Tech Helpline News - Gifts and Gadgets for under $15


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Gifts and Gadgets for under $15


What can you buy for less than $15 at Let’s take a look at some cool gifts and gadgets for agent offices, home and on the road. Some of these items might even make your Holiday “wish list.”

Cable Chord Organizer - $9.99: This weighted organizer sits in your desk and makes

sure your charging chords for your smartphone, your laptop and your other devices don’t fall on the floor – or worse, behind your desk! It’s simple, smart and a real pain reliever. Amazon link.

Smartphone Nano Sticky Pad Wall Holders - $7.99: Mount one to your car, the other to your wall, and it will hold your Smartphone firm. This two-pack uses nano elastic material. It claims to be “ultra sticky and strong, flexible, anti-skid, and environment-friendly” to firmly adhere to almost any surface. You can even fold and shape it as a phone holder for a desktop angled view. Stick it to your mirror while you are getting ready in the morning and stream your favorite Netflix show on your Smartphone! 
Amazon link.

Smartphone Stick-on Slim Credit Card Wallet - $9.99: When you’re running to take a client to lunch, you don’t need your purse or a bulky wallet, just your Smartphone with this slick accessory. It sticks to the back of your Smartphone and can hold your credit card, driver’s license and a few business cards. That’s all you really need, right? Holds up to 5 credit cards total. 
Amazon link.

Car multi-safety tool + tire pressure gauge - $10.69: Agents practically live in their cars as a second home. So having one tool that does many things, including breaking a window and cutting a seat belt in case of an emergency, is a must have. What's even better is when that same safety tool you hope you’ll never have to use has a practical application. You can use this one all the time: a digital tire pressure gauge. This is a 5 in 1 Safety Tool Set: LED Flashlight, Car Window Breaker, Seatbelt Cutter, Red Safety Light and Digital Tire Gauge.
 Amazon link.

Amazon Echo Compatible Smart Plug - $13.99: If you have an Amazon Echo, Dot, Tap or Show, you can take the next step towards making your home even smarter at a very low cost. This smart plug will let you turn on or off anything you can plug into it (up to 2000W rated power) by simply telling Alexa voice control to turn it on. So if you don’t get up at the same time every morning and don’t have a smart coffee maker, you do now: just get it all ready the night before, plug it into this smart outlet and before you get in the shower, tell Alexa to turn it on. 
Amazon link.

Travel Humidifier - $13.99: It's cold and flu season and if you're traveling, it seems that’s when you are likely to catch something, right? This is something that can help. This cool mist humidify will pack easily, as it’s less than 3” x 7”, ultra quite and USB powered. You’ll find several options on Amazon, but this one is highly rated and a big value for its small size and price. 
Amazon link.

LED Flying Disc - $12.99: Agents work long hours, but you have to have fun, right? A glow in the dark Frisbee just won’t cut it after hours, but an Aerobie Skylighter Disc will. This LED-flying disc offers a great way to blow off some steam after hours and reduce stress. Check out the video. 
Amazon link.

Uber Geek Pen - $11.99: They have jammed 12 functions into one pen: It's a Hole Punch (AWL), with a short cutting blade, and a wire stripper that can also be used as a small nail or staple remover. It has a long cutting blade, a Phillips head screwdriver attachment, a small saw, a stainless steel file, and a flathead screwdriver attachment. If that wasn’t enough, it also features a scraper, mini tweezers, a tiny stainless steel fork and yes, it also is a real writing pen! 
Amazon link.

Compact LED Key Chain + Multi-tool - $14.99: So if the Geek Pen isn’t your style, then maybe this Gold metal color key holder is? This one is five tools in one, as it features the LED light, a bottle opener, a built-in mini wrench set and even serves as a small smartphone stand. Plus it can hold up to 24 keys. 
Amazon link.
Do you know of a cool tech tool or gadget for under $15 on Amazon? Send us the link and we just might add it to this story!

By Kevin Hawkins, an award winning freelance writer on real estate and technology topics.



5 Tech Tools for Savvy Brokers

The new iPhone X is building quite a buzz in real estate circles, in particular because of itsAugmented Reality Kit. Some reviews have been so bold to call it “the future of the smartphone.” It’s not surprising because future technology always draws strong interest from brokers and agents.  

Let’s take a look at some of the hottest tech tools today for savvy brokers. They’re designed to help them better organize their lives, increase productivity, and improve their work/life balance: 

1. AirBar: Bringing touchscreen to MacBooks Air
If you are a Mac user and also have an iPad, how many times have you touched your Mac screen? Almost everyone has, and that’s a problem solved or MacBook Air 13.3” users buy AirBar. For $99, this USB plugin attaches to the bottom of your MacBook Air. It gives it a touchscreen, working just like an iPad (or similar to a Microsoft Surface Pro). Check out the video demo 

2. BeLive: Facebook Live broadcasting organized
Real estate firms are scrambling to figure out how to get engagement through video. And they are now turning to Facebook Live, which is rapidly growing in popularity. But how do you best use this new video too? Savvy brokers are turning to BeLive ( as a more organized way to create a Facebook Live broadcast with a lot more features. BeLive allows you to do a solo broadcast or conduct a split screen interview with another person. You can even host a “Talk Show” with up to three people live at one time with a total of 10 guests, the rest waiting in your virtual “lobby.” Most importantly are some powerful extra features. You can embed Screen Comments to interact with your audience, it provides an Agenda feature that helps you organize your Facebook Live broadcast and screen, and it offers photo share capabilities. There’s a free level, then prices ranges from about $12-$20 a month for more frequent users. Remember: the key to Facebook Live is all broadcasts are recorded. Then you can share that link with others to see your Facebook Live broadcast anytime in replay. 

3. Receipt scanner app: You may never have to touch a copy machine or separate scanner again. You can now collect, copy and process receipts for an expense report with an app. Smartphone camera technology today is so wickedly smart, scanning is now actually easier with your phone than with a machine. Apps allow you to straighten out a crooked document, change the brightness, turn a color document to black and white, and instantly convert the image into a PDF or CSV file and email it to yourself and more. Use an expense report app like 
Smart Receipts, and your phone becomes a receipt scanner, mileage tracker and expense report generator all in one. Smart Receipts is available in both in the Apple App Store and Google Play. 

4. Amazon Echo or Google Home: You can discover the awesome power of voice control and use it to help organize your life and your home. Just purchase the Amazon Echo or Google Home. The Echo and its Alexa Voice Service has a huge lead over Google Home, with a 
76% market share currently. For most people, the setup is fast and easy. For a busy broker, you can have Alexa wake you up with a celebrity voice in the morning, turn on your smart coffee maker, play the morning news from NPR, and read you your Google Calendar appointments for the day. Alexa will even start your day off with a smile by telling you a joke. In the kitchen, tell it to set a timer while you make that perfect 3-minute egg and to add milk and eggs to your shopping list, and then just before you head out door, Alexa can give you a traffic update, then open up your smart garage door.

5. New iPad Pro or Surface pro: This is a case where bigger really is better. Both are big – 12.9 inches for the iPad Pro and 12.3 inches for the Surface Pro.  It’s a powerful business tool with high impact for giving presentations to a small group, or just meeting with staff. Because you don’t see too many giant tablets in most businesses, it catches your eye when you first see one in person. Keynote or PowerPoint presentations pop off the screen. Both screens display beautiful high definition images, grabbing your audience’s attention. You can play a video, share a Matterport tour of one of your listings, or show off a new brochure you just created. There may be no better way to make a powerful first impression than with one of these tablets. And when you are on the go, just connect a keyboard and you have nearly full desktop computer functionality when you are out of the office.

A Holiday bonus
Two more things every savvy broker should consider: The new iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy Note 8, along with the new Apple Watch 3. All of these are pretty big leaps in technology. The phones debut everything, from face recognition and built-in waterproof features, to more powerful cameras and wireless charging. This next generation of Smartphones really does put something more than a supercomputer in our pockets. As for the Apple Watch 3, the Dick Tracy watch of 1931 becomes a reality with a first: standalone, built-in LTE mobile phone capability. The downside is you can only make an hour worth of calls before the watch goes dead. But if you have ever forgotten your phone at the office when you left for an appointment or lunch, you’ll especially appreciate this new futuristic tech tool as that hour could save a deal. Two other standout features: it’s advance workout app and you can stream 40 million songs from Apple Music. 

It will be interesting to see what the next big tech thing will be that will help make broker’s lives even more productive – and hopefully less stressful – in 2018. 


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Tech Helpline will be closed on November 23 and 24, 2017 in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday.


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