Why You Need a Tech Policy

By Wendy Cole, Senior Editor, REALTOR® Magazine

Because most real estate salespeople are independent contractors, brokerage managers commonly assume that they shouldn’t dictate or even recommend to agents what sort of computers or other tech tools to use, let alone what versions of software. That could be a gigantic mistake. During a technology management course this week, sponsored by the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and the Midwest CRB Chapter, instructor Jonathan Nicholas, a former broker-owner and current consultant to brokerages, discussed the technical incompatibility and general chaos that can ensue when offices fail to come up with a standardized approach concerning the equipment and software their agents use.

Whort sort of problems can crop up? Agents using different database programs may not be able to participate in the same training classes or share files with one another without complex conversions. Such “partial compatibility” can ultimately undermine sales since the company infrastructure may not be able to easily support them.

So I’m wondering how collaborative you all are when it comes to technology in your brokerages. Does your office have a technology plan that is shared with all and revisited regularly as new applications and hardware emerge? Anyone willing to share any setbacks that have occurred because the products people were using didn’t play nicely together?

Wendy Cole

Wendy Cole is the Editor of REALTOR® Magazine.

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  1. Think this issue is getting more critical every day. Started small since we are a small office…everyone was using different email providers, Yahoo, Gmail, etc., that were aliased from our website. then we realized all outgoing agent emails were coming from a dizzying array of providers instead of one consistent domain. So we had to step up and provide an email solution… We did not have a technology plan in place, but we are working on one now!