SAN FRANCISCO — With all the different gizmos and gadgets, and each claiming to be the latest and greatest new thing among consumers, you may feel like you absolutely have to have all of them.

The key, however, is finding the tool that works for you and maximizes its potential to help your productivity, and that’s easier said than done, according to a set of real estate professionals who spoke during the Real Estate Connect conference last week.

Wendy Forsythe, vice president of broker services and product development for Realogy’s newly launched (see Inman News) Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate franchise network, said she tries to look for things that make her life easier. She prefers tools that help her get the things on her "to do" list done and open up time for more of the things she wants to do. The Amazon Kindle, a wireless reading device, is among her favorites. Books and newspapers can be delivered to the wireless Kindle device, which stores data in an Amazon account and has note-taking and printing features.

"Whatever device you’re a fan of, they do so many things. That’s what I look for — how do they make my life easier?" She noted that most people don’t use all of the capabilities to their fullest extent.

Olive Muoto, Co-founder and vice president of business development for vFlyer, said that device consolidation is what productivity is all about. Doing more with fewer devices makes life less complicated, which means less stress, he said.

Brian Wildermuth, president and co-founder of SharperAgent, said, "We are an incredibly distracted society. For people it doesn’t matter how many different tools you have — you have to maximize the ones you have. Stop being distracted with the latest shiny objects and concentrate on how to use those tools well."

Forsythe said that brokers do have a responsibility to assist agents with productivity.

"If an agent is affiliated with a brokerage company, that brokerage has a responsibility to make business productive," she said. "We tend to jump on board quickly but don’t stay on board long enough to figure out how to make that tool more productive — were seeing that with blogging. If we go back 24 months people were jumping on the blogging bandwagon, and (some) abandoned it. The people that stayed with it generated business."

Konstantin Guericke, CEO of Jaxtr Inc., said that with so many different logins and passwords for all the accounts that people try to manage, it’s hard to remember them all. Guericke suggested creating a rule to remember passwords or logins.

"Some people try to be good on the security side," he said. "On the other hand, a lot of people use a generic one that’s easy for people to guess. You could take something that is generic and that is easy to remember at the same time. Take the last three letters of the URL and combine it with something else. That way you have just one rule to remember and it’s custom for each site."


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