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Today’s Ask the Expert column features Joe Sesso, national speaker for Homes.com.

What are the top technology trends I should be watching this year?
We’re five months into 2018, which means it’s the perfect time to look back at your goals to make sure you’re still on track. A great way to boost your likelihood of success is by looking to technology for help; however, before diving into technology, think about what you’re hoping to accomplish. This will help you figure out what’s best for you.

What’s a simple way I can boost my technology use?
If you don’t consider yourself tech-savvy, no problem. Make sure you’re using your phone to its full potential. Communication is the most important way to keep in touch with clients and connect with new ones. If you don’t have a communication plan, this could be a great place to start ramping up your technology use. Personalized texts, phone calls and messages through a platform like Facebook can help you form genuine connections with people.

Is there anything that can help me get more online leads?
While we’re used to bold banner ads that grab your audience’s attention, many have suggested that it’s time to move to a more subtle approach. Homes.com’s native ads let you connect with the right clients in the right way, without being overly demanding or pushy in their online space. The purpose of native ads is to allow your marketing to fit in seamlessly with the rest of the content on the page. They’re designed to be relevant and look like they belong there. This means users are more likely to share or click through to your site.

What about bold, new technology trends?
If you’re looking for something more techy, voice-assistant devices have become extremely popular. These devices, like Google Home and Amazon Echo, can be used in a number of ways. Make life easier in the office by using them to schedule your next meeting, order more paper or set reminders. Another option is to bring one to your next open house. Incoming prospects can ask for details about the surrounding neighborhood, such as the closest coffee shop or the distance to their child’s school. Plus, both Google Home and Amazon Echo save all queries, which means you’re able to go back and view what people were searching for.

If you want to go even bigger, consider virtual reality devices, such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Google Daydream. While the first two come with a hefty price tag, Google’s version is less than $100 and uses your phone to create the virtual reality effect. Paired with a program like iStaging, your clients can now “walk” through your listing. Virtual reality gives clients the ability to experience a property without having to physically be there, which can be a great selling point.

Once you start using a new technology, decide whether it’s helping your process or just creating another step in your already busy life. If something doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to let it go and try something different. Remember, the goal of using these new tech tools is to simplify your life and make your business even better.

For more information, please visit connect.homes.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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