When the iPad was first released in 2010 it was a revolutionary product. Many industries embraced this new technology, and the real estate industry was no exception. Apple even highlighted a boutique brokerage in Texas to show how the use of the iPad and apps like Evernote, realtor.com®, and DocuSign® could revolutionize the way real estate agents do business.
But that was 4 years ago.
I still hear from people wondering whether or not to buy an iPad, or wanting training on using their iPad, on a weekly basis. Some of these people think that the iPad is going to completely change their business. Don’t get me wrong – the iPad is a wonderful tool for real estate agents and can absolutely transform your business. But, like all technology, it’s just a tool. There’s only so much it can do.
In the “Real Estate Brokerage of the Future” panel in New Orleans, I had the opportunity to hear from five extraordinary broker/owners from across the country. What I found interesting was that, as we were talking about “the future”, technology was not the main emphasis. These brokers, who have done billions of dollars in real estate transactions this year alone, emphasized something completely different – people. culture. collaboration.
Nick Segal, President of Partners Trust in Los Angeles, emphasized that technology should not be your focus. He said that agents get caught up in “download this app”, “integrate all of this”, and “try this software”. Segal’s comments were met with applause when he ended with, “how about you just call your client?”
Vanessa Bergmark of Red Oak Realty had a great story about something unexpected that revolutionized her company. Not an iPad – a table. When Red Oak moved office locations, Bergmark had a large table created that sits in the center of their office. Top producers sit with new agents – and everyone works together, collaborating and asking questions.
Technology is still an important tool, but the real estate business is still about the people. Focus on that, and the rest will follow.