Sam Miller of RE/MAX in Knox County, Ohio shares an insightful preview into the agent perspective for the future of real estate businesses ... that major shift is definitely to Mobile Technology.
I can remember a time not all that long ago when real estate businesses operated from large brick and mortar style real estate offices. These offices were filled with big desks, lots of file cabinets, copiers, a fax machines, private offices, a bull pen, they had a conference room, desktop computers, an MLS terminal and a business style telephone on every desk. In some markets this may still be the way it is but in more and more markets the office dynamics have changed in a big way.
Technology has caused a major shift in our real estate businesses and in many office environments. An agent who utilizes and leverages the current technology can truly be a real estate road warrior and operate without an actual office within their brokerage. Many of the real estate brokerages are actually reducing the amount of office space and replacing many of the private offices with media rooms and conference rooms. Much of the in-office focus has shifted towards presentations and client meetings. If you have ever been to an Apple Store you know their entire store has shifted and they focus entirely on the experience. Many progressive real estate offices are following Apple's lead.
Portability and mobile technology have changed real estate forever. I am not just talking about laptops changing real estate but the fact that everything in a real estate transaction can be done entirely outside of your office.
- Agents used to have office phones - today they are using smart phones for increased efficiency.
- REALTORS used to log into office LANs / networks and today they are logging into the cloud.
- Agents used to go to Starbucks for wifi and today agents phones & Mifi create their own wifi hotspots.
- It used to take days to negotiate offers with faxes - today we use digital signatures and we email them.
- Notebooks / tablets because of their excellent portability have replaced the traditional desktop computers.
- Online services such as Top Producer and Real Pro Systems which utilize cloud based access have pretty much replaced the need for the office network and software based C.R.M.
- Skype, iChat, Facetime and other video conference systems have enabled meetings to take place while on the go.If you have been hoping that technology in real estate was just a fad and was going to fade away you better think again. The real estate industry has shifted from brick and mortar offices to a new and far more efficient digital landscape. The technology is advancing at such a rapid pace and hardware such as the touch screen devices including iPhones and iPads are so easy to learn that you will wonder why you didn't get one sooner. Once you get bit by the technology bug and you start learning and adapting the newest technology into your day to day real estate business your personal productivity is sure to increase.Sam Miller