I am a proud owner of an Apple Watch and I must admit, I love it. In addition to the beautiful design of the watch, there are some really cool features to it. Although many have been touting the health and fitness functions of the watch, there are other features that can definitely assist agents in streamlining their schedules and maximizing their time.
The Watch Design: The Apple Watch comes in three finishes – aluminum, stainless steel and gold. I purchased the lowest-priced aluminum version, since I figured the watch will be replaced in a two-year cycle, similar to the iPhone. They all look great from the casing to the smooth corners to the interface.
The watch connects to the iPhone via Bluetooth connection. Once connected, the Apple Watch friendly applications on your phone will automatically populate on the watch. Easy enough! The watch comes with a special charger that can charge to full power within half an hour. A full charge can last between 18 to 24 hours, but I was able to get about 28 a few times during my usage. There are about ten different watch face styles that users can switch from, as well as semi-customize by changing the color of the face.
Text messaging is great as well. Texts show up on your watch as push notifications and can be easily replied to. There are two ways to do this. Apple has comprised a list of popular words and phrases that you can use to respond to your client or friend with one touch or you can also use Siri to transcribe your voice into text. This is a really cool feature!
Real Estate Uses for the Apple Watch: While it might seem lazy to use your watch rather than simply taking your phone out of your pocket or picking it up off your desk to check it, it can definitely be a huge time saver. Here are some great uses for the Apple Watch in real estate:
- Text Messages: It gives you the opportunity to preview messages and calls without having to reach for the phone. If you’re at your desk doing a power hour of prospecting phone calls or working on a project, you don’t have to check your phone every time it buzzes or chimes. The average Realtor spends more than three hours per day on e-mail or looking through their phone. The Apple Watch can streamline that so that you focus on your work and only respond to the most important texts and calls right away. Because of this, you will immediately see the value of using your watch versus your phone.
- Phone Calls: One of the coolest features of the Apple Watch is the ability to answer a call and speak into the watch (Dick Tracy Style!). I’ve tried this and the sound quality is good on both sides of the call. You can also forward calls to voicemail with the press of a button on the watch or by simply covering the watch face with your hand.
- Other Features: You will receive push notifications from your calendar about appointments and meetings, which can help you stay on task without having to keep checking your phone or calendar.
Best Apps for Real Estate: Many apps have already created versions that are compatible with the Apple Watch, but expect this to grow as the watch gains popularity. The Apple Watch comes with many apps including health and fitness ones that can track steps, sleep, heart rate and calories burned. While the health apps are the most popular at the moment, other industry apps can benefit as well, including real estate. Here are some of the best apps that can help REALTORS® today:
- City Mapper (free): This app is in most major metropolitan cities and continues to expand. Use this app for driving directions as well as public transportation schedules and real-time arrivals and departures of buses and trains. It even notifies you through the watch when to turn or if it is time to exit a bus.
- Instagram (free): This is one of the few social apps that really look good on a watch. You can see your photo feed in all its beauty, as well as like your friends’ photos – all from your watch.
- Find Near Me (free): This app uses Google Maps to find your current location. Use it to locate nearby ATMs, gas stations, banks, bars, restaurants, Wi-Fi and more. Perfect for finding great places to meet or take out clients!
- Clear ($4.99): This productivity app has been designed perfectly for the Apple Watch. While the small space of the watch might pose a challenge for apps where lists are created and used, Clear has done a tremendous job of building a user interface that not only looks good, but works well. Clear allows you to create multiple lists and tasks and also sends reminders to notify you when they should be completed. You can even create a task by talking into your Apple Watch. It’s perfect for an agent on the go.
- Mac ID ($3.99): This app allows you to remotely lock or unlock your Mac using the Apple Watch’s fingerprint sensor. It can be used for multiple devices.
- Dart ($0.99): Want to quickly respond to most of your e-mails? Then Dart is the app for you. Dart enables you to send short, pre-written e-mail responses from your Apple Watch. In a company study, 91% of people said they put off replying to people because the response would take too long. 84% said it is frustrating waiting for a simple answer. Don’t lose potential clients because of this. Dart solves this problem and integrates with all major e-mail providers. You can even type custom messages up to 200 characters with this app.
- ProCamera 8 + HDR ($4.99): Selected by Forbes as one of the best camera apps in 2014, ProCamera 8 + HDR is now available for the Apple Watch. You can use your watch as a remote trigger to snap photos and selfies. You can also edit photos from your watch as well as set timers for multiple shots. Great for taking photos using your iPhone.
Apple wasn’t kidding when they said their new watch was the most intimate device they’ve ever created. Many agents are already seeing the value of having the Apple Watch and are using it to save time and work more efficiently. As the marketplace continues to grow, more apps will be available to help agents and their business.