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Why Tech Support is a Vital Service for Real Estate Agents

October 26 2021

laptop tabletHave you ever tried to turn on your laptop, but nothing happens? Or go to print out a copy of a Purchase & Sale Agreement, yet nothing comes out of the printer?

Ever find yourself trying to connect to Wi-Fi, but no matter how many times you try, it won't connect? How about getting a new phone or tablet and setting everything up? How long did it take to get it all to work?

If you are a real estate agent in today's technologically dependent world, you understand that having tech support is no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have.

A resource like Tech Helpline has become an irreplaceable lifeline, especially since you can't walk down the hall to ask a colleague to help you solve a tech challenge anymore.

Technology is everywhere

Today, just about every facet of a real estate transaction, from first inquiry and follow-up meetings to contracts and closing, involves technology somehow.

The pandemic forced a lot of real estate agents to go digital or sit on the sidelines. Technology became a lifeline that turned what could have been a real estate downturn into a real estate boom.

Over the last 18 months, the popularity of going paperless with transaction management tools hit new highs. The creation of digital CMAs also became required technology.

Realtors probably created and sent more PDFs electronically during the first 12 months of the pandemic than they did in the last half-decade. The use of technology has become a daily mainstay in the lives of just about every active agent and broker.

The importance of tech

The National Association of Realtors recently released a technology survey. Agents were asked to think back on the last 12 months to select the tech tools they found were the most valuable.

The top five were:

  • eSignature (78 percent)
  • Local MLS apps/technology (54 percent)
  • Social media (53 percent)
  • Lockboxes (48 percent)
  • Video conferencing (39 percent)

Agents and brokers were also asked what they thought the top tech tools would be over the next 12 months.

The top five were:

  • eSignature (73 percent)
  • Social media (53 percent)
  • Local MLS apps/technology (47 percent)
  • Customer relationship management (44 percent)
  • Lockboxes (43 percent)

Finally, they were asked what emerging technologies will have the most impact on their businesses over the next two years.

The top five were:

  • Drones (37 percent)
  • Cyber security (34 percent)
  • 5G (31 percent)
  • Virtual reality (30 percent)
  • Artificial intelligence (27 percent)

The NAR survey demonstrates that technology will become even more pervasive in the daily lives of agents and brokers in the months and years ahead.

Technology benefits

Technology also delivered some silver linings. Zoom replaced face-to-face meetings and, despite its shortcomings, is far more effective for meetings than a client conference call. Seeing one's body language and facial expressions are invaluable when building trust.

And tech training experienced one of its biggest boons as agents needed to accelerate their tech knowledge to stay productive.

One indicator: Florida Realtors, the largest state Realtor association, had more of its 200,000+ members attend more technology classes during the pandemic than ever before. Agents clamored for more advanced courses to hone their skills.

Just ask a colleague to understand the value tech support can have to keep agents focused on their business. It can be maddening to be distracted or delayed by a technology glitch.

BJ Allen, Principal Broker and a member of Oregon REALTORS®, knows the value of tech support when tech things go sideways.

She shared, "Today, I had a major issue with my printer and producing errors. I also had no scanner. I took a chance and called [Tech Helpline]."

Allen said that tech analyst Robert M. jumped into action and "in less than 15 minutes time, Robert solved BOTH problems."

Just as important, she noted, "He was very patient with me and very thorough with his explanations."

Sally Harasz was equally appreciative of the assistance Tech Helpline provides. A member of the Florida Realtors®, she lost 22 GB of files.

Tech analyst Adrian came to the rescue, and she noted, "he methodically looked through various computer systems and functions and restored all the documents. I am now back up running and in business!"

Every day, Tech Helpline helps agents like BJ, Sally, and many others get back in business when their technology does not cooperate.

If you are one of more than 700,000 Realtors who have access to Tech Helpline as a member benefit, you know you can reach a tech analyst by phone, email, or chat. If you don't have access to Tech Helpline for free as a member benefit, make sure your MLS, Association, or brokerage goes to TechHelpline.com to learn more.

And if you have a tech success story to share, make sure you use the hashtag #TechHelplineHelpedMe when you post on Facebook!

Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.