What are my personal thoughts about RPR? I’m ranking this very high on my “Must Have” applications. An individual’s real estate business can be very specialized, especially if in the business for a good number of years. We have numerous niche markets in which real estate agents can market themselves, and many of those agents are doing very well. So here’s the question I get quite often, “Why do I need to learn this tech stuff, I’m doing just fine with what I have.” Well, part of me does say, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” But in this case, I say, “fix it.” Well, use it to your advantage. Our consumers are doing it, so why not us? Technology is moving at light speed, and our consumers are somehow keeping up with it. In many cases, they’re doing it faster than us. They expect accurate information in real time, and dare I say, immediately.

Have you found yourself in a situation while showing property, and right when you pull into the driveway, you’re client turns to you and say, “How much is that house across the street?” Three or four years ago, you might have said, “let me call my office and find out.” Fast-forward to today, you say, “let me look that up right now.” Within seconds, you have the answer. I would say, roughly 40% of our GLVAR members utilize our mobile property search apps that are available to us as a member benefit.

No, I’m not talking about Zillow or Realtor.com; I’m talking about GLVARMLS and the RPR (Realtor Property Resource) mobile applications. Both are available on the iOS and Android systems. So, what’s the difference? Both have member login, but only GLVARMLS has the ability to be accessed by consumers, of course, without the private information that only GLVAR members have access to. The cool thing about this application is that we can brand the app to ourselves and share it with our consumers. It’s like having your own personal mobile application.

Now, what about the RPR application? It’s only accessible to REALTOR members. But I have to tell you; the features of the RPR application mean serious business. The tools in RPR will certainly make you a rock star to your consumers. “I love this house, let’s make an offer immediately!” The words you love to hear. So you immediately call the listing agent and hear the words you loth; “We have three offers and they’re being presented in two hours.” That little voice inside you screams. Your heart starts pumping and beads of sweat start to form on the surface of your forehead. Well, perhaps not that bad, but what do you do to get that offer written and off the listing agent in time to be presented? Do you jump into your car, speed across town, sprint into your office, and wait until the dinosaur boots-up? Let’s just hope your clients have actually caught up with you during the whole race to the office. Let’s just say, NOT! What would I do? Let’s go back to the beginning. “Congratulations on having three offers on your listing, you’ll have the winning offer from me within the hour.” I then turn to my clients and say, “How about some coffee while I prepare your offer.” We then drive leisurely to the nearest coffee house to order my client’s favorite caffeinated beverage, which is written down, because there is no way I can remember that highly sophisticated beverage, and then sit down to write the offer. I break out my iPad, open my forms system, and take literally 5 minutes to finalize my client’s offer. How does it happen so fast? It’s simple, really. I just filled in the blanks, utilizing the templates I created days before. Yes, 90% of the offer was actually written by the time we sat down.

All I had to do was fill in the property specific information along with my client’s terms, and abracadabra, we have an offer. It’s now signature time. I quickly convert the document into a PDF and easily send to my favorite paperless signature system. And there we have it; well, almost. I still have the pre-qualification letter and EMD check to include. Did I add that it’s actually sitting in front of me in paper form? Not a problem! I instantly switch over to my document scanning application, and just like that, I’ve included a perfectly clear PDF of the letter and EMD in my client’s offer. Might I add that from start to finish, it took less than 45 minutes? It’s not impossible with the right tools at your fingertips.

So what am I saying here? Don’t let technology control you; control it. Work smarter, not harder. The tools are out there at your disposal. Take the time to learn the technologies that will enhance your everyday business. It’s much simpler than you think.

Oh, and please don’t use your clients as test subjects. Practice prior to implementing. Your clients will thank you for it.