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technology overloadApp Overload
With the advent of new apps, overlapping software and even 3D video technology in real estate, it’s hard for agents to pinpoint exactly what it is they need to sell more homes and close more business in a given year. I love the “cool” factor just as much as the next guy, but often I see agents get caught up with shiny quarter syndrome in a way that doesn’t bring them more business, nor does it help them transact the business they have more efficiently. Identifying and implementing new technologies for your business is something your broker and/or company leadership should be helping you do. I encourage our brokers and agents to try new things, but it’s important to stay focused on productive and profitable activities because wasting time on much else just isn’t worth it for your business. Before you leap head first buying into the latest widget or software, I challenge you to ask yourself (and your broker), “Do I really need this?” And, if the answer is yes, then, “How does this integrate with everything else I use on a daily basis?”

Driving Agent Productivity

How can agents close deals more efficiently and seamlessly when they are reliant upon dozens of technology-driven tools and systems that don’t interface with one another? The answer is that it’s much harder to do it when you don’t have a single sign-on and data integration for everything you use daily in the business. Look around and you’ll see that there are literally hundreds of tech companies in the real estate space who all want to sell you their product, their back-end management system, their widget or gadget or app. Some of these companies offer competitive pricing and products that actually work well, but if you have to log into 20 different systems to manage one single transaction or one single client in its entirety, that’s not very effective for your already hectic days. According to a recent survey by Imprev, 51 percent of all brokers surveyed admitted that they have too many tools and systems that don’t communicate with one another. That’s not only a problem for your broker, but it’s a problem for agents, too.

The Solution

Whether you pay for your tools through third-party vendors, your brokerage or your local board, the reality is that very few companies can offer what you need. A seamless approach to managing your real estate business is the best way to increase productivity and free you up to do what you do best…sell real estate. Based on a 2014 study conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®, REALTORS® get 69 percent of their business from within their sphere of influence. Marketing to your sphere across multiple platforms in your business can be daunting, and downright impossible, in some cases. Forget the apps that promise synchronization and social media prowess. What you really need is a company with systems that are already integrated to work together at a reasonable cost. Is it practical to have 100 stand-alone systems that look impressive yet don’t communicate with one another? What good does that really do for your business? It’s time to start sifting through the clutter and looking for ways to streamline your business. You deserve to have your business made more seamless, so don’t be afraid to ask your vendors or company leadership the tough questions. After all, it’s your success on the line.

Matt Widdows is CEO/founder of HomeSmart International.

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