I have 3 Challenges for you.
Challenge (1) Read this thoroughly and tell me if you are a Cave-Agent, Techno-Agent or in between.
Let me start by saying I love technology. I spent 18 years working in the information technology sector and it got to the point that I can't keep up with the ever changing technology and mass of new gadgets. Being a Realtor has gone the same way. We can't be expected to use or even know all the technology available but we need to know what our clients are using to find their search and what technological tools will be achieve the desired level of efficiency needed to adequately represent our clients.
OK. So I don't know what it was like to be a Cave-Agent but I would assume that it involved scribbling on walls or carving a contract in slate (not much room for error).
If you ask my kids they will say I am Old, if you ask some of the agents I work with or have worked with I am still wet behind the ears.
We'll start with Real Estate from the first time I bought a home in 1990.
Was it simpler or more complex then? I found the home listed in the newspaper, called the agent, she let us in, we liked it and we bought it.
•o Home and Office Telephones
•o Fax machine
•o Lots of paperwork
•o Mechanical lockbox
Seems simple enough but now it takes so much more to buy or sell a home.
I was not an agent during the days of the Printed MLS listings thank goodness. I may not have survived.
Here are some the tools I use or have used and how they have progressed
ARMLS-Gone are the days of using the MLS only as a portal to search homes. Now it is a powerful search tool, great for reports and analysis and even useful for relationship building with free email updates of properties that may be of interest to your clients. What a great and easy way to keep in contact with your client.
Open Houses while still fairly common seem to have been replaced by virtual tours and the mass amount of photos allowed in the MLS.
Your brokerage used to be really high tech if they had a Corporate Website. Now if they don't have a web presence you may want to move on. Along with a corporate presence you should maintain your own presence. I for example have 2 websites at www.dlolson.com and dennis 4homes.listingbook.com where clients can find all sorts of information
Many of you started with a brick phone and they were expensive. For me I had a cell phone to use only when I was not at the office or home. I only gave out my pager number though. Now my cell phone is pretty much my only phone and it checks, email, accepts text messages, updates Facebook, Tweets (if I wanted to), surfs the web but won't get coffee and doughnuts
Originally all I had was a desktop computer and unless I was in the office or at home I could not access the MLS or email. Now all I have to do is pull the car over and turn on the laptop.
Contracts were a whole other beast. I hate paper and writing by hand uuuggghhh!! Zipforms saved me from that. Not to mention no longer needing to buy forms or go to the office and get copies.
Send that contract to Docusign and your contract can be fully signed in minutes. No more driving to a client's home or meeting at the office to sign papers only to fax them through the page shrinking facsimile so they can barely be read
Flyers turned from paper to electronic.
800 numbers for details of each house
Listening to details of a home on your radio as you sit outside in your car. Get your 3 minutes of fame over and over again.
Driving clients has a complete new context. Not only do you drive them to homes in your car, you now have to use SEO to drive them to your website.
What about those clients that have already found a list of homes for you to show? You print the list, you either meet them at the property or take them to the property and all of a sudden out come the IPAD and they want to see a property not on your list. Without an IPAD or other internet capable device you don't even know if this house meets their criteria or is available to show.
Facebook, twitter, blogging --- The only blog I use right now is ActiveRain. Whose idea was it to expose our thoughts to the world? I'm a Realtor. Do you really want to know everything about my life? Does it matter if I had eggs or cereal for breakfast? To some I guess it does. Just thinking of the word blog reminds of the movie with the big old green slime. Oops, that was a blob that ate everything in its way. Sorry about the confusion.
Our clients drive the need for our continued techno-growth. My kids have been using computers since they were old enough to sit still. They will soon be the next wave of buyers.
Even with 8 years selling homes I sometimes feel lost in all the new technology available for realtors. So with all this said I find myself to be a creeping toward Robo-Agent but still falling short because of
Challenge (2) Tell me some of the technologies you use that I have not touched upon. I would like to compile a list for other agents and do a blog on that later. Also how much time to you spend keeping up with all the technology to drive your business?
Challenge (3) This may be a tough one. Take a Cave-Agent and bring them closer to Robo-Agent status. If you are a Cave-Agent find a Techno-Agent wannabe and learn from them. Post your success story after you are done.
Please re-post and share this. I would really love to hear ideas to benefit us all.