As a real estate agent, you’re always on the go, and it’s important that your clients can reach you wherever you may be. If your old mobile plan just doesn’t cut it anymore, how can you find the perfect plan for your business? From by-the-gig and unlimited plans, to utilizing WiFi hotspots, we’ll cover all the factors you need to consider so you can find a plan that works for your needs.
Find the coverage you need
It may seem obvious, but the most important part of a mobile plan is coverage. It doesn’t matter how much data or how many minutes you have if you can’t use them, and this is true not only on your home turf, but wherever you’re likely to go. If you typically stay local, that makes the search easier. But if you travel regularly to real estate conferences or for out-of-town clients, make sure your coverage will be just as good when you’re on the road.
● Look at the coverage map for your carrier so you won’t be surprised by gaps in coverage.
● Search for online reviews of your carrier in geographic areas you frequent.
● Don’t forget international coverage, if that’s part of your business needs.
All about the data
Today, most mobile plans (beyond prepaid plans) have unlimited talk and text, but data is still a large variable. Data needs vary from person to person based on their office setup, work style, and other factors. Choosing the wrong data plan can be a costly mistake, so consider your needs carefully before diving in. Which of these scenarios best describes you and your mobile work style?
Do you spend a significant amount of time in the office, with sporadic journeys out for showings and closings? Is your phone largely for communicating and browsing simple listings, reading contracts, or researching? If so, consider a smaller data plan or a pay-by-the-gig plan. Basic Web browsing and using your navigation app won’t use much data, and there’s no need to pay for more than you need. Pay-as-you-go plans are particularly flexible, giving you access to as much data as you need at a reasonable price, without wasting money.
Are you a realtor who lives in the car? While you’re out of the office, are you catching up on listings, watching video walkthroughs, updating images on your site, and sending files? You may get by with a pay-by-the-gig plan, or you may want to go full-out on an unlimited option.
If you can, look through your data usage for the past few months. If it’s more than 3-4 GB/month per line, it’s time to upgrade. If you’re not sure if you need unlimited data, start with a flexible data plan and upgrade if you find yourself buying a lot more.
If you have several agents on one plan for a collective or small office, you may want to jump right into the unlimited plan, especially if your team trends more toward road warriors than office bound. If your data use justifies it, this can help lower tensions that can crop up when one person is using more data than someone else.
If the cost of data is a concern, you can save money with a little effort and creativity, especially if you work in urban or heavily settled areas. Scope out coffee shops, libraries, and other local businesses with free WiFi and move your work out of your car. Also, take a closer look at your mobile plan. You may find that they also offer WiFi hotspots that their customers can use rather than burning through data.
Once you’ve picked the best plan for your location and use, you will still want to keep track of your account to make sure you’re not leaving money (and unused data) on the table. Most carriers have an app for tracking data usage and billing. Keep an eye on your data use and adjust your plan as needed.
With so many options available today, choosing the right mobile plan can be a challenge. But armed with the right questions, you can weed out those that don’t meet your data and financial needs, and find the perfect plan for you and your business. That way, you can focus your efforts on building your business and matching clients with their perfect properties.
Christy Matte is a die-hard techie and contributing writer for Xfinity Mobile. She’s a Boston-based writer who has been covering tech for the past decade or so, and enjoys video games, surfing the Web, and any gadget she can get her hands on.