Cash Flow With Joe

The smartphone: an important investor tool


I went to pull my iPhone out of my pocket at a house the other day. My phone tumbled out of my fingers and began to topple toward the floor. I have pretty good reflexes, though, so I brought my right foot up and caught the phone in the same manner one would stall a soccer ball or hacky sack.


That particular action may sound odd for this situation, but I grew up playing both soccer and hacky sack. Doing foot stalls while juggling a ball was something we practiced for many hours. Truthfully it was just muscle memory.



While doing a foot stall, you catch the ball in the crook of your ankle at about knee height. You then consciously slow the ball’s descent as you move your foot toward the ground. This process is called “cradling the ball,” and it’s how you get it to stall on your foot.


Even though the muscle memory was there, I didn’t calculate the phones downward velocity correctly, and I failed to apply the proper amount of opposing “cradle” force to slow its descent — in other words, the phone bounced off my foot.


I’ve had this happen before with no harm to the device. In this case, however, when I picked up my phone, the screen and home button were both shattered.


After I got the screen replaced, however, it was apparent something else was wrong. The phone was caught in some sort of bootup cycle and wouldn’t come on. It was at this point that I remembered I had done something very unwise. I’d decided to buy just enough iCloud storage to back up my phone’s contacts, messages and other such data.



What I had failed to do was purchase enough storage to back up my photos and videos, thinking it would be more affordable to just do that with my computer. That being said, I hadn’t backed this phone up to my computer… ever. That meant if I can’t get the phone to come on, that data would be eternally lost. Dun dun duuuuuhhh!


I can’t send it in for a replacement until we figure a way to save my photos and videos. At this point, I haven’t had my iPhone for a week, and I’m just using an old phone to make calls.


Being without it really made me realize how dependent we are on these devices in running our business. My smartphone is hooked up to the customer relations management system that we use for interacting with our team, tenants and sellers. I can access the system online, but most of the time I use the app while in the field.


It syncs tasks and appointments to the calendar on my iPhone and alerts me as to when things are due. I literally missed an appointment with a potential master lease client because my phone didn’t remind of it.


I use my phone to stay in contact with my contractors. Besides just their numbers, we use the different text correspondence to keep up with timelines on projects, along with pictures of the work they’ve completed.


Speaking of text messaging, there’s a lot of time-stamped and dated information on that devices that has passed between our tenants and me. That running record has come into play more than once in court.



My phone even houses my financial calculator, which I’ve tried to pull out at least twice this week only to realize I didn’t have it on the old phone I’m using.


For $2.99 per month you can get 200GB of iCloud storage to back up your phone’s data. I didn’t realize it was that affordable. So please, with as much as we depend on our phones to be productive, spend the $36 a year to make sure you don’t end up like me. Either do that, or go back up your phone to your computer right now.


Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to or call Joe at 678-986-6813.

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