the field to client e-mail addresses.

The second step is to download the Cellstory for Realty software onto your camera phone or smartphone. The application provides step-by-step instructions for what information—such as location, square footage, number of rooms, and so on—to input. The software also prompts you on the photos to take, and you can even choose to add audio and video. Then you designate which e-mail addresses should receive the finished cellstory.

Once you hit send on your cell phone, Cellstory’s servers will automatically drop the text and images into your chosen design template then route the cellstory to the recipients you stipulated.

All of this takes only a few minutes, Oliver says.

Currently, Cellstory is available for Nokia Series 60 smartphones, the Palm Treo smartphones, and the Sony Ericsson P900 and P910 series phones. Oliver says his company is working on versions of the software that would be compatible with smartphones running the Windows Mobile for Smartphones operating system and all Java-enabled camera phones, and that would link cellstories to listing information available on REALTOR.com and other real estate sites.

The system has been under development for more than a year. The company is offering a 30-day free trial of Cellstory for Realty. After the trial period, you can subscribe for an introductory rate of $29.95 per month. Later this year, the services will be offered at a monthly subscription rate of $49.95, with a 20 percent discount for a one-year contract.

The system provides another way mobile technology is evolving to increase your productivity. It also earns you brownie points with clients for your timely, attractive listing information and tech prowess.

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