It seems like every year there are many new tech based applications that are created with the goal of enhancing, improving or streamlining the work flow of a real estate agent. With every passing issue of the many Realtor publications I receive I find more and more great tools available for helping agents manage the many facets of their business. Products range from high end CRM's such as Top Producer aimed at agents to simple apps that can be shared with clients. I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of available resources. One of the best new lists of the 10 ten technologies out there can be found here.
Taking the time to sort through the variety of options is the first step in determining whether or not a particular tool is going to help propel your business forward. Every agent or brokerage has similar goals, but the way in which they reach those goals is often very different. Some may rely on customer focused information based apps. For those working with buyers the focus is often on current and helpful information about the properties available and managing communication throughout the search process. They are also quite fond of financing centered tools that will help them get in front of the lending process and become informed about interest rates, credit scores or the variety of loan options available.
Additionally, marketing and managing listings is perhaps one element of real estate technology that each agent knows is crucial to success. Agents who best manage the marketing and promotion of their listed properties in the cyber world will see those efforts convert to sales. This is the obvious choice for high volume listing agents and their brokers. Properties are our products and getting available properties exposed to the greatest number of potential buyers is job one. By using traditional and innovative avenues to advertise properties agent are best able to convert leads to listings to sales.
Working with customers is a key aspect of using and making technology fit in to the plan, however I would argue that for most agent the value that is found in technology which caters to managing the business end is often overlooked or underutilized. The ability to manage mileage, appointments, follow up, social media posts and blogs is something that every agent should consider when deciding which technologies would be suit their purposes. The use of lead generating technology is something that I feel is somewhat less important to me personally. Getting out in to communities and farm areas is the best way to generate leads. I have found that most, not all, of the lead generating tech that I have used to be the least effective way to spend my marketing budget.
There are those who are bent on having the newest and greatest gadgets and technology as they are introduced. This is not always a bad thing, but caution is warranted with this approach. Final decisions about what technology should make it into the real estate tool box should only be made after spending time carefully testing, weighing alternative options and evaluating each individual choice.
There can be little argument that the practice of real estate has changed leaps and bounds over the past couple of decades. Real estate agents should strike a balance between tech overload and complete resistance to new ways of succeeding. By combining all of these elements, and using the most up to date real estate technology, real estate agents can forge a clear path to success and longevity in the business. The trick for maximizing the return on whichever technology is implemented requires constantly evaluation the things that best support the overall business goals. Keep what works and leave the rest. The goal of technology in real estate should always aim to help make things a little easier and more efficient, not to overwhelm and confuse.