How to Set Up Your iPhone for Your Real Estate Business

So, you’ve got one now. You’re either an Apple fanatic or a recent convert.  Maybe you’re even one of the lucky ones to have the all-new iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C.  Whatever the case may be, you’re holding an iPhone and now all you’re thinking is, “Now what?”  Never fear.  Here are a few tips on how to set up your iPhone for your real estate business.

To start, Go to the Settings icon on your phone.

Apple Settings Icon - How to Set Up Your iPhone for Real Estate Business from Century 21 RedwoodThis is where you will find a wealth of information, including the ability to set up your mail, contacts and calendars preferences, as well as control settings for any iPhone apps you download.

Under the General “tab”, you can set your phone to auto-lock and create information about the Passcode Lock (the 4 digit lock you can enter when your phone is locked).  Why is this important?  Two words: pocket dialing.  You can prevent the embarrassment of accidentally dialing a fellow real estate agent or client while driving, out to dinner or in the midst of sensitive negotiations.  Lock your phones, my friends.

Back under Settings, there is a Sounds “tab.”  Your new iPhone comes equipped with all manners of bells, swooshes, clicks and more sounds than you ever thought could emanate from such a tiny object (unless you’re a parent, and then you already had an inkling).  This is a great place for you to stop and explore for a moment about what kind of alerts you want to have, and whether or not you want your keyboard to make that clickety-clack sound every time you type something.  (I’m in the anti-camp, but many of my friends persist in leaving their keyboard sounds on.)  Again, this is something to keep in mind to stave away untimely interruptions when with clients or in the middle of conversations.

Speaking of controlling interruptions, the iPhone has a nifty feature called “Do Not Disturb” under Settings.

The Do Not Disturb setting on the Apple iPhone - from Century 21 Redwood's How to Set Up Your iPhone for Real Estate[Note: If you've got a phone with  iOS7, you can toggle the Do Not Disturb setting by swiping up to get to the Control Panel and pressing on the moon icon.]

What does Do Not Disturb do?  It instantly prevents any incoming texts or calls from making noise as they come in – handy when you forget to silence your phone.  The only ones who will be able to get through will be those on your Favorites list under Contacts.  If you’re looking to just silence your phone (without Do Not Disturb), you can also switch the iPhone’s ringer on and off.  Just look to the left side of your iPhone, toward the top.  If you see this…

How to Silence Apple iPhone Ringer as Part of Century 21 Redwood's How to Set Up iPhone for Real Estate …your iPhone is silenced.

Back under Settings, you’ll see something that says “Mail, Contacts, Calendars.”  This is where you can create the Accounts for Mail, Contacts and Calendar import, which is pretty much the bread and butter of the real estate industry.  Apple has tried to make this as easy as possible by offering a number of choices when you select “Add Account”:

Apple iPhone Add Account Choices from Century 21 Redwood Realty's How to Set Up Your iPhone for Real EstateDepending on where your mail, contacts and calendar currently reside will help you decide which choice you make on this page.  There are a number of ways of setting up mail (too long for this post), but Apple Support provides a lot of additional information on this topic here:

After you have set up your account as you’d like to, don’t leave the Mail, Contacts, Calendars main-page.  Most people don’t realize that you can scroll much farther down in this section to access a number of features, including “Default Account” and “Signature” (Apple now allows multiple signature blocks for different email addresses for the iPhone).   You can also set Default Accounts for Contacts, control Sort and Display orders, import contacts from a SIM card, and set Alerts and other settings for Calendars.

Finally, under Settings, go to “iCloud.”

iCloud from Apple for iPhone - for Century 21 Redwood's How to Set up Your iPhone for Real EstateThis is where you can toggle what things you want to have backed up to Apple’s “cloud” storage, in case something happens to your existing iPhone or in case you want to share it with other Apple products.  You can see your Storage and Backup options, including those that you pay for, under “Storage and Backup.”  Finally, if you’ve heard of something called “Find my iPhone” (which enables you to locate an iPhone on a map and remotely lock or erase it in case you lose it or it gets stolen), you can turn that On/Off here.

Once these things are done, you’re ready to go explore your iPhone!  To make a phone call, you click on the “Phone” icon that will also bring up your Contacts.  To send a text message, you use the icon called “Messages.”  You can take notes quickly by tapping on the “Notes” icon and typing away.  You can set task and reminders for yourself under “Reminders.”  Your default browser will always be Safari.  Your calendar(s) should’ve synced; you can check them under the Calendar icon.  And if you’re like me, and like to modify and tweak what you’ve got, then you can do so by exploring Apple’s App Store.

If you have any questions about setting up your iPhone for your real estate business that I haven’t addressed here, please contact me by emailing me at  I’m happy to try and help!  Enjoy!