Brokers, why do agents stay with you? On the closing day of Real Estate Connect New York 2012, Cary Sylvester, executive director of technology at Keller Williams Realty International, explained: "technology, culture and vision."

And one aspect of the technology piece of the equation, Sylvester noted, is cutting back on paper usage: "We want to get out of paper everywhere," she said.

With the growth of the cloud and changing client expectations and habits, said Sylvester, it’s important to realize that technology is just a portal to information. And information — anytime and anywhere — is what clients are after. "Is your client in the driver’s seat?" asked Sylvester.

Paperless is the way to go not just because it’s better for clients, said Sylvester — it also simplifies the work of industry professionals.

As the real estate industry adapts to a cloud-based business world, real estate should lead the mortgage and title industries into paperless, easy-to-use, on-demand technology. "We should be instigators of change for our clients," said Sylvester.

And in this evolving paperless world, said Sylvester, Keller Williams now thinks mobile first when designing new products.

"My urge to you as an industry is to drive the change for complete paperless transactions," said Sylvester. "That is my wish for you in 2012."

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