In the 2013 Comprehensive Membership Survey, the majority of SAAR members reported that changing technology has great impact on their business. Over 30% also reported that changing technology is the number one most important challenge they face.
But how do you find out about new technology – and more importantly, learn how to use it – if you’re not a “natural techie?” Those of us who are comfortable with and enjoy technology may get information from TechCrunch, Mashable or Gizmodo. But the average REALTOR® cannot be expected to stay on top of news stories, trends and new technology in addition to everything else they need to know. So, how can you get just the information you need, quickly and easily? Here are a few strategies.
1) Take the time to master the basics
You only use Excel once a month, so why bother learning all the ins and outs of it, right? Wrong! The old saying, “you don’t know what you don’t know,” holds true in this case: until you take the time to really learn how to use a software program, you have no idea how much time you could be wasting by doing things the hard way.
Things like mail merges in Word, repeating events in Outlook and formulas in Excel can save you hundreds of hours. Thankfully, you can learn the basics without ever stepping foot into a classroom. Search on YouTube for a course, or check out Lynda.com.
2) Read real estate specific technology articles
Technology is always changing and evolving, and there are constantly new gadgets coming into the marketplace. However, only a small percentage of new technology will actually make a difference to you in your real estate business.
Filter out the noise and only learn about what you actually need in your business by following technology blogs that are real estate specific. Here are a few to get you started:
SAAR’s REALtech Blog: A few recent articles include “Track E-mail Opens and Clicks for FREE!” and“Out-of-the-Box Free & Cheap Marketing.” http://saaronline.com/REALtech/blog
REALTOR® Magazine’s Technology Section: Updated constantly with articles such as “Smartphone Photography Gets an Upgrade” and “Pin it, and They Will Come.” http://realtormag.realtor.org/technology
Inman Next: Technology tips you can implement in your business, such as “how to show – and sell –a smart home” and “6 ways to prepare for major obstacles.” http://www.inman.com/inmannext/
3) Find how-to videos
Don’t know how to do something? There’s probably a video for that! How-to videos have exploded all over YouTube – so much so that there is an entire channel of how-to parodies. Jokes aside, there are tons of videos out there that can help you solve your problems as you run into them. Search on YouTube or check out SAAR’s REALtech: http://saaronline.com/REALtech/video.