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Popular Technology: Here Today, Overrated Tomorrow

Laura Rubinchuk Schwartz

By Laura Rubinchuk Schwartz

It seems there’s a new hyped technology in real estate every week. Old favorites include Facebook, Craigslist, Twitter, Blogging, YouTube, and LinkedIn. But what about those sites that were so popular so fast and now we never hear about them anymore? Remember Posterous, Postlets, and now Pinterest? Real estate agents tend to kill technology quickly.

With so much to do every day to keep your business going, the biggest of which is lead generation, do you really have time to learn every new platform that suddenly emerges? Probably not. Should you? Probably not. As an agent who built my business on technology, I have a few suggestions for those of you who feel like you’re drowning in new technology and don’t know where to start, or where to find the time:

1. Figure out what works with your schedule: You can’t be the master of all trades, but you can master just a few. Some things take more of a commitment to make it work, ex. Twitter and Facebook are daily commitments for most. Other platforms may just an as-needed thing, like Postlets for advertising listings or Craigslist (if you don’t use Craigslist for lead generation).

2. Don’t waste time learning every new technology. I haven’t spent a single minute on Pinterest. I see Facebook friends posting wedding ideas or baby shower themes on there — don’t kill this by inundating useless real estate information on it. Don’t force a round peg in a square hole just because someone told you to.

3. Learn something so you’re comfortable with it, then use it as part of your lead generation. Just like any other lead generation tool, anything you choose to do will take repeated use and attempts. Keep using it and if you learn to do it correctly, it’ll start to work.

4. You don’t need to know every single technology site to be tech-friendly. I’m a blogger, I contribute to local blogs in my area in addition to the YPN blog and my own real estate blog. Blogging accounted for about 60 percent of my business last year, but that doesn’t mean I know every blogging platform. I learned how to use WordPress really well, and that’s all I needed.

5. Don’t force technology on your clients. Yes, you’ll have clients who prefer to use e-mail, texting, DocuSign, Google Maps, etc. for their house hunt. You’ll also have clients who have no idea what DocuSign is or trust it…you’ll need to adapt. Real estate is still partly “old school” in practice, so remember to adapt to your clients and use whatever makes them comfortable. Without them, none of the technology in the world will matter!

Laura Rubinchuk Schwartz, GRI, is a real estate practitioner with Keller Williams Realty in McLean, Va. Visit her blog at www.ArlingtonRealEstateNews.com or her Web site at www.TheLJRGroup.com.

Comments
  1. Great post Laura – There are so many out there that some people get paralyzed and don’t harness any of them while others just have more platforms to suck on, setting up profiles and using the site for a few weeks only to let it grow cobwebs between posts.

    Your first suggestion about finding what works in your schedule is so true. I find I can jump on Facebook and Twitter first thing in the day, then between classes or at lunch and then again at the end of the day and not only do I get more contribution and engagement, but I usually have three or four different audiences at those different times.

    Keep up the great work.

  2. Great post. I find myself learning about a new technology program or new social media site regularly and figured out that unless you devote your schedule full time – you just can’t do them all. I’m inundated with requests and offers to do this, that, the other and it will place my website at the top of Google or other search engines. I’m not sure how they can keep promising – and charging fees for – to put everyone they talk to on top – how many tops are there? If I succumbed to all such requests I would be spending thousands of $ each month. Every time you turn around, answer the phone, get an e-mail, check your mail, etc. there is an offer, request, urging you to do this and it will bring you more customers. It could also drive you to the poorhouse and take all your time away from sales or leasing of real estate.

  3. Great post! I agree totally. I love technology, but am very selective about what I choose to use for my business. I still use Postlets for listings and have chosen to add several items that I pay for to my website (which I created myself on Blogger at no cost), including a live IDX search and a New Home search. I’m on Facebook, but rarely post RE info there…. I once got my hand slapped by a good friend for posting a listing. I do have a FB page for my business, but don’t consider it very successful. I find that, next to my website, the best thing I do is my e-newsletter. I send it out several times a month and include articles that I feel folks will be interested in. After sending the newsletter, I post the same info at my blog (which looks like my website and links to it). When I post something at the blog, I also post a message about my latest posting at both my FB business page and LinkedIn and include a link to my blog. I, too, am bombarded with offers to make my business better…. and drain my wallet. My recommendation, like yours, is to do what you’re comfortable with and do it well. Be selective about where you spend your money and, most importantly, maintain and nurture relationships.
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