Today I was honored to be featured in the Wall Street Journal for my unique real estate sales tool.
I am the first agent on Cape Cod, and one of the first, or perhaps the very first real estate agent in the U.S. to get a property under contract after a tour by smart phone.
Here is how it came down. I had met my buyer in October when she traveled from New York City to tour properties in Harwich Port and Dennisport.
None of the seven homes available in her price range suited her so she planned to return at Thanksgiving to see more.
But in early November I located a newly-listed condo that I thought would be perfect for Erika's young family. I texted her-- her preferred means of communication, and she agreed.
With the listing sheet in her inbox, she planned to tour it at the end of the month.
That was the problem. In an emerging hot market, the best listings are going within a day or two and there was indication this could be one of them. Other agents said they had buyers in mind for the condo so in order to secure it for Erika, we would have to ask fast.
Knowing Erika has an iphone I scheduled a "FaceTime" showing for the next morning and I warned the seller's agent my buyer would "appear" electronically. To his credit, Steve Baty of Keller Williams Realty was all for it.
To the uninitiated, FaceTime is phone call with picture and not just sound. It's very 1960s Star Trek.
With the FaceTime option activated on a phone call, the cellphone camera captures the other person's face. This isn't recorded video. It is "live", or "real time". What you see is what is happening at the other end of the phone --right now. It is the perfect tool for real estate.
The next morning, there we were, the three of us: Steve, myself and Erika in a live picture on my iphone. We began by showing Erika the proximity to the village of Harwich Port, something she wanted very much. We walked on, to the advertised short-cut to the public beach--another item on Erika's wish list.
With Erika's image on my phone and the condo on hers, we walked the common area, the perimeter of the property and we took a very thorough look at the inside, ceiling to floor. In the end Erika's questions were asked with Steve and I standing side by side, talking directly to the screen on my phone.
We had the place under contract while other agents were still scrambling to get their clients to the Cape the following weekend. In fact, using docusign mobile software, Erika and her husband signed the necessary paperwork on their cellphones during their workday. They have not handled a single piece of paper with this real estate contract yet.
If you would like to buy a home on your cellphone, or if you're a real estate agent looking to assist your clients in this way, I'll offer tips in my next post.