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The real estate business is evolving, rapidly. Undoubtedly you’re witnessing firsthand how today’s digital landscape is affecting consumer behavior, particularly with their expectations (or demands) on our industry. You may see this change as a disruption or distraction, but I’d like to offer a different perspective: that the tech-fueled real estate business environment and the many technology offerings available are, in reality, opportunities and untapped resources.

Breaking down why I think these new technologies are so important, I’ll draw attention to the main components I believe comprise a successful real estate practice: productivity; transparency; and communication and collaboration with consumers.

Productivity
With every passing moment, a new app or whiz-bang technology hits the market. New software gets launched, and new businesses are formed. This new business ecosystem is a roller coaster, and whether you like it or not, you’re along for the ride.

As a real estate business, you have options when it comes to dealing with the multitude of technology productivity platforms, CRMs and various other products:

1. You can ignore them and continue business as usual while your competitors evolve.

2. You can spend your evenings and weekends trying to spot the trends, picking out the useful stuff from the gimmicks. (This is only fun for a select few of us, and we aren’t exactly what you’d call “normal.”)

3. You can seek out tools and/or third parties to help you stay on top of the most important things while you focus on meeting your customer’s needs.

To effectively leverage your online presence, it’s vital to take advantage of digital platforms. They’ll help you find leads, build trust and stay connected with your consumers.

Transparency
Conversations that were once held behind closed doors or at the negotiating table are now occurring on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, and in front of thousands of people. Data that was historically only available to our industry practitioners can easily be found on dozens of websites. Sound familiar?

At first thought, this can seem like a scary thing—but, this too can be seen as an opportunity to build trust with your online audience (and future clients).

Blogging and posting on social media about recent transactions, company events, policy changes or customer service responses are great ways to show your customers the behind-the-scenes operations of your business. It tells them that you have nothing to hide, and it may answer some of their questions that they’ve been hesitant to ask.

Communication and Collaboration
Social media, particularly Facebook and LinkedIn, is great for staying in touch with people that you don’t have frequent contact with. Perhaps you even have a few old high school acquaintances on your friends list that you hardly, if ever, talk to, but still keep them as a “friend” for old times’ sake.

When leveraging these platforms for business, your goal is to make sure you’re accessible and memorable, without overstaying your welcome or becoming an annoyance. It’s true that this is a difficult balance to achieve, but doing so successfully can mean increased online and word-of-mouth leads and testimonials.

Where do you begin?
Although the platforms and tools are new, the principles of your business remain as they always were. To find out where you can start implementing these changes, refer back to your customer value proposition from Marketing 101. Find out how you can use the various new platforms at your disposal to meet the total sum of benefits your customer expects from your relationship.

So, to recap:

This new, digital age of the real estate business is upon us, and will only become more integrated into real estate transactions as time goes on. The upshot is that we can use these platforms to increase leads, productivity and transparency, and to build better relationships with consumers. To have an effective real estate business in today’s world, you need to put on your consumer hat on, focus on your core value proposition, and start planning the implementation of these platforms into your business.

Prem Luthra is president and CEO of Elm Street Technology. To learn more about agent, team and broker technology solutions, please visit tryelevate.com.

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

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