Technology Plan


I get so many emails and information daily I can't keep track of who sends me what.  Here is something that came in and I quickly copied the numbers and important things for digesting later.  According to Leslie Appleton-Young, Chief Economist and Vice President of California Association of REALTORS, her analysis of the California Real Estate Market for 2006.

92% of internet buyers found their agent online, 63% found them through an internet search engine.  These people did not find their agent through what we call conventional marketing like brochures, yard signs, flyers or stuff mailed to their homes.  Actually they contribute 0% to conventional marketing.  So this made me think of a few things, first you need a very strong web presence but more importantly we now have a level playing field.  Let's talk about the level playing field first.  I meet many new agents just getting into the business and they are concerned about the top producer in the office having such a great advantage just due to the fact they have been in business for ever.  So if the agent wants to quickly position themselves to grow their business they just need a little better web presence then the 20 year veteran.  Wow, you can position yourself right there next to the top producers, and you don't have to wait a year for my conventional advertising to take affect.  Now before you start slamming me for not giving the veterans credit, the veterans can have just as big of a web presence plus they can say "top Producer in my city for the past 20 years".  Guess what the veteran wins. 

Story for you, I was speaking in Charlotte, NC a few years ago and I had a guy come up and ask me to dinner, he had been to all my sessions in the past, never turn down a free meal.  Anyway we go to dinner and he told me the following story.  "After your last visit I realized I needed to get my act together with technology.  I boosted my website to gain a major web presence and bought a Smartphone because of you.  I started checking my email regularly and one day while my daughter was driving us back to college I checked my email.  I just got an email from a buyer in Denver asking me to contact him, I quickly called and he told me you win!  I said excuse me, he told me he searched the web for an agent and had decided on two of us based on our web presence, so he email both of us at the same time and the first to call him back got his business.  Turns out over a year in amounted to a few million in sales and referrals."  I didn't feel bad ordering that second bottle of wine! 

Bottom line he had not only a web presence but had the technology to capture the business.  You need a complete Technology Plan, not just web, not just mobile BUT everything!

Dick Betts

National Speaker

Comments (9)

Misty Lackie
Go Smart Solutions, LLC - San Luis Obispo, CA
Real Estate Advertising
Great info and story Dick.  Internet presence is a must in todays business world.  Thanks for sharing.
Dec 29, 2007 04:49 PM
Barbara Delaney
Park Place REALTORS, Inc. - Roanoke, VA

Dear Dick,

Great post, but I have a personal problem with this immediate gratification stuff!

I have a cell, won't give it out--except to my office and hot clients. 

When I am with a client, I don't want my phone to ring, unless it relates to them.

I am very irritated when an agent answers calls that do not relate to the client, when they are with the client. I think that it is very rude.

Would an auto-responder help, or does that just irritate the inquirer?

Thanks and Happy New Year!



Dec 29, 2007 05:05 PM
Dick Betts
REALTOR® The Villages, Florida


Many times when I am teaching I have the room repeat after me "my cell phone is for my convenience".  I suggest you either turn off the ringer or the phone when working with a client.  I have a presentation and just copied and pasted part of it below:

Examples of working with the different Generations

 You are with another client and the phone rings;

With the Silent Generation you don't dare answer!

With Baby Boomers you ask permission if you can answer!

With Generation "X" they ask you "why don't you answer?"

With Generation "Y" they will have an interactive communication device and expect you to read and respond to the email or instant message while speaking to your incoming call.

I agree I think it's rude to answer the phone sometimes, BUT if you plan on working with X's and Y's you better have your number widely available or they will just call the next agent on the list.

I am not saying I like this but it's the nature of the times!


Dec 29, 2007 05:19 PM
Frank Jewett
tech4REpros - San Jose, CA

Dick, good story, but it was the technology and the human follow through that got the deal.  With all due respect to those who use them, a message from an auto-responder would not impress me at all.  If you are worried about missing calls, hire a human being to answer your phone.  If you miss a call on your cell phone, call back when you are free, even if the caller didn't leave a message.  I've ended up using several vendors because they called me back before I had a chance to find someone else.

Frank Jewett


Dec 29, 2007 05:37 PM
Dick Betts
REALTOR® The Villages, Florida
Frank, could not agree more.  Recently I had an agent email with a question, when I answered it I got an out of the office reply "I am sorry I am not in my office, I try and check my email daily but not always.  If this email is important please try calling me."  Can you say "NEXT AGENT PLEASE"
Dec 29, 2007 05:48 PM
Gary Bland R (S) E-Pro, ABR
Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers - Wailea, HI
I like this story it has meat and now I know to maybe get upgraded to a better phone with email.
Dec 29, 2007 05:55 PM
Loren Nason
Your Local Tech - Yorba Linda, CA


That is an awesome story!

Would you mind if I quoted you and your "Examples of working with the different Generations"

on my blog?

of course I'll link back to your article 


Dec 31, 2007 04:40 PM
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate
Always good to hear success stories when agents adapt technology. You make a great point here that a web presence is just a starting point. Coupling it with the appropriate mobile technology is what really adds value for both the consumer and the agent.
Dec 31, 2007 04:45 PM
Dick Betts
REALTOR® The Villages, Florida
Loren,  Sure you can use my story.  Of course the more you do to promote me the better.  Let me know when you get it posted so I can see it.
Jan 01, 2008 06:57 AM