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How to Score the Latest Tech Tools Without Breaking the Bank

August 14 2014

tech productsIt's easy to be distracted by the "wow" factor of the latest gadgets and overlook their frequently hefty price tag. But before you break out the plastic (or break your budget), know that there are ways to make your dollar stretch further.

As with many things in life, timing is crucial. For example, did you know that there are times when certain products are available at a substantial discount? We've done a little digging to find the best times to buy new tech tools:

  • Digital cameras - February. The latest models have just come out, and the older one are on sale.
  • Computers - Older models go on sale in July and August in order to make room for new models. You can usually get a good deal on new laptops in August and September, thanks to back-to-school sales.
  • Phones - It's usually best to wait until you're eligible for an upgrade to get the best price on smartphones. Can't wait? Consider switching to a different carrier to take advantage of new customer incentives.
  • Tablets - When the newest iPad (or Android or Windows) tablet is still only a few months old, it's a great time to buy the previous model at bargain. If you're only interested in the latest and greatest, consider holding off for Black Friday or Cyber Monday discounts during the holidays.

Other ways to preserve your bottom line are purely psychological. Think of that new phone or software program as more than just a toy, but as a tool that can help your business grow. In order to decide if a potential tool is a worthy investment, ask yourself if the benefit gained is greater than the money spent. Does it save you time? Will it streamline your workflow? Is it something that you will use frequently? If it's something that you will only use once or twice, consider holding off.

Tips for Saving on Software and Apps

It's easy to blow your budget on real estate necessities like website hosting, transaction management software or CRMs. Their monthly charges may look small, but they add up quickly. If a solution you're interested in offers an annual pay option, consider taking advantage of it. You'll often save 10-20 percent over monthly plans.

Not sure if a program is right for you? Take it for a test drive! Many companies offer free trials of their software. If it's not what you're looking for, simply cancel it and be done. 

Don't see a free trial offer? Don't despair--your favorite solution may included for free in your MLS membership. Even if your MLS doesn't include the solution you're looking for with your membership, check to see who their partners and vendors are. Chances are that your MLS has negotiated with technology companies for a discount on their products.

In addition to free and discounted products, your MLS will often share their data feed with real estate technology solutions. While a discount may not be offered, consider what the convenience of having your MLS data readily available in a solution is worth. If the features of another solution that your MLS doesn't share their data with outweighs that convenience factor, then consider buying it.

If you're not happy with what your MLS offers, RE Technology's extensive directory of real estate technology products can help you find what you need. Our collection of hundreds of educational articles can help you learn how to leverage every type of technology solution for success in your business.

Do you have any tips for scoring technology on the cheap? Let us know in the comments below!