Don't let that headline fool you. Despite the title of it, my article for this issue of Real Estate Marketing and Technology doesn't focus simply on technology itself or what's available to you and your real estate company these days, but rather on the management of technology.
With so many options on the market and seemingly more appearing constantly, getting a handle on everything tech-related can be an occasionally daunting task. Try not to let it all overwhelm you. Putting all your tech-ducks in a row doesn't have to be a challenge, and, sometimes, it can even be a marker of your company's evolution.
So was the case with Delta Media Group®.
Twenty-one years ago, I was one of the primary software developers at Delta Media Group, a role I remained in even as my overall job with the company grew and I took on the position of President. Many of you can relate to this as you have grown your own business. At one point, in your yourself being active as a salesperson, accountant, secretary, and even janitor at times. Basically, you do what you have to do to make your business work, and I did the same at Delta.
However, as Delta continued to grow in size, I ultimately evolved into the role of CEO and Visionary of the company. From this perspective, I am still actively involved in the development of the products but at a much higher level. Needless to say, today, I no longer do any software coding.
I share all of this because, in the past two weeks, I found myself, as CEO and Visionary of Delta Media Group, playing with various aspects of our technology offerings. I wanted to personally experience our technology as a user and see if I felt that the technology was delivering what I thought it should be delivering or if things need to change in order to serve our clients better.
Using various aspects of DeltaNET® 6, just like any brokerage or sales associate would, I found myself with two persistent and prominent thoughts. The first is that I was amazed at how much functionality exists today in the system and how mature the technology is. The second is that there are some small things that needed to be addressed, in addition to the large things, that would make the experience so much better. By working my way through the tech, I noticed little things that could be improved, all of which could come together to create a much better product on a much larger scale. I was thinking of good to great and cool to amazing!
And, this brings me to the subject of this article: Getting the most out of your technology. I have a thought for you and a suggestion.
But first, in order to understand that thought and suggestion, I want to consider our approach to rolling out our technology. Today we spend time primarily doing two things for sales associates when we train them during our onboarding process.
The first thing we do is spend about 30 minutes getting them excited about their new technology stack. Most of this presentation centers around all of the cool things that are now available to them; from a CRM standpoint, from a marketing standpoint, from a social media standpoint, from videos to customizable flyers, and all the automations. None of this presentation is a "how-to" type of instructional session. Instead, it is full of visuals and focuses on running a business as a sales professional. It is as far away as possible from a presentation about technology because the sales associates are tired of hearing about technology. Instead, they want to know what they can do with it.
The second thing we do is spend about 30 minutes showing the sales associates how to customize all their settings and set up all their automations, so they are custom-tailored to each one of them. The whole idea is that sales associates today will spend about 30 minutes configuring all their "stuff," their "technology," and from that point forward, it is doing the work for them, saving them time, and helping them actually run their business.
The reason I outline this training is because this training has been massively accepted and endorsed by the sales associates since we implemented it about a year ago. They like it so much because it is all about their experience in their own business coupled with configuring the tools to do exactly what they want them to do for them. In addition, customizing the tools for their business allows sales associates to manage their technology without feeling as if they're stressing over it.
So, my overall thought for you is this: When was the last time you, personally, experienced the business side of your business? I'm talking about the experience of your customer, your sales associate. What would it be like to put yourself in their shoes for a moment? And what do they want when they use the technology your business offers?
I ask this because to get the most out of your technology, you have to make sure that your sales associates are able to do business in the most efficient manner possible, using the technology solutions being provided to them by you.
I would suggest that you need to do what I see most, if not all, of our large firms doing. They spend an extensive amount of time, generally on an annual basis, combing through their technology, cleaning it up, automating it, upgrading it, connecting it, and personalizing it to their market and their sales associates. Taking the time to truly examine your tech — and determine what else you need or what changes need to be made — is a crucial step in helping your business grow.
I suppose I will close this out by saying that while it's easy to see tech as a daunting foe, the purpose of good technology is to assist your day-to-day life. In business or otherwise. So, take a moment to look at it all from a different perspective. To consider what's working and what isn't and keep this in mind while you do; a little bit of advice I remember hearing from Zig Ziglar when I went to see him speak 20 years ago: Inspect what you expect.