What a fabulous morning! We drove to Worcester, MA because the marvelous Nelson Zide invited me to speak about technology at his office. I figured maybe there would be a handful of agents, but I was wrong - the room was packed!
I showed them my tech tools and talked about how using them helps with listings and sales. Of course my tablet PC is part of me now - I don't go anywhere without it. The group was fascinated by how I've customized the "bump" case, another example of finding ways to make your tech tools useful. I took my digital camera out and gave it to someone in the audience; the photos here are from my camera.
I illustrated how an electronic measurer can be a real "Wow!" factor on listings. I took a couple of measurements and then wrote 14' x 14' on the tablet screen. Sometimes I have the seller do the measuring; sometimes I hand the tablet to the seller and let them write.
We talked about using a website and advertising for a buyer, as in my Buyers4YourHome page. It started several years ago when I advertised that I needed a home within five miles of the Baltimore Beltway. That covers Baltimore City and a lot of the suburbs; they quickly saw how an ad like that would reach a lot of potential sellers! From that print ad I moved on to the B4YH page that is one of the most visited pages on my site now.
Still on websites, we talked about formatting the individual listing pages so that they are full-color flyers for each property. Sellers never run out of flyers if they have a color printer - they can download and print off their home's details and photos any time. The same thing works for other agents, and potential buyers can print and carry with them all the information when they visit.
One of the agents in the front had a "smart phone" and was on the web pulling up everything I was speaking about. It could not have been planned better. She was so enthusiastic and was sharing the technology with the group! "Oh look at her flyers". I, of course was beaming!
There were lots of questions and much fun and laughter. Nelson was a delightful host - he is the absolute BEST marketing person I know. He is always covered with his company ERA logo right down to his shoelaces. You might see him with Red Lobster hat on too, the mark of his mentor group. Nelson is not known to be a high tech person - and I did tease him about that a bit - but he has a wonderful way of selling a whole lot of real estate and getting a whole lot of referrals.
You better believe I talked about Active Rain. I had a big writing pad at the front on which I wrote my name, my email address and http://activerain.com/referrals/homerome I referred to the AR address and had my special AR cards to hand out. Thank you Rain gods for making these available to . We already have some new members from this.
I told the group that had I known there was going to be such a large crowd I would have planned what I was going to say. On the drive to Worcester from Boston I tried to write some notes on the back of a few envelopes but didn't get very far. It wasn't because I couldn't think of anything, but my go-anywhere office was busy! I had contracts coming in on my Tablet PC, I was negotiating a home inspection request and making appointments on my listings.
I think they got the most important message about technology. It's a great tool but the creativity has to come from the real estate professional. I know how to list, I know how to sell. I know how to listen, I know how to negotiate. I know how to meet people, I know how to network, and NO one can show a house better than I can. All the technology in the world will not teach you how to do these things. A computer can show you photos but it cannot "show" a house with the warmth and personality needed to have that buyer already living in the property.
What technology can do is save me time and allow me to have more personal time. And it does all this without me being tied to an office. That's the real advantage of technology today.