Technology and you: friends or foes?

Real Estate Agent with Fine Homes Orlando
Are you and your computer best friends, or do you have a relationship based on grudging acceptance of one another? Would listening to you talk to your laptop make George Carlin blush? Do you feel like your smartphone could be doing so much more for you?

I come from a deep technology background, so I'm always on the lookout for ways that technology can improve our industry. As a buyer, I wanted accurate and complete information about what homes were available, with lots of quality photos and a virtual tour. As a seller, I wanted statistics: how many people were looking at our listing, how did they find out about us, and so on. As an agent, I want it all!

I want:

  • A sharp, professional-looking website that just works without a lot of hassle, constant maintenance, or needless expense
  • Statistics! Who's coming to my site? How are they getting there? Am I giving them what they came to find? How can I optimize to bring in more people?
  • Easy IDX integration that looks good
  • Dead simple lead generation and nurturing
  • Workable MLS on my mobile device
  • Phone calls to find me. Always. If I miss the call, transcribe the voicemail into an email so I can read it.
  • Electronic signatures everywhere. We're well into the 21st century. Using a pen to carve out a unique pattern of scratches (a/k/a signature) on a paper is archaic, especially if you're just going to stick that in a fax machine.

These are just a few off the top of my head. And yes, all of these are possible today, but are they easy? What technical challenges do you face on a daily basis where you think to yourself, "There's gotta be an easier way?"

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Brian Hart shares his experiences living in Celebration, FL at He also owns and operates, a site devoted to all things Garage Apartment.

Comments (8)

Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips - Eureka, CA
Realtor and Broker/Owner

Very good photo, computers have been a good friend since 1966 (360/30's)

Jul 02, 2010 05:42 PM
Josh & Dawn McKinley
Peoria, AZ

I know the phone call one is easy... Google voice. I love it. Now, that's not to say that sometimes the transcribed voice mail isn't... umm... amusing at times, but it's pretty darn accurate.

Jul 02, 2010 06:09 PM
Bryan Watkins
LRA Real Estate Group - Mesa, AZ

Brian, hope the next phase of tech can get here sooner. I want to say like in Star Trek....'computer, get me this, or get me that...'. Then I will be happy. nice post.

Jul 02, 2010 06:15 PM
Aaron Silverman, Bluewater Property Management, LLC and Lowcountry Turnkey Properties, LLC - Charleston, SC
Improving Real Estate Experience through Education

Technology is designed to make life easier, but with every new innovation, we cramp more into our lives.  I am a huge fan of technology, but many people are too connected at the cost of their personal lives.


Jul 02, 2010 06:30 PM
Scott Hayes
(512) 786-8300 - Austin, TX
Realty Austin, Broker Associate

I live in a super tech city, so it computers have to be my friend. Plus it makes our job so much more efficient.

Jul 02, 2010 06:30 PM
Wade Kawahara
Dominion Real Estate Partners, LLC - Phoenix, AZ

I learn things on the computer out of necessity and not because it interests me, but in our business it is a necessity.

Jul 02, 2010 06:36 PM
Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty LLC - Big Rapids, MI
Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI

I too learned from necessity. I started out just wanting more than my web designer was doing and now control my entire sight including adding scripts and applets. I love the freedom of not having to explain what I want.

Jul 02, 2010 10:04 PM
Robert T. Boyer
FHA Loan, VA Loan, Jumbo Loan,FHA Loans,VA Loans,Jumbo Loans - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate & Mortgage Loans, Ph.D. | VA Home Loan

It's 2:00 am and I'm on my computer.  That pretty much sums it up.  My "love affair" began during my 2nd semester in college - my first CS class.  A few degrees later, I'm still loving it and trying to make some of these necessary inventions a reality.  E.g., for real estate investing.

Robert Boyer
WJB Home Loan
Investment Property Search
San Diego Real Estate Homes for Sale

Jul 02, 2010 10:06 PM