Making Use of Your Decommissioned Smart Phone

By
Real Estate Broker Owner with J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY

Old smart phones put to good useReal Estate professionals go through technology like bath water. When I was younger, old or outdated things were dismissed as "so 70's" or "so 10 years ago." Today, we often refer to an outdated thing as "so March." I got my first Android-the original Droid- phone in 2009. I later upgraded to a Droid 2. Earlier this year, I moved up to a Galaxy Nexus. Throw in an iPad, a Galaxy Tab and a Kindle with the rest of the hardware and my drawer looks like a mini Star Wars junk yard. 

And most of my old smart phones remained junk until I had to replace my Galaxy Nexus after dropping it and cracking the screen. Verizon couldn't transfer everything to the insurance replacement, and told me that before I scrubbed the memory, I could just upload all my photos to Drop Box via my home WiFi. I couldn't make calls anymore, but the Internet connection still worked wherever there was signal. 

I then had an epiphany. One of the things that spoils us about smart phones is that they are like a mini tablet computer. We can use them for Facebook, Google chat, Netflix, Youtube, and of course browse websites. With all that functionality, why scrap a smart phone just because you can't make a phone call anymore (or can't you? Read on)?

I broke out my old droids and connected to WiFi. I uploaded or updated the following apps:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Netflix
  • Google Talk
  • Google Drive (like Drop Box)
  • Amazon and Amazon MP3 Player
  • Dolphin Mobile browser
  • Youtube
  • Gmail
  • Skype
Smart phones are indeed mini tablets. You can use them via your home Wifi for all social media apps, web browsing, and of course multi media like MP3 music and even video. So you can't make calls. Big deal. I don't make calls every waking hour, but I can remain connected. I can check email. And tweet. And listen to tunes. 
 
And you know what? I CAN make calls too. Just download Skype, buy $10 in phone credits, which is enough call time for a month of Sundays, and yes, you an even make a phone call on a decommissioned smart phone. Now, don't take what I say and drive out to a remote area with just your old smart phone. You have to be connected to a network, typically your home WiFi. 
 
One might ask why bother if you already have your current phone and a tablet.
Good question.
Here's the answer: Why drain your primary device's charge listening to music or using other apps at home? You need the tools fully charged for when you are out in the field.  What about those times when our devices are recharging? Or when we walk upstairs and forget the gizmo on the kitchen counter or in the car? It isn't just an addiction to tech, we could answer client email or put out a fire early. Now you have a solution. Keep your old phone in the bedroom drawer, basement man cave or garage for when you're in a pinch. You can check your email, update Facebook, surf Active Rain or stream old movies. 
 
Or, if you really need to, you can even make a phone call via skype. It sure beats using the old device as a paperweight. 
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Re-Bloggged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 06/27/2012 06:35 AM
  2. Brad Baylor 06/28/2012 07:18 AM
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Topic:
Real Estate Technology & Tools
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Technology
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Rainmaker
612,517
Bob Miller
The Ruiz/Miller Team - Ocala's Dream Team
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty

Hi Phillip, great idea.  Just retired my 2nd Blackberry for a Iphone.  Both BB still work on WiFi!

June 28, 2012 10:45 AM
Rainmaker
245,685
Nick & Trudy Vandekar
Realtors - Selling the Main Line, PA Lic AB067198
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc

JP you are amazing, and you sparked a host of other ideas, I see why Zillow has you on their advisory board. Miss seeing your posts, happy to see you have not forgotten AR entirely.

June 28, 2012 12:59 PM
Ambassador
480,926
Brian Schulman
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals, Lancaster PA

Good suggestion!  I keep my last couple of phones anyway just to have extra database backups.

June 29, 2012 08:26 PM
Rainer
92,054
Lynn Ganster
P.A.
Morris Williams Realty

Love that.....wish I had thought of that myself!  

July 02, 2012 12:04 PM
Rainmaker
493,806
Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528
Real Estate Salesperson
Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956

Phil, what great ideas. Thanks for sharing.  If I download and update all of those apps, then my youn grandkids will have another device to play on when the computers and ipads are all in use.

July 09, 2012 09:29 AM
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J. Philip Faranda

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Additional Information

Phil Faranda is broker and owner of J. Philip Real Estate LLC in Briarcliff Manor, NY. Since founding the firm as a sole practitioner in late 2005, the team has grown to over 30 agents & closed 350+ transactions valued at $140 million. He is in his 4th term as Vice President of the HGMLS. This blog commentary is geared toward consumers and industry colleagues alike. You can reach him at (914) 723-8900.
Warning: *Sarcasm and irony advisory at all times.*



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