- A PALM PICTURE IS WORTH A SALE

If you own a Palm-based Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) with a color screen, then you have likely wondered if your shouldn't be able to display property photos to customers, clients and prospects when you're on the go.

With that thought in mind, I recently downloaded, installed and tested over a dozen programs that claim to bring this functionality to the handheld.

While many programs can indeed display digital pictures on your PDA, the clear winner in the category is SplashPhoto from the folks at SplashData.

- How it Works

The concept behind SplashPhoto is simple: One part of the software runs on your notebook or desktop PC and is used to create copies of your pictures for display on your PDA.

Once these palm-sized copies have been created, they are automatically transferred to your PDA the next time you "Hotsync" with your computer.

After this has been accomplished, the part of the program that runs on your PDA allows you to organize and display these photos in the palm of your hand.

- What Makes Splash Photo a Winner?

While many of the programs I tested had useful features, SplashPhoto had all the right features, which worked the right way.

1) Not only can you rotate, crop and zoom in/out, but you can also adjust both the brightness and contrast of the images that you want transferred to your PDA.

2) These editing tasks are easily executed and only affect the copies that you're creating for display on your PDA, the original images remain intact.

3) You can export images to your PDA in either color or grayscale, though color display is definitely preferred. You also have the choice of using your PDA's internal memory or the memory expansion slots supported by both Palm and Sony.

4) SplashPhoto also includes the ability to organize the images by categories, and to add notes to each picture. This is a real benefit for business use as picture can be organized by property address and listing notes can be included.

5) Pictures on the PDA can be viewed individually, or by groups, and can also be presented in "slideshow" format.

Of all the features SplashPhoto provides, the most impressive are the clarity of the pictures and the speed in which they are displayed.

While other programs offered additional features, the quality of the images didn't compare. Additionally, most of the programs I tested were slow and awkward in editing, transferring and actually displaying photographs.

It's a matter of pleasant irony that after evaluating over a dozen such programs, many costing $50 or more, that SplashPhoto sells for just under $20.00 - making it the best for less.

- Why Carry Photos on a PDA?

Of course, just because it can be done, doesn't always mean that it should be done. This is particularly true when it comes to adopting new technologies. In this case, however, it should be done, and soon!

If the obvious benefits of carrying property picture on your PDA aren't so obvious, then a simple scenario should clear up the picture quite a bit.

Imagine your next encounter with a potential buyer at an Open House, supermarket or on the golf course. What if instead of simply telling the buyer about a hot new property you've recently listed, you could simply hand them your PDA and run a slideshow of the listing - sort of a pocket virtual tour?

* How would this help the prospect decide whether the home was worth a visit?

* How much time would this save you by eliminating the need to email or fax over photos when you returned to your office?

* More importantly, what impression would this make in the buyer's mind about your professionalism and the level of your service?

To take this one step further, if the prospect has a Palm-based PDA then SplashPhoto will also allow you to "Beam" the photos directly to their unit so they can take the tour home to share with their spouse.

While countless other situations exist where using such technology could clearly help capture and convert a prospect into a customer or client, for the cost of just $10 the decision shouldn't require much further analysis.

To review the software details for yourself, and to download a free trail, simply visit:

www.splashdata.com

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Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale