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“The only thing real estate firms have to fear is fear itself?” Not quite, if the National Association of REALTORS’® (NAR) recently released 2019 Profile of Real Estate Firms is any indication.

The profile provides a thorough overview of the opportunities and challenges firms face and while there are many reasons for optimism (57 percent of firms expected profitability to increase in the next year, for example), the report does highlight areas where firms are feeling some angst.

Of particular interest is the fact that “keeping up with technology” (46 percent of firms) was second only to “competition from nontraditional marketing participants” (48 percent of firms) as the biggest challenge residential real estate firms face. Technology can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We know from 20 years of experience providing real estate technology that when firms have a plan in place to ensure a smooth implementation and adoption, tech is a friend, not a foe.

To help build such a plan, we put together four tips that firms of any size can use to feel confident about staying current with the latest real estate technology.

1. Bring everyone to the table—everyone

As your firm considers its approach to technology, make sure that all stakeholders are a part of the decision process, not just the people who might be directly responsible for implementing or using the technology.

As Strategy+Business provides a good business case for this feedback strategy:

“At GE Digital, for example, managers fostered engagement by bringing in all stakeholders from 20 different departments to be certain the right voices were heard. They made sure that users felt they were part of the process, giving them roles to play in implementation and providing regular updates on the delivered benefits. As a result, employees who used the system felt invested in the outcomes. Engagement on that scale isn’t easy, but it is essential.”

Everyone at your firm can provide valuable insight into how to make technology implementation a smooth process, as they may be able to touch on how its use will affect the firm in ways you never would have considered. After all, as any agent knows, feedback is essential.

2. Embrace learning opportunities

Opportunities to learn more about technology are truly everywhere. Many technology providers have FAQs, guides and training material on their sites that can help you get a detailed look at the technology at your own pace. For example, ShowingTime provides social media training resources, FAQs and an exhaustive help and training platform that often include videos that cover all ShowingTime services. Live product demonstrations are also a valuable resource for making sure a technology meets your firm’s unique needs.

3. Don’t go it alone

Thanks to the internet, you never have to go the technology decision making process alone. Communities for discussing real estate technology are everywhere. There are dozens of groups dedicated to real estate technology on Facebook, for example, and thousands of people who have used technology you’re considering are only a #realestatetech tweet away on Twitter.

4. Play the long game

Deciding to incorporate a new technology into your firm’s operations is an investment, and like most other investments, it’s one that requires an initial commitment to bear fruit. Once your firm is prepared to take on a new technology, make sure you establish that there is bound to be an initial learning curve that will eventually give way to a more productive, simplified way of doing business for your firm and your clients. Doing so will help ensure that stakeholders’ expectations will be realistic, in turn keeping everyone optimistic and willing to see implementation through to its successful conclusion.

Are you considering a showing management solution that seamlessly integrates technology to streamline the showing process? ShowingTime’s sales team is ready to work with you to develop a strategy for making the ShowingTime Appointment Center work for your firm. Click below to contact us for more information.