Chris' Corner: New Toy? ... or "tool" I won't be able to live without?

New Toy? ... or "tool" I won't be able to live without?

Credit, or "Blame" must go to where it is due!

Drum Roll please .......

1. Michael Thornton ... the "poker" - mentioned his preference and raved about performance and utility for years - some people (me) are just "slow" ;-)

2. Valerie Garcia ...the "final straw" - Senior Technology Coach for RE/MAX Ontario - Atlantic

3. My Wife, Helen ... the "instigator" - love of my life who initially sowed the "seed"

4. Al and Peggy Cunningham ... people I respect immensely - Family to me, My mentors, Early Adopters, and people who love their toys (OK, perhaps I am talking more about Al re: "toys")... perhaps Al and Peggy love different types of toys?

 New Toy

 Now let me tell you the rest of the story...

I owned Blackberry (Tour 9630) and was, in general, anti-Apple.  I have read many blogs by Michael and others and communicated with Michael Thornton on several occasions as he shared his love of Apple technology with me, but I sat firmly on the "fence".

My wife Helen, a teacher of primary grade range autistic spectrum children, has a budget for school supplies and technology.  In the fall of 2010 she took advantage of an Apple School promotion that gave her a Five to One bonus on school purchases and bought five iPods for her class.

She learned/played with them for about a month, and allowed my son Alec (who was in Grade One at the time) to play with some free apps on another as she planned on how to implement them into her classroom.  Eventually she loaded them with a select group of apps and rolled out the program in her classroom.  It was a hit.  Both with the students and with the parents of the students.  They were learning... English, Math, Patterning, improving motor skills and more.  An unforeseen benefit of this new activity was an increased level of social interaction.

This was surprising to me, as I thought that the activities would be solitary in nature.  What she found is that the children asked each for help and also a combination of curiosity and competitiveness resulted in an increase in interaction among the children.  The parents loved the fact that their children could now relate and play with other children in social settings.

The next spring, my wife, who had been using a "dinosaur" flip phone received news from our cellular provider that she was eligible for an upgrade to her phone.

This started about a month of vehement "discussion" between my wife and I.  I was of the opinion that you should resist the rampant commercialism and replace an item (phone, appliance, car etc) when necessary, not when "it goes out of fashion".

I have this rather bad habit of "discussing" issues with my wife in a tone that can be considered both sarcastic and, at times, condescending.  Both of these are not generally well received during a "discussion" with a spouse (definitely not MY spouse ;-)

I know this is a fault that I have to be aware of and try and tone down if I am ever to be successful in having my side of a "discussion" received well by Helen.  I mentioned earlier that I can be "slow" at times.

As you might guess, after considering Androids and Blackberry's, Helen came home with a brand new iPhone 4.  She also bought the highest grade Otterbox ( I think it is the Defender - a behemoth, but apparently "Alec" proof).  I made some remarks (see above regarding tone) about it being a toy and that she had succumbed to persistent and clever marketing.  After twelve years of an overall successful marriage, I have learned that I cannot win all battles, er I mean "discussions".

I actually, am under the impression that I DO WIN some of the many "discussions" ... I do not know if this is merely my perception, or whether this is empirical reality...

Over the next few months, Helen downloaded several Apps (a new word to me), most of which were "free", but some of which she did pay for.

Alec loved playing with his mother's iPhone, which was very convenient for Helen when she had an appointment and had to stay late (Alec goes to the same school Helen teaches at and drives to and from school with Helen as this school is not in our local district).

I, frustrated with Blackberry systems issues during the fall of 2011 which delayed messaging and e-mail transmissions, walked in to my cellular provider (Bell Mobility) and after looking seriously at some very good Androids, purchased an iPhone 4S.  Helen, who was with me, was giddy that she was "right"... that I had finally succumbed...

After months of frustration with this phone (we, in general do not accept "change" well), and grumbling to her that this toy was inefficient as a business tool, a strange thing happened... I started downloading Apps.  Some were games, some were news and information related, and then I started finding Apps that helped me work more effectively and efficiently.

I started thinking about a tablet.  I have made some "sarcastic" remarks a number of times on posts of Al and Peggy as they raved about their iPad, all the while studying Android tablets and considering the benefits of a tablet for business.  Both Al and Peggy are wise and successful people and Realtors, and I would be foolish to discount anything they do without serious thought.

Helen and I bought our mothers KOBO e-readers for mother's day and both mothers were delighted.  We had thought they might have issues with the technology, but no... not at all.  They love the convenience and they both love to read.  It was the "perfect" gift.  For those that might not know, KOBO is similar to Kindle, but is compatible with the Canadian Library system, allowing downloads of library books, which Kindle, at the present time, does not.

I attended a RE/MAX technology seminar by Valerie Garcia.  Learning how I could use a tablet to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of my real estate activities was the final "straw".  After the meeting, I discussed at length with Valerie the pros and cons of Androids versus iPads.  The Playbook was off the table since I know longer use a Blackberry phone.

She convinced me that though there were strengths and weaknesses of each format, the fact the I also had an iPhone, should make my decision simple...

... so ...

New iPad and Bluetooth Keyboard

I bought a Hipstreet Bluetooth Keyboard, but have not yet set up iCloud.  Apparently I will be able to have all my Apps on both my iPhone and my iPad.

Al and Peggy, what can I say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Michael, iPhone, iPad, What is next? ... A Mac?

Helen, we are very strong willed, have strong opinions... and many "discussions"... I apologize for the way I say things at times, but you know how very much I love you, respect you and your thoughts... You do not really expect me to actually say that you were right... do you?  ;-)

... I have downloaded RE/MAX's iPad App (RE/MAX do not have an App for Android's nor Blackberry's, nor will they be developing one for those platforms).

I have rolled out new systems and new technology enough times in the business world that I have developed a pretty good methodology and am employing a version of it now.

I am practicing using the tools I intend to use.  Then I will roll it out with my wife, possibly my parents.  I will then roll it out to clients I have a very good relationship with and who will understand that this is a new technology for me.  As I receive feedback and overcome issues, I will become more comfortable with the new tools. When I feel that I am ready, then I will use this technology at large.

Wish me luck =)

Chris Smith CSSBB
          Sales Representative

Interested in Buying or Selling Real Estate?

  ph: 1.866.936.3500

Chay Realty Inc.,

Comment balloon 8 commentsChris Smith • June 02 2012 10:20AM


Ok, I may be the last to succome to the iPhone.  But I am about to get a new phone I guess I will get the latest iPhone.

Posted by Elite Home Sales Team, A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team (Elite Home Sales Team OC) over 8 years ago

Not sure if its Mark or Tim, but one of the benefits of being one of the last to adopt a technology is that you get the latest version, and at times can find it for less (though Apple does a very good job of holding the line on prices).

It might take you a while, it did for me, but if/when you start taking advantage of some of the tools, it can really help you do your work...

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 8 years ago

Howdy and evening Chris

Chris my friend, glad you are happy with your new Cell Phone and Tablet. Enjoy learning about the things you'll be about to do with your new tools.

Have a good one
Dale in New Hampshire

Posted by Dale Baker, New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information (Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections) over 8 years ago

Whooooo Hooooooo!!! Welcome to the i world Chris!!! Yes, we can say a Mac is next in your future!!! Now about those apps Chris have you downloaded.........LOL! Go get lost in Evernote!! HeeHee...

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 8 years ago

Thank You Dale, ad I get older the "learning" curve" is not as steep ;-)

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 8 years ago

Now that TREB is MAC compliant, I cannot disagree with you Al and Peggy (though Barrie Board is still not MAC compliant)

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 8 years ago

I have to admit, I am about to get an iPad and once my (less than 2 year old) laptop dies, it will be replaced by Apple Technology...............I love my apps and I love my iPhone!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 8 years ago

Chris - I hear you (and Barrie) on resisting the rampant commercialization and having to have the latest "toys" but sometimes we just have to bite the bullet and do what we think is best.

Posted by Kathy Clulow, Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results (RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage) over 8 years ago