Electronic tablets, smart phones help local businessesPublished 12:00am Sunday, February 19, 2012
Potential homeowners can also receive information and updates about a house via text.
One of the most overlooked benefits of all the technology, Martin said, is the environmental aspect of how much paper she can save.
“If I can send an e-mail with all that information, I’m saving a lot of paper by not having to mail them information about 10 or 15 houses,” Martin said. “Plus that will have more pictures and information than the piece of paper would.”
Martin said juggling all the technology isn’t too difficult, but she does dream of one single device that would incorporate everything.
“I’d like to have one thing so I can show the house, sign the contract, get them a loan and do all that right there,” Martin said. “I have everything synchronized right now, but one thing that does it all would be perfect.”
Breaking the mold
Contrary to their name, Truly Vintage Clothing Company uses the latest in technology to handle its business transactions.
Three months ago, Berk Lovelace’s credit card machine broke and the $180 repair fee on top of regular monthly credit card fees and phone line fees was the last straw.
Lovelace opted out of repairing the machine and decided to go with a more tech friendly option — the Square Card Reader, a small device that plugs into the audio jack of an iPhone, Android or iPad that accepts all major credit cards.
“You go to the website, sign up, give it all your information and they send you the little gizmo for free,” Lovelace said. “They made it really, really easy and that I like.”
The service requires no monthly fees or charge for the device, but does take 3 percent of all transactions
The portable card reader works well for Lovelace, who takes his business on the road in the summer, selling his products at shows.
Before he started swiping credit cards with the device on his phone, Lovelace said he had to either take the credit machine with him to shows and hook it up to a Magic Jack, which gives him a phone line on his computer, or relying on the venues to have free WiFi.
“I can be sitting anywhere and just take credit cards,” Lovelace said. “With this, anywhere you have Internet access or phone service, you’re collecting money.”
Customers simply swipe their credit card on the device and sign the phone with their finger.
After the transaction, they can choose to get a receipt texted or emailed to them or choose to have no receipt at all.
Lovelace said he’s had a good response from his customers so far.
“They think its funny and a lot of people like the fact that its not cash only,” Lovelace said. “Everyone enjoys it and gets a kick out of it.”