Modern-day technology offers huge benefits for real estate professionals. With your smartphone, you are able to manage an incredible range of tasks right from the palm of your hand. But there’s something else that has all these capabilities and more: your car. Giving you the ability to manage almost all aspects of your professional life right from the driver’s seat, your car just may be your best tech tool.
The 2017 Car Guide
Making Your Smartphone Even Smarter
Consider your phone as a starting point. Nearly all new cars and trucks now come with Bluetooth systems that sync your phone with your vehicle’s infotainment system. These setups then allow you to make and take phone calls using voice recognition, so you can work, while adhering to safer, hands-free practices. Many vehicles also have what’s known as SMS text-messaging capability. This technology can read incoming texts aloud over the vehicle’s audio speakers and also send pre-set responses, eliminating the temptation to engage in dangerous texting while driving.
Additionally, a growing number of new vehicles have upped the ante with advanced smartphone integration. This technology, which can support both Android and Apple devices, essentially converts the vehicle’s infotainment screen into a remote home screen for your compatible phone. It unlocks even more of your phone’s functionality for use while on the road, including access to handy driving helpers like Google Maps and Apple Maps.
Keeping Your Devices Running
What happens if you’re on the way to an important showing and the battery dies in your phone? Well, you can rely on a car for recharging, too—even if you’ve forgotten your USB cord. In fact, wireless device charging has recently become available in the auto industry, and this will no doubt spread throughout the market in the near-term future.
Also on their way into mainstream cars and SUVs are actual mobile Wi-Fi hotspots. Chevrolet is leading the way here, with standard 4G LTE connectivity in nearly its entire lineup. With this and your laptop, your vehicle can become a full mobile office. Oh, and because multiple devices can be online at the same time, you can let your clients connect as well when they need to.
Getting You Where You Need to Go (Safely)
Your car isn’t just an accessory for your phone or laptop. Many vehicles also come with realtor-friendly tech of their own, such as integrated navigation systems. Nothing can be quite so frustrating as getting lost on the way to an appointment or trying to find a shortcut to avoid a traffic jam. Automaker nav systems can offer an easy solution. Further, those navigation setups often are paired with services like SiriusXM Travel Link, which can provide information about weather and driving conditions.
Meanwhile, new car technology can also help save your life—an important benefit for realtors, who can spend a lot of their days and evenings on the road. Take automatic emergency braking. This feature recognizes when vehicles ahead are slowed or stopped and can automatically apply the brakes, helping to prevent an accident and making it a safer ride for you and your vehicle (avoiding accidents is one way to maintain your car’s value). Industry stakeholders believe this technology is so effective that the U.S. Department of Transportation, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and 20 automakers recently announced a new commitment that would make it standard on “virtually all new cars” by Sept. 1, 2022. This is projected to get the technology in most drivers’ hands some three years earlier than expected, potentially preventing about 12,000 injuries and 28,000 crashes in the process.
But you don’t have to wait until then to take advantage of this feature: This technology already is available in plenty of affordable cars and trucks as an option, as are features that can monitor your blind spot, warn you if you’re drifting out of your lane, and even turn your headlamps for improved visibility as you turn the wheel.
Let’s see your smartphone do that!
Source: Charles Krome is an automotive journalist forCARFAX.He enjoys keeping up with trends in car tech and sharing advice with car buyers and owners to get the best car value.