GPS technology lets buyers search real estate listings from any cell phone

By Roger Yohem, Inside Tucson Business

Kent Simpson relies on two kinds of passion to sell real estate: quality customer service and cutting-edge technology.

For his clients, service begins with straight talk about the overall market and the properties that are for sale. Then, to keep clients informed and “in touch,” his creative use of technology comes into play.

With a simple click on their cell phones, Simpson’s customers can search all real estate listings anytime, anywhere with a free, downloadable GPS program. He is the first Realtor in Southern Arizona to provide this innovative service.

“This is the first application of its kind in Tucson and is so user friendly. The thing I like most is that it pulls up so much detailed information, basically anything in the Multiple Listing Service, including all the photos,” said Simpson.

His business is TucsonKent Real Estate Group, affiliated with broker Avalar Advantage Realty, 1630 E. River Road.

“I started this because mobile is the future. People are depending more on their phones to access the Internet to get information on the fly. I wanted to be ahead of the curve,” he said. “When I did the research, to find out who was using this, I found some very successful agents who were the early adopters of this new technology. I contacted them to bring it to Tucson.”

Simpson’s search eventually connected him with Smarter Agent, the service’s creator/provider based in New Jersey. Using any standard cell phone, people can search for homes at their leisure, by city, state or zip code. The program displays details about the property, such as the price, number of bedrooms and baths, mortgage, and taxes.

While driving through neighborhoods, the GPS link lets lookers pull the data of the exact property they are at. It can also show nearby houses for sale on a map. When the user wants to see a home, the “Call to See” button connects them directly to an agent. That grabbed Simpson’s attention.

“In real time, I get contacted when they click,” he said. “Since I provide this application for free, the Call to See button connects them with me. It helps people buy homes, it’s a marketing tool for my business.”

Simpson pays a licensing fee to Smarter Agent to affiliate the product with his company in Southern Arizona.

Because Smarter Agent has no exclusive or protected territories, he expects the technology will become very common, very soon in Tucson once the word gets out. Meanwhile, interested buyers and realtors can get the service free from Simpson at TucsonKentsWorld.com.

The system is so versatile, he has a client in Colorado shopping for local investment properties and a Massachusetts couple searching for a retirement home.

“It’s so non-invasive, they can search anywhere there is a cell phone signal,” Simpson said.

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