Consider the plight of the poor “Propertygeek” the real estate agent who embrace new technology so tightly that they leap into every new trend and buy every shiny new gizmo that hits the market. While the “Propertysaurus” reacts to the intimidation of new technologies by shutting down and ignoring them, the Propertygeeks respond by elevating them as centre piece of their business in the smug belief that all the “old school” ways of doing things are dead.
But Propertygeeks make the mistake of thinking that they’re in the technology business, not the real estate business and so they spend too much of their time doing things that don’t actually help them acquire clients or sell homes. They don’t see the point of cultivating a sphere because they’re going to generate all the leads they need from their blog, their Twitter feed or that new online system they just bought. They don’t pick up the phone since NO ONE talks on the phone anymore. New technologies become important for their own sake, a security blanket that tricks the Propertygeek into thinking that he had a productive day if he spent three hours posting a great answer on Twitter or Facebook that is generating a lot of online buzz.
Now, I’m not saying that technology is a bad thing. You need to find a happy medium between the Propertysaurus who reject all new technologies and the Propertygeeks who embrace all of them for their own sake. The key is to recognise that technology is just a tool and differentiate between the tools that will help you and the tools that are a waste of your time.
Here’s the key. If a new technology allows you to do something you were already doing, but to do it faster, cheaper or easier then it’s a productive technology and you should learn how to use it in your business. Good technologies are just tools that are better than the old tools you were already using. Smartphone’s are better than dumb phones, emailing is better than mailing, scanning better than faxing, a GPS is better than a map and digital photography is better than film. All these new technologies are great because they are just tools that give us a better way to do something we were already doing.
Conversely, non-productive technologies are tools that seduce you into spending a lot of time doing things that you never did before like blogging and tweeting and answering online questions from people who are not, and will likely never be, your clients. You have to avoid technologies that give you that false sense of productivity because you spent a lot of time in front of the computer without actually accomplishing anything that will generate business or service a client.