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Perks of Ignoring Technology

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Technology is a wonderful thing, but there are moments when ignoring technology can be a good thing.

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We’ll start with an uncontroversial claim – technology is wonderful. From the limitless information available on the Internet, to the boundless opportunities for streamlining and consolidating via apps and software, technology has revolutionized the way we interact with the world.

However, there are definite limitations to what technology can do, and often circumstances where ignoring technology does a mountain of good. Don’t get us wrong, we’re perfectly content at the Chicago Agent offices using iMacs instead of manual typewriters, just as agents surely appreciate an electronic MLS to the index cards of the 70s, but here are two undeniable perks you’ll find in turning away from the computer and especially putting down that smartphone.

•You’ll be a Better Communicator – By ignoring technology, you’ll be better equipped to communicate with your clients and other flesh-and-blood individuals. Of course, all real estate professionals lead busy lives, but the most successful among them are able to prioritize their time and focus on the most important aspects of their business, ie the people standing in front of them!

We see agents all the time who interrupt their conversations with quick checks to their smartphones; the action may take only 10 seconds, but repeated diversions like that only communicate disinterest and waning concentration, and only through putting your phone away and offering your undivided attention to clients will you prove to them how much they are worth to you.

•You’ll be More Detailed and More Thorough – Technology’s main advantages – it’s enormity and ubiquity – are also its chief problems, a fact that anyone who has attempted to do any work in front of a computer can surely attest. Sure, it’s quick and easy uploading those photos to Trulia, but it’s also so simple to check your e-mail, and then respond to messages on Facebook, and re-tweet that ridiculous cat photo on Twitter, and print out that Groupon for tonight’s run to the grocery store, and…what were you originally doing, again?

Technology can be distracting and a substantial drain on your time, so by shutting down the computer and working away from the confines of the Internet (by reading market data printed in the day’s newspaper (yes, they still exist in physical form), or using pen and paper, for example), you’ll clear your mind and allow yourself the necessary space to focus on the essential details of your current projects, and your work will be more detailed, more refined and more thorough as a result.

These are just the two most pronounced perks, but others certainly exist – for instance, the value of looking at a map when learning a neighborhood’s layout, rather than relying solely on turn-by-turn GPS technology – so if you think of any others, let us know in the comments section!

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