There are plenty of ways technology can augment your business as a real estate agent.
Wendy Forsythe, the chief operating officer of HomeSmart Real Estate and Katie Ragusa, the vice president of product for TRIBUS highlighted 10 tech trends for agents at Inman Connect in New York on Tuesday.
1. Smart speakers
More than 25 percent of Americans use a smart speaker, like Amazon Echo or Google Home, a number which is expected to balloon up to 70 percent in the next few years, according to Ragusa.
2. Voice technology
As more homeowners purchase smart speakers, voice technology becomes more important, Forsythe said. Alexa Flash Briefings can be an extremely useful way to get into homes, for example.
“Voice is continuing to grow in its popularity and uses,” Forsythe said. “If you haven’t embraced voice, start to think about how you can use it in a diff way in your business.”
3. Have a plan
“You have tons of new options for apps and services all the time,” Ragusa said. “They’re all well and good. It doesn’t work unless you have a plan.”
Ragusa says to simplify and think about what you actually need. Too much technology can lead to becoming overwhelmed and less productive.
4. Relationships matter
Ragusa said, with all this new technology, it’s important to remember that there’s such a big relationship aspect to this business, and sometimes you can forget that those leads are people. And often people making a huge life decision.
“Hopefully, you aren’t just counting the numbers of leads you’re generating, and you’re actually taking the time to connect to them on a personal level,” Ragusa said.
5. Make friends with Siri
Forsythe admitted that she hasn’t always been a “Hey, Siri” type of person.
“There is so much Siri can do for you to make your life easier,” Forsythe said. “Think about how you can become friends.”
Forsythe said to embrace the usage of Siri and think about moving away from the trend of fumbling on a keyboard.
6. The video dilemma
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are giving more priority to video, so it’s time to embrace that trend and get comfortable with that, Forsythe said.
7. Read the fine print
With technology changing so quickly, it’s important for agents to remember that there are MLS display requirements, often specific brokerage requirements and even accessibility requirements, according to Ragusa.
8. Monitor what you’re doing on devices
Don’t ignore that weekly iPhone notification that tells you how you’ve been spending your screen time, Forsythe explained.
“It’s a great way to get an understanding of what someone is going with their screen time,” Forsythe said.
9. Collect your data
“I would encourage you guys to start recording everything about transactions,” Ragusa said. “Sometimes you can’t get that data back later.”
10. Dare to be original
Ragusa reminded the industry that originality with design is OK, especially when it comes to websites.
“We need a design wake-up call,” Ragusa said. “It’s the most obvious with web design.”