“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Arthur C. Clarke
I’ve never claimed to be a guru when it comes to technology, but I will say this: you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who is more of a proponent of it than I am. There’s a good reason for that: technology adds efficiency – and dare I say even magic – to operations. And efficiency in any business (and real estate is not immune) is a must-have fuel today if you want to succeed.
So, if you’re afraid of technology, or if it makes your stomach queasy, get over it. Learn to love it or leave real estate. It’s just that simple.
I know, I can hear some of you now: “But Bob, this is a people business. All I have to have is a phone and I’ll do fine in real estate.” Well, if you believe that, then I have some ocean-front property near St. Louis where I work that I’ll be happy to sell you.
So let’s get down to the business of technology in real estate. For this article, I interviewed a true technology guru: Verl Workman, a speaker, coach and master motivator whose passion and knowledge of technology is unmatched in the real estate industry.
BC: Verl, why do real estate agents need technology?
VW: Fundamentally, it’s about time. We can’t stop time; we can only manage ourselves. Nobody has any more time than anyone else. It’s how we manage that finite resource called time that allows us to succeed. Technology helps us do that. It’s all about maximizing our time.
BC: What are some of the specific tools of technology that you recommend?
VW: I have what I call the critical power tools for real estate. They are a tablet computer or notebook, a real estate-specific contact management system (critical), a projector, a digital camera/reader, a wireless Internet card and a wireless mouse.
BC: You’ve talked before about going paperless. In fact, I think you once said, “Go paperless or go home.” Why do you stress paperless so much?
VW: You’re right, I have said that. Studies have shown that we spend 90 minutes a day being distracted or looking for something. That’s seven-and-a-half-hours a week – almost a full workday. That’s crazy. We talk about technology, then we present it with paper. There are plenty of reasons to go paperless, but the No. 1 reason is clients expect it. When clients see a real estate agent who has adapted to technology, I believe it increases their faith and respect in that agent.
BC: What are your thoughts on social media for agents?
VW: Learn it, use it and benefit from it. Top producers have and so should every agent. It’s another key tool that can drive traffic to you and your website, where you can then engage in an intelligent real estate conversation.
Let me hear from you: What do you think of some of today’s technologies for real estate agents? Have you had any experiences with a particular technology that’s been especially helpful (or hurtful) to your business? What opportunities exist in your operations for technological solutions? What obstacles are in your way to adopt more technology? Please send any comments or questions you have to [email protected] or www.facebook.com/CorcoranCoaching.
Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker and author who is founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc. (CorcoranCoaching.com, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the residential broker or agent’s existing practice.