Whether you are a new broker, agent, investor, or a successful established real estate professional who happened to grow up in the analog era, you need to embrace this one fact — technology is here to stay.
If used properly, technology can give you access to a wide range of new properties, clients, and sales opportunities. Technology can make you smarter and more social. It can save you thousands of dollars in time and resources. Just a few of the ways technology is being applied to our industry are:
- Property finding and marketing
- Estimating costs of and resources for remodels
- Virtual home tours
- Building your knowledge of trends and hot neighborhoods
- Online closings
- All forms of marketing and communication
If you're overwhelmed by the number of technology-based solutions today, here are some simple steps you can take to become a digitally powered real estate professional.
Be Willing to Admit What You Don't Know
The first step in learning new technologies is to own the gaps in your knowledge base and then set specific, deadline-oriented goals. Like learning to play a musical instrument or master a new sport, building tech skills takes time and patience.
Pinpoint the area you want to learn — whether it's getting better at recording video tours or being more diligent about social media. Advance your education in baby steps and celebrate your small successes.
Partner With the Right Experts
Collaborating Intergenerationally or outsourcing to marketing service providers who can tailor their teaching style to your learning style is key. Be cautious. Some "digital gurus" simply offer cookie-cutter solutions to agents and brokers.
Work with people who have demonstrated results and specific expertise in the real estate industry. Don't assume that only younger people understand technology. We're starting to see many experienced professionals who are adept at social media, video, e-marking, and other digital skills.
Go "Back to School" Through Reading and Experiences
You don't have to tackle heavy-duty technical guides. Blogs and e-zines can give you everything from high-level views of technology to basics about individual social media platforms. Conferences and events (virtual and live) often have specific sessions on aspects of technology.
Whatever channel you choose, it's easy to find endless resources for online learning.
Focus on Technologies That Are Essential to Your Business
Although every real estate professional today must have a basic working knowledge of automation, gadgetry, digital marketing, and remote transacting, you don't need to jump on every new tech trend. Resist the "shiny object syndrome" and only invest time and money in the technologies that can help you grow your business or run it more efficiently.
Above all, combine your next-generation tech skills with old-fashioned customer service and relationship-building. Although technology can accelerate deals, expand your market research and make marketing more cost-effective, homebuyers are still flesh-and-blood humans who want to talk to other people and not just bots. By combining your service orientation with new ways to reach and bond with other people, you will become known as a professional who is dependable AND digital.