Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Apple iPhone - good for business?

During my few years at ComReal Miami, Inc. I have been in charge of supporting every new gadget that comes through our doors. This has allowed me the opportunity of learning and comparing most smartphones/PDA/WindowsMobile phones in the market including the iPaqs, Treo, T-Mobile Dash, and the very new iPhone.

In my experience, what real estate professionals want and need the most is a reliable phone! Set aside all nice features and what matters the most is how good the phone is, how easy it is to dial, find contacts, and most importantly how well will it synchronize with your computer.
I have found that the iPhone works very well as a phone. It allows you to synchronize your contacts with outlook and it is very easy to scroll through them and place the call. Should you need to dial a number, the keypad is very nice and big compared to the T-Mobile Dash that doesn't even have a visual keypad, or the Treo that makes you dig for it.

On the Email side, I have to admit the iPhone is not the greatest. It lacks the MS Exchange capability of the Treo and the Dash. With Exchange your email comes in automatically without needing to check the server (the iPhone does it at 15 minute intervals) and it also automatically syncs your calendar and contacts without needing to connect to the computer and in the iPhone's case, run iTunes sync.
However, it is very easy to navigate and the large screen of the iPhone allows you to read your emails, and reply, almost as easy as being at the computer.

If you're always on the go, showing properties, you will benefit from the iPhone's internet browser that allows you to easily check the MLS online ( This feature is available from any phone with internet and a browser but it is much faster and easier to navigate on the iPhone Safari browser.

In conclusion, if you need a good phone, with excellent reception, easy to navigate, that allows you to do the most basic functions such as searching a contact and making the call, the iPhone is a very nice mini computer phone that you can rely on. You will also have access to your email, not as quick as other phones but probably in the most efficient and nicest visual way.
However, if you seek other features such as multiple texting, Microsoft Office products (word/excel/powerpoint available on the Dash), multimedia messaging, Exchange email, and a few others, the iPhone is not for you.