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April 23, 2007

5 Reasons Why iPhone Is Not a Good Choice for REALTORS®

Who doesn’t want to have the latest and greatest toy?  Our mobile phones are one of our most fashionable accessories like a wallet or a watch.  We take great pride in our phones because they keep us connected with the outside world from anywhere, anytime.  Since the introduction of the mobile phone, we can do more in less time because we are connected with the world on one device.

The iPhone created by Apple, is the latest new technology for the everyday user.  The slim sleek design is trendy and has a comfortable feel in the palm of your hand.  There are so many cool things that it will do as well.  It has a unique user interface touch-screen to access phone numbers and applications with your finger.  It has a built in iPod MP3 player so you can transfer all of your songs and videos to play on the phone.  There is a web browser that allows you to look up information fast.  It also has a 2 mega-pixel camera built into the piece.  If you move the phone in your hand vertically to horizontally, the phone will change the view of the screen.  I have never seen anything that has so much WOW built into one device.  So many great things how could you say no to this?

Before you run to the store and grab the latest iPhone know that there are some things to watch out for and as a REALTOR® you do not want to lose your edge from your competitors.  Below are five considerable disadvantages of the iPhone for the REALTOR®.

1.  iPhone is does not allow the installation of most 3rd party applications.  Similar to a Mac Operating System, iPhone is limited to only the approved applications that they have determined reliable to work.  Of the 30,000 applications that work with other handheld devices, the iPhone will prevent you using most of them.  Applications such as "Documents to Go" which include Word documents, Excel, and PowerPoint will not be able to be viewed, printed, and sent.

2. Cannot use one hand.  The ability to access information quickly is important to connect consumers and clients with information quickly.  Smartphones were ergonomically designed for people to use with one hand to access 99% of the applications.  The iPhone requires you to use two hands in most instances which can take more time to arrive at the same task.  This can also be a danger for those that try and use the phone while driving even though I don’t recommend that practice to begin with. 

3. A hefty investment.  The suggested price for the new iPhone will be around $499 or higher.  Compared to other PDA phones this is at the top of the spectrum and could be higher depending on what the retail stores will charge.

4.  Cannot use Supra e-KEY software.  If you have been using the Supra e-KEY software with your Smartphone and want the new iPhone, be prepared to lose the technology and service.  The new Supra system that allows REALTORS® to access lockboxes via infrared from their phone using infrared technology which the iPhone does not have.  You also cannot search for properties, view showings, manage your keybox inventory and access the agent roster using the third-party application. 

5. Limited to one wireless provider.  Cingular has signed an exclusive agreement with Apple so that if you want to buy the new iPhone then you must switch wireless service providers.  If you are in an existing contract then you could be penalized for switching prior to the end of a contract date.  Other providers will be added to this over time but names and dates for have not been determined.

Since this is Apple’s first attempt at creating an interactive mobile phone we must give them credit for entering a highly competitive marketplace in wireless technology.  Anytime the new stuff comes out there are always problems and fixes that must happen in order for it to work properly.  The iPhone is innovative and has a lot of terrific features.  For the REALTOR® who is focused on efficiency and effectiveness using mobile phones the iPhone does not have much merit for the real estate industry.


(Doug Devitre is a Certified e-PRO Trainer for the National Assn. of REALTORS®.  You can find out more information about his training programs at or email.)  

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