Yesterday Coldwell Banker held a meeting in Charlotte to give their area agents additional information about the effective use of all the technology that they make available to agents and their clients in marketing and buying homes. I attended and added some useful tools to my repertoire. I’m a pretty “techie” guy for my age- my bride says I spend too much time on computers- but I continue to just be amazed at all the cool tools we have available to us. When I started in the business ten years ago, our technology uses were pretty much summed up with basic cell phones, a simple agent web site and understanding how to use email. I was quite familiar with all of those things then, but little did I know how much more would be added to the tool kit! Ever since then, keeping up has been kind of like trying to drink from a fire hose. Social networking, blogging (!), texting, virtual tours, QR codes, Google tools, computer tablets plus many more technologies all have come about as important or potentially important tech tools that agents must evaluate, learn and apply in order to make the most of their time and efforts in effectively working for their clients, both buyers and sellers.
If you’ve kept up with digital technology over the last 20 years, you’ll notice that there is always a constant stream of tech goodies coming on-line that the developers absolutely guarantee will be the answer to everyone’s prayers. “They’ll transform your life for the better. They’ll save you time. They’ll enable you to leap tall buildings with a single bound! (dating myself)” Of course, also if you have the perspective of looking back on those 20 years, you’ll understand that some of these goodies catch on, and other flame out of existence pretty quickly. Case in point- when’s the last time you drove by a “Talking House?” The folks selling this stuff to real estate agents are constantly coming up with new gadgets. Back when real estate was booming, they could sell plenty of shiny things to new agents who’d hope that their investment would pay off with lots of new business. Most often it wouldn’t, and many agents spent plenty, made little, and eventually dropped out of the business. But back then, there were plenty of newbies coming along to replace them. Now, not so much.
The point here is that it’s good for us agents to keep up with technology and use it when it benefits our clients. Thankfully, Coldwell Banker United, Realtors, my company, makes a large investment in providing tools which are actually useful and the training on how to effectively use them. It gives us a great advantage over many other companies and agents. However, there’s no technology that can provide experience, good judgement, good negotiating skills and knowledge of all the pitfalls to avoid that defines a good real estate agent. When you’re thinking about using the services of a Realtor®, please do find one who uses lots of technology to your advantage, but remember that it all comes down to a contract handled by agents with good people skills and knowledge of real estate law that helps all parties achieve their real estate goals.
Come to think of it, if you’re in the area and need some help on real estate, just call me!