November 13, 2019

The Cure For Real Estate Technoparalysis

According to the National Association of Realtors the average age of a real estate agent is 52. The median age of the first time home buyer is 30. The natural conclusion is that a significant number of Realtors are above 52 (including myself). This generation gap between the home buyer and the seasoned (older) agent is more than just age. The difference is their approach to technology and its applications as it relates to real estate buying and selling. In addition, in my experience this technology gap also exists within a large number of agents below the age of 52.

I have been asked on numerous occasions: “Joe, what is the best contact management system for me”; “Joe, what is the best cell phone for me;” “Joe, my business needs a boost what is the best………”. You fill in the blank.

During my years of teaching technology systems for our agents I have discovered a cornucopia of real estate technology tools available; some, proclaiming to be the illusive “silver bullet” providing instant income with little or no effort.

At my age “so many systems, too little time.” Instead of taking positive action we are in information overload. We spend time researching the latest tech tools hoping (do I dare say “praying”) to find a tool that will increase our business and make our lives more manageable. However, in our quest we are not implementing even the most basic of tools. We are victims of a condition labeled technoparalysis: a condition caused by the fear of technology and resulting in an inability to engage in technical endeavors: paralysis by technology (Alan Hammond, article dtd 11/18/2008, “Beginners Suffer From Technoparalysis”). I have observed that this condition is present in even the most simple of tasks: reading and answering email. In order to free ourselves from the suffocating grip of technology we have to take baby steps: “One small step at a time”.

We must begin by first recalling what contributed to our early successes. The following are recommendations for partial paralysis recovery: (a) analyze your business; where did it come from and how was it generated; (b) ask yourself “what basic systems do I need to organize my clients that will allow me to keep in touch with my past, present, and future clients”; and, (c) slowly implement one system at a time. The most logical and possibly the best place to start is by organizing your clients into a computer data base that is user friendly.

Technology is an important aspect of our real estate career. The over used phrase that we must embrace technology is too broad and for most of us is not definitive enough. Web sites, lead tracking and follow up systems, social networking, etc. Where do we start? Answer: “Start small.” Work in small increments on one project. Have a strategy to progress slowly through one module at a time. The good news is that you will feel accomplished when completing these small steps. You will eventually release yourself from that feeling of technoparalysis.