Miguel Berger, broker and owner of TechValley Homes in Albany, NY is known by his agents, peers, and competitors for his high-tech tendencies. This technology buff considers staying on top of the latest trends both a hobby and a calling. His independent real estate company uses some of the most advanced tools in the business to keep an edge on the market in his region. And, the tool he keeps at the tips of his fingers is the new Treo 650.
Miguel doesn’t simply have a tech-hobby, he has a passion for the techie side of life. Initially an agent, he later merged his two loves — Real Estate and Technology — to become a software and hardware consultant for the real estate industry. When he saw an unmet need in the market for a high tech brokerage to better serve cutting edge clients, he stepped up to the challenge. TechValley Homes was the result.
Miguel uses his Treo for his phone, to send and receive email and to keep up with the quickly changing market in upstate New York via an internet based MLS. Below is a short interview with Mr. Berger on the topic of his Treo:
Can you tell me why you love your Treo 650?
I have my entire office, and all my essentials on my Treo. I’m never caught without the information I need. I use my memory card to burn all my most essential files, so it’s always right here.
I have converted all my contracts and necessary paperwork to PDF and I can print them from my Treo on anyone’s computer or printer just by reading from my Treo’s expansion card.
When I’m out of the office, my Treo checks my e-mail though VersaMail every 15 minutes and I can save, respond, manage or discard email the first time I see it. There’s no double handling. And, it synchs beautifully with my office Outlook.
I can check our website, and do online research no matter where I am. I use the Google SMS a lot. It’s free and it gives me the ability to track down addresses and the information I need on the fly.
My office uses the text messaging feature through the web or an agent can contact me directly from their own cell phone. Even if I’m on the phone at the time, an urgent message can still get through.
What Real Estate specific tool do you use most often?
I keep LoanPro on my Treo to help with daily calculations. It’s an old program, a carryover from my Palm V, but it’s a simple, slick little tool that works. I can calculate mortgages, amortizations, and payments in a matter of moments. I don’t carry a financial calculator anymore.
Who’s Your wireless provider?
My service provider is Sprint, and they give me a “Business Connect” option, so I can access my laptop or even my desktop remotely. If I need an additional file from the field, I can just grab it from my shared files folder.
Fess up, what’s your favorite game?
I must admit, I love solitaire. When I’m waiting for an appointment, it’s a good thing to have.
I love my Bluetooth. I have a headset, which is essential to the way I work, but my favorite accessory is my Bluetooth GPS receiver, NAVMAN GPS for Palm. I got it from Amazon, and it was quite reasonable. I use it to map my location. It also talks, so there’s no need to try to juggle and read mapping results while I am driving. I can even select the gender of the voice!
What’s on your Treo wish list?
I can’t wait for the next generation of Treos. I want to have WiFi onboard and a smooth, secure access to my office’s computers, similar to the GoToMyPC product.
Any advice for other agents interested in a Treo650?
Advice? Shop around for your phone plan. Shop carefully. If you are using data you need unlimited accounts. Get data, text, and any other options you may need on an unlimited basis to eliminate any unpleasant surprises.
Favorite Aspect of the Treo 650?
It’s all there! I don’t have to feel like a cowboy, carrying all these “guns.” I no longer carry a palm, a pager, a phone, a laptop, and so on. Now, I carry my Treo. That’s it.