This post by Debbie Reynolds, broker at Prudential PenFed Realty in Clarksville, Tenn., was originally published on ActiveRain.

Taking a look into 2014 I see even more dependence on technology platforms, but a liberation at the same time. For those in the real estate industry who haven’t embraced technology yet, what are you waiting for? Cloud storage and device integration will be used more than ever and will become the standard of practice.

First, look at smartphones. They are no longer a luxury or a techie toy. They’re a necessity. We are tethered to our businesses through email, text, push notifications, the Internet, calendar reminders and, of course, voice calls. The apps help us do our jobs with ease and continue to show our clients that we take our jobs seriously with their needs as top priority. A smartphone is a camera, a note-taker and our connection to social media. We can transact business and connect with people anywhere we have phone/Internet services. Simple back up your device to your cloud storage and it will never be lost.

A tablet does many of the same things as a smartphone. It is part of my business tool kit. It gives us a bigger screen to be able to create contracts, sign with a finger, FaceTime, take photos and videos, and tons of other useful tasks of business and social interacting and gaming. Services like JustCloud, Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive and others can handle all the business we can send them, and, yes, they are resting up in a big cloud, too.

Your desktop computer or laptop completes your business triangle. This can be the mothership if you choose or not. Many use their mobile devices more than these larger pieces of technology. You can get by without a desktop or laptop, but I tend to like to sit in front of a big screen and even look forward to adding a second screen for a more complete computing experience. All the data on this is sent to the cloud where it rests and integrates with my other bytes of data from my other smaller devices.

So how is the cloud going to help me get better in 2014? Anything I need will be available from any of my devices or even a borrowed device. My devices will sync and know what the others have been doing. Programs that do not play well in this platform will fall by the wayside and will be short-lived. There is assurance that I will never lose my data. I will be able to assist my clients faster and with more complete and impressive services. It will save them time and frustration because I can push the information to them in real time as it is happening.

Decisions will be made quicker. When you have the data and plenty of it, what’s the sense in waiting? Paper duplication will be less, and this will help the environment. The techie generation will respond favorably to this faster way to do business with everything we need at the push of a few buttons. More and more apps will be developed to make our jobs easier. It is secure, too.

Could all of these speedy accesses free up more time for us? Theoretically yes, but as I see it, it will just make it so no matter where we go the public will know we can do our business anywhere and anytime. So we may not get as much time off as long as we have access to the cloud and our devices.

There will be fewer file cabinets, fewer pads and pencils, fewer files and folders, and less stuff cluttering up our lives. The cloud will be really full, but I have total trust that it can handle it all.

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