You are viewing our site as an Agent, Switch Your View:

Agent | Broker     Reset Filters to Default     Back to List

Do You Have What it Takes to be Tech Savvy?

July 17 2014

havewhatittakes techsavvyWhen building a business for tomorrow, REALTORS® must invest time and money in new technology. To embrace the changing technological marketplace, they must also predict and embrace new emerging tools and be willing to take the necessary risks to succeed.

Tech Guru Tim O'Reilly encourages the next generation to get serious, saying that "technology creates new opportunities to do a job customers want done." In particular, the investment must align with the direction of your business plan, act as a strategy to outperform the competition, and prove overtime to be a benefit to all parties involved.

READING THE CRYSTAL BALL

Predicting future market trends is almost impossible. In fact, history shows that time and time again even industry leaders, those businesses viewed as an technological giants, can fail. Just as Eastman Kodak Company had a goal to make photography "as convenient as the pencil," failure to change with your surrounding environment may prove to be the beginning of the end.

In our business, we are always asking the same question, "How can we sell more real estate?" We can become obsessed with the question and some of the answer is in technology. REALTORS® need to implement tech tool solutions at all stages of their business, finding better ways to improve functionality behind the scenes (administration) and up front (REALTORS® in the field). With this mentality ingrained, we have the best chance to harness future trends and turn technology into revenue.

BEING OPEN TO NEW TECHNOLOGY – OUR EXPERIENCE

The most difficult part of embracing technology is in implementation. Without proper execution, a great tech tool can do more harm them good. According to the standard learning curve model, costs decline with accumulated experience, but at a diminishing rate, therefore, the "learning curve" costs time and money during the implementation process.

In our daily selling routines, real-time information is important, especially when working with a team. AsanaAsana is a free project-management tool for individuals or groups of people to stay organized by assigning specific tasks and reminders of deadlines. To help our team members manage their work loads, we implemented Asana to eliminate weekly "follow-up" emails. Although there are other programs, we tried Asana because it was free. Upon reflection, we determined it wasn't the right tool for us but it did prove to our executives that our REALTORS® are willing to embrace technology and, if trained properly, use it as a means to sell more real estate.

I TOOK A CHANCE ON TECH – PERSONAL REFLECTION

The risk with an investment in technology can prove disastrous in a company if the wrong decision is made. Wikipedia defines risk as the potential to losing something of value, weighed against the potential to gain something of value. The risks with technology are endless, especially because of the fear that, over time, there may be something of greater value to the organization. Often, true risk is in deciding when to act and when to cut your losses.

My own experience in risk-taking with technology was my decision to create a real estate application. In late 2009, the App Store had less than 120,000 apps--although I had done my research and knew that it was only a matter of time before someone would tailor one to the Ottawa real estate market. After convincing myself the idea was sound, my first priority was finding a firm that would help turn my vision into reality — fast.

KEYS TO SUCCESS

Within one month of releasing the iPhone Ottawa Real Estate app, Charlebois had more than 400 active users. He attributes his success to:

  • Convincing himself that his idea was sound.
  • Swinging into action once he had made the decision to invest in the product.
  • The application's nifty ability to tie in with a smartphone's GPS. This was the "big kicker" for Charlebois. Once he realized the app could increase efficiency for homebuyers in this way, he decided to go ahead with his idea "without question."
  • The sales leads generated by this premium service. Charlebois' name and contact information are always just a click away.
  • Creating a "buzz" around his idea by telling everyone he knew about it and touting it to the media (CanadaOne Business Magazine, June 2010).

Through the experience, I learned that over time, the end consumer continues to demand more of a product. At the time, my resources to fund such a venture were minimal. I soon had to make the decision to remove the application and begin putting efforts elsewhere, but it proved to me early in my career at age 23 that being first at something is important.

SET THE STAGE AND PEOPLE WILL COME

Looking back, I'm proud I saw a hole in the market and took action to fill it. Applications have since become mainstream and that suggests that in late 2009, when I began to invest time and money into the venture, I was predicting a trend and took the necessary risks to be viewed as a progressive thinker in our market place.

MY QUESTION TO YOU IS 'WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO BE THE FIRST AT SOMETHING?' IT IS A MINDSET – SET THE STAGE.

To view the original article, visit the Tech Savvy Agent blogTech Savvy Agent blog.