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Has Technology Moved Your Office Forward?

The reason many agents are running the wrong technology is simple. In almost every case, the agency chose the technology first before they established if the technology complimented the way they wanted to run their company or conduct business. Bill Hegarty gives his opinion.

“Technology’s only purpose is to help you do a better job.” With many agents now using redundant software or questioning the capabilities and worthiness of their current technology or about to embrace new software, here are some wise words from someone who knows: Too–many real estate offices are running the wrong technology. Why? Because they either do not fully understand it, cannot get their employees to fully embrace it, or do not require the outcomes that the technology delivers.

They end up using bits and pieces of several different technologies, and this creates other problems not–the–least being – multiple entries, loss of integrity with data, duplications, time wasting, additional cost and the need for different skill sets required to operate each technology.

In other words, they got married before they established if they were compatible or even liked their new partner. And, in some other cases the technology was simply imposed upon them by others.

The test to determine if the technology your company currently employs is enhancing your business is straightforward; just ask yourself “has my technology moved my company forward in the last 12 months?”

With technology itself progressing so fast, agents that have kept abreast of it have been able to make huge business enhancements. The principal ones being greater functionality, ease of use and automation – all of which have allowed real estate businesses not only to do more things, but do them faster and easier. So tasks that were impossible to do just a couple of years ago are now easily achievable. And the good news is, today’s real estate technology can also arrive in your office fully loaded with all your current listings, past sales data, your advertising templates for boards, newspapers, brochures and the like, and in addition, all of the letters, email and text message templates you require. In other words, ready to just ‘plug & play’.

For those agents rethinking their current technology or about to adopt new technology, it is necessary to make sure the technology you eventually deploy will be fully embraced by all sales and admin staff. Therefore, the selection process must firstly start with a ‘white board’ and a ‘round–table’ meeting that includes the agency’s key personnel.

The advantage of this collaborative approach is to establish how you want your company to manage its key customers. Those key customers being your buyers/purchasers, current sellers, staff (admin and sales), potential sellers and suppliers. Once you have established what each of these key customers expect from their dealings with your company, the necessary processes and work flows to achieve these goals can then be established, an appropriate business structure can be implemented to drive it, and finally the right technology can be selected that overlays your requirements and integrates everything into a seamless and easy to use system that consistently delivers the professional outcomes you expect.

With all this in place the next question is: How do you want your workflows to be managed? There are several options; they could be entirely centrally managed, or you may decide on a hybrid model where some functions are centralised and some are not.

Correct technology choice is not just about choosing between software vendors, you need to first determine what you would have the software do. When the workflows are sound, and the right office structure is in place, you will be surprised how easy it becomes to grow your business and how quickly your reputation will spread.

Bill Hegarty

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