Keeping up with real estate technology has become a Herculean task that can gobble up hours of time. Every week seems to bring a new real estate site, software program, agent website widget or mobile app that promises to boost your income. And some do. (Listing domains, mobile websites, Facebook pages and agent websites have become must-have tools for real estate professionals.) But too often, new products take more time to learn and manage than they save, and many never live up to their promises.
The ever-increasing importance of web and mobile marketing and communications in the real estate business means agents and brokers can’t afford to ignore new products, but how do you cull from the pack the new technology tools that will be truly useful in building your real estate business?
Before purchasing new technology, ask yourself the following questions:
- Will it do something new? A lot of times we’re attracted to a new product’s cool bells and whistles or glossy marketing. When evaluating new technology tools, you have to look beneath the shiny surface and ask yourself if it actually offers something new that is not already offered by your current tools. You should also watch for technological advancements — Cloud-based technology is something to keep an eye on — that provide a more useful platform for performing common real estate tasks.
- Is it cost effective? Basically, if the new tool is a flop; can you afford to take the financial hit? If you’re intrigued by a $15 mobile app, the cost to give it a try is negligible. However, it you’re thinking about making a major investment, you might inquire about the company’s customer satisfaction and return policies before you buy. In considering the cost effectiveness of a new tech tool, don’t forget to figure in training and management time.
- Will it give me a competitive edge? The only truly valuable tools are those that increase your competitive edge and help you grow your real estate business — and your bottom line!