Diving Into the Technology Pool

real estate appsRaise your hand if you feel it’s daunting to keep up with technology about real estate and homes for sale. (IT guys excluded.) Keep your hand up if you’re intimidated by that technology and the people who know it and use it.

As I lower my hand to finish this, I’m thinking “That’s our biggest problem. It’s not the technology, it’s the fear of the technology.” After all, apple has created a bajillion dollar company based on making technology that’s easy for us regulars to make it work. I can talk into my phone (“device”) and it types for me. I can take a hi-rez photo and share it with hundreds of people with a couple of simple steps. In Indianapolis I can locate a Thai restaurant that also serves chicken fingers, in Austin.

I used to categorize technology in two groups – “Useful” and “Why.” The “Why” tech was easy to define. If I could say “Why do I need that?” it fits in the category. Using my phone to call my smart house to tell it to pre-heat the oven fits into that one. Real Estate texting was always one, especially now with gps-enabled mobile websites and our real estate apps.

The biggest barrier to today’s useful technology is simply the first step. Carpenter’s apps are a great example. I’m often in our offices to update everyone on marketing programs and this year the talk is all about our real estate apps. They’re the only true local apps and have the same or better features than any national app. We even have the option for agents to have their friends, family, etc. install a version that always displays their photo and information – a “branded” app. At no cost it’s a great value to them and it’s of great value to them. Yet many still don’t use it, despite knowing it’s worthwhile. Two simple hands-on steps and it’s ready to go. If I can just get them to open it a time or two more, they’re comfortable with it.

Quoting NIKE, my answer to technology anxiety is to just do it. Open it, play with it, screw it up, try again. Two or three of those and you’re going to be able to use it, to get value from it. Today, open the Carpenter app and search for nearby homes for sale. Use HomeSpotter with your camera to view those homes, along with home sold. Find a reason to share the apps with the next person you talk with.

Me, I’m off to the mall to accost strangers with news about a great real estate app that lets you snoop on your neighbors. I might phrase if differently.

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