Friday, June 23, 2006

Technology and Being Better at What We Do

Yesterday I did one of my favorite things – I shared knowledge and experience with a group of fellow real estate professionals. The Maryland State Chapter of The Women’s Council of Realtors sponsored “A Day of Education”, and I was pleased to be asked to present on “The Internet for Agents”.

What realtors do is actually very low-tech – we list, sell, and get to the settlement table. That’s it. At the beginning of the session I held up a blank sheet of paper and a pen, and said that these are all I really need to do my job. You don’t need technology to network and meet people. You don’t need technology to listen to sellers talk about their home, and no computer can show a house for you. All that creativity – and the personal approach – must come from the agent first.

But if you are a good at listing and selling, you can do everything faster and with more efficiency by choosing the right technical tools and learning to use them. And here’s a nice bonus: while you are using technology to streamline your business life, you are finding more time for your personal life, too.

My bag of tech tricks comes on a single shoulder strap. During the session I pulled out one toy after another to illustrate that I had everything I needed for a listing. With the tablet PC I have anywhere-anytime Internet access, fax software, all the forms I need for listing and selling, and a stylus for signing listing agreements and sales contracts right on the computer screen. Attached to the “bump case” that protects the PC is a small pouch that holds my laser measuring tool, a mouse, power connectors, and a digital camera the size of a deck of cards. To illustrate the power of this package, I took out the camera, had someone take a picture, plugged the camera into the computer, downloaded the photo, and emailed it, all in a matter of minutes.

One of the best parts of the session was the way people were sharing. One agent with a Blackberry could show another some tricks. Treo owners could swap suggestions. Everyone likes to show off their toys, and realtors are no different! Sharing the knowledge makes us all better at what we do.

Personally and professionally, it was a delightful day. Martha Stephens did a marvelous job of organizing, and my friend and first trainer in real estate, Anne Hruby, introduced me at the start of the session. As you can see, we had a great time.

Margaret Rome, Martha Stephens, Anne Hruby


At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my role as Chairman of Education for the State and Baltimore Chapters of WCR, I work with many talented and knowledgeable instructors, and I can honestly say that the Day of Education, which provided 6 hours of FREE CE to WCR Members and was open to all, was one of the most productive and interesting programs we have had. Craig Wolf, of AHS, did a great job of bringing us up to speed on the new SEER requirements. Margaret's discussion on putting ideas into practical use via technology enabled us to see new ways to use the tools at our fingertips. Jeff Margolies, of North American Title, brought real life scenarios to the class for discussion, and we all left knowing how to avoid, in advance, common catastrophies at the settlement table.
Clint Tsao (1st Mariner)and I (RGS FOUNTAINHEAD) sponsored the coffee and pastries in the morning, and
I was able to provide a homemade meal for everyone at lunch. It was a delight to both share one of my favorite easy chicken recipes (click on Martha Stephens in the BLOG and read my bio)and visit with old and new acquaintances.


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