Elite AgentTECH + SOCIAL

Technogeek VS Technophobe

Where do you sit on the scale of loving technology to loathing it? Let’s take a look at office technology and gadgets in relation to the needs and wants of property management. Story by Fiona Blayney.

We know that clients are not only wanting value for money, they are wanting to know that the service you are providing is different to your competition.

How can we work smarter and not harder? On a plane recently from Sydney to Melbourne I noticed a new piece of technology – I-Robot. What is an I-Robot? It is a robot doll that is made in your own likeness… so if you like to look at yourself in the mirror on a daily basis, you can now take yourself with you everywhere you go! Hmmm but what is the benefit?

I-Robot is just another example of potentially technology gone wrong, or in my case, if there were another Fiona, technology gone too far! Are you a Technogeek or a Technophobe? I would suggest for myself that I am somewhere in the happy middle ground of the two… Where are you?

As the talk of Global Financial Crisis or GFC becomes the new black, it’s time to start acting smarter and really utilising the technology that we have in our businesses to increase output and increase $$$ input.

Communication
When was the last time you reviewed your current mobile, landline, broadband and VOIP packages? Could you be saving money? Could you be repackaging? What phone is to be used in the main by your team? Clients are re-evaluating the cost of doing business to ensure that their preferred communication channel is not only providing service but it is cost effective. When communicating with a client, is it email, SMS, telephone or mail that is preferred?

Services
We know that clients are not only wanting value for money, they are wanting to know that the service you are providing is different to your competition. What value adds are you providing for limited cost to you? What was once a desire is fast becoming a need. Condition reports can be completed using hand held devices and produce high quality reports that can include photos. Do you have a professional photography service ensuring that your website looks cutting edge? What about, at minimum emailed statements, or rent by Direct Debit or credit card. When a tenant moves into a property, do you offer to set up their utilities?

Documents
Where are you sourcing your standard documentation from? Is it the best value for money? Are there other providers? Are these in hard copy or online? How long does it actually take to file a hard document anyway? And really are they being put in a property file or that special round file under the desk?

You don’t need an expensive piece of technology to even do this. Most trust account programs can save documents into the document management section of each property. Easy storage, even easier retrieval!

Client access
Are you still receiving calls from clients to reproduce statements, do landlords query where tenants are paid to, do you send in the mail copies of routines inspection reports, leases or condition reports? Are you wasting precious money and time for both you and your clients, not to mention cutting down a few trees? These documents can all be provided through a secure online client account. Similar to online banking, a client need not even be emailed their statement, they can simply log on at any time and view all transactions and documents you deem viewable. Reduce calls, increase service through simple and effective technology.

Marketing
When was the last time you took a walk around You Tube? Creating a video of your business and having it online is no longer a Hollywood production. With You Tube, you and a cost effective videographer can create a short film about your business. Load it up to your website and have a readymade advert for your company!

If you are feeling social, it’s time to become a part of the ever increasing online social network scene. Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin, and Twitter – if you are already socialising online we would love you to drop by for a cup of tea! Your clients may like to visit you too! If you don’t know what any of these are… google it… if you don’t know what google is… hire an 18 year old quickly!

Time saving gadgets

  1. GPS
    A property manager or estate agent that does not have one of these in their car may as well get the hour glass out when they are boiling an egg. Speedy and efficient route mapping can save time, fuel and potentially stress levels.
  2. Memory card with USB
    A camera memory card with a built in USB, now that is a great idea! No need to locate the card reader, simply slot the card in your computer’s USB and you are ready to go!

I get pretty passionate about technology… not technology for the sake of it, but real time saving resources that will make a difference to your life, productivity and bottom line, both short and long term. These are just some of the many ways to get ahead in times when cash is king. If you are looking for more ideas, become a friend of Blayney Potential Plus on Facebook, or perhaps the old fashioned way… join our mailing list! We will keep you in the loop.

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Fiona Blayney

Fiona Blayney is the founder and director of Real+, an industry first Property Management learning platform. For more info visit realplusonline.com.au.