Sure, the iPad is cool and it has so many incredible apps — my husband is out searching for one even as I write this article. But how are you going to use it in your business?

There’s no question that if you walk into a listing appointment with an iPad, you immediately have "cool and technologically proficient" written all over you. Do you honestly believe, however, that someone is going to do business with you just because you had enough money to buy the latest cool new tech toy?

Don’t get me wrong. Having the latest technology is definitely a plus. Without a doubt, the iPad is a terrific icebreaker. It also provides a way to engage people in a conversation and to get to know them better. After you have done that, however, what’s next?

The truth of the matter is that people don’t hire you for the technology you own, any more than they hire you for the car that you drive. Your car and your technology are not the "It."

Instead, buyers and sellers decide to work with an agent based upon how well they believe the agent will represent them on the sale or purchase of their home.

Technology plays an important role in terms of how you market property, but it’s not nearly as important as the personal connection you form when you meet face-to-face for the first time.

Here are some key tips on how to blend your cool technology with proven strategies that will help you build connection and close more deals.

"It" No. 1: Hearing and connecting with your client is what matters

This simple strategy works whether you use a note pad, a tablet PC, or an iPad. One of the biggest complaints clients have about Realtors is that they don’t listen.

There’s a simple cure for this: Ask "how" and "what" questions and write down your client’s responses. Questions actually put you in control of the conversation. Questions also move you away from presentation mode to listening mode. Here are some examples.

For sellers, you could ask, "What, if any, improvements have you made that might not be visible to a buyer walking through your property?" or "What do you like best about living in this location?"

For buyers, ask, "What are the five most important features that you would like your next home to have?" or "What architectural styles do you find attractive and which styles do you definitely want to avoid?"

Here’s the reason this approach is so powerful. When you take notes on what your clients say, you send a powerful nonverbal signal that says, "What you are telling me is so important I need to write it down."

By carefully listening and taking notes, your clients will view you as someone who is genuinely engaged and interested in them. In contrast, agents who come in with canned presentations are primarily focused on themselves and their presentations — not on their clients.

Regardless of the way you do it, taking notes on your clients’ comments is a smart move in any situation. This is the foundation for converting almost any lead into signed business and for becoming that client’s "trusted adviser."

"It" No. 2: Your unique selling proposition

Regardless of the technology you use, sellers want to know that you can help them obtain the highest possible price in the least amount of time for their property. The way to do this is with maximum exposure to the marketplace.

Your unique selling proposition must include traditional strategies as well as maximum online exposure, including marketing on multiple real estate portals, using video, plus using lead-capture tools for both telephone and SMS (text-messaging) prospects.

You must also demonstrate your real estate expertise in terms of having the most up-to-date knowledge of the inventory and market conditions possible.

"It" No. 3: Walk the talk

It goes without saying that clients want an honest agent. The trap for many agents is promising more than they can actually deliver. They mean to keep their promises, but then fall short. For example, when you took the listing, you may have promised to hold an open house twice per month.

You get busy, become ill, or something else happens that keeps you from delivering on what you promised to do. The seller doesn’t care about your excuses. They just want you to deliver on what you promised and get their house sold.

Cool technology can be a great way to get your foot in the door. The bottom line is that clients will decide on whether they will hire you based upon the connection they experience with you, your level of professional expertise, your unique selling proposition, and the extent to which you deliver what you promise.

When you put these "Its" together with cool technology, you have an unstoppable combination that will generate income for years to come.

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