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There's An App For That

Today I am re-evaluating technology. 

I have to admit, I am not a technology genius. I know what I need to do to get my work done and that's about as far as it goes. Excited over the latest device or app for your phone? I'm not. All I want is a computer that works with some semblance of speed, a phone that doesn't drop calls, and the ability to text. That's it.

Now I am not saying I am completely in the dark ages (I'm not that old thanks very much). I confess to having a good laugh when my 82 year old father bought the latest Android and tired to hook it up to the blue tooth in his car. That was good fun as even I can do that! Then he called me 37 times to "test" if it was working...."does it work if I am driving on this road?" , "how about when I am going in reverse?". I stopped laughing shortly thereafter.

Perversely, I am married to a technology guy, aka a computer geek. My husband knows all there is to know about computers, programming, websites, and more. At home it's always an interesting surprise, when I sit down at my desk to use the computer will there be a Mac or a PC waiting for me? Will I have an iPhone 4 today or an iPhone 5? It's always different! Did I mention I don't really like change? That's a different story all together.

One thing I have been forced to recognize is that technology does play an important role in my business. This is probably true for most businesses these days. Like it or not most buyers of Real Estate are online or mobile. Sellers are online too and they expect me to have their home upfront and looking spectacular. Since my entire business plan is focused on customer service I can't continue to ignore the need to embrace (grudgingly) and evaluate new technology almost constantly. The challenge lies in choosing which technology to use and which to let pass me by. If I were to believe every sales call I got, and yes I get a LOT of these, I am missing out on the latest and greatest thing all the time. However, it seems to me that some of these technology trends are exactly that, trends, and short lived to boot. QR codes. Last year I was told that if I didn't immediately change all of my signs to incorporate these codes I was doomed for failure. Oddly enough, I don't know a single person who uses QR codes in the course of their daily life and I don't hear much about them anymore at all. Then came the "text for more info" signs. That one I fell for. I bought the phone number, had all the house information ready to go as soon as someone texted into me, and added the information to all of my for sale signs. None of this was cheap but hey, I don't want to be the only person not doing it so I jumped on board. For all of that effort, guess how many "text for more info" texts I got? One. That's right, one. What did happen was everyone continued to call or text me directly because my direct phone number is already on the signs I use and I continued to do what I do best, talked to people one on one.

Fast forward to today, where I am once again faced with a great new technology and asked to make a choice. To use it or not? I have been offered the opportunity to use a "fantastic" new app that will work for buyers driving around using a mobile device to search for homes. Sounds great. I sat through an entire presentation on this app and came out fired up with fresh new ideas on how to offer better service to buyers on the go. 

Here's how the conversation went at home with my husband:

Me: I found a great new app today!
Husband: What is it called?
Me: I don't know, but it's really neat!
Husband: What does it do then?
Me: It helps buyers on the go find homes. Like if they are standing in front of a house they can find out all the details on the house, even if they don't have the whole address! Neat right?
Husband: Why wouldn't they have the whole address? You just said that they were standing in front of the house.
Me: Okay, but it also keeps a list of buyers who use the app so you can call them and see if they have any questions. Neat right?
Husband: You have never cold called anyone in your life, why would you start now?
Me: Good point.

So, it seems that I may have missed the point of technology yet again. Or else the guy selling it could sell snow to Eskimos as I was ready to get out my credit card and buy it on the spot. Good thing I held back. Although, after our enlightening conversation my husband took a look at the app and sees some potential in it. Turns out he wrote a similar app for me last year that I refused to use. Who knew?

So tonight, I will be sitting down with my computer guy and deciding which app will be easiest to use and offers the best service to my buyers, which is really all I care about. We are having a technology date..... who said the romance dies after 13 years of marriage?