Does technology make business easier?
With the growing popularity of every guru out there saying, “Automate your business like a McDonalds burger line and you will succeed,” we now see more and more “automation systems” that many call software. Each one claims to do it better, faster, and with fewer headaches. But the burning question is left in the back of our minds: “Does this truly work and will this really make my business more successful?”
Let’s break it all down.
Pro vs. Con
Technology in a real estate investor’s business comes with some great upside. With that said, there are some downsides to it as well.
Cons of Technology:
- Time how much time will you spend on the learning curve to understand how and where to use it?
- Online vs. mobile—is the platform something we must sit at a computer for, or is there a mobile application that lets us use it in the field?
- Updates—is there a constant barrage of updates we must install?
- Price—we can’t overlook the soaring cost associated with each piece of technology we add into the process.
It is easy to see why many real estate investors simply choose to ignore technology when we look at the negatives. I mean really, we are trying to find properties, make offers, get contracts in place, and enjoy the perfect job. But seriously, who has the time to sit and learn something new, deal with the different updates, and basically be strapped to our computer all day?
This is the number-one reason I hear daily from real estate professionals all over the country on why they never use any form of technology in their business. I get it; you want to make deals happen, not be strapped to that laptop all day.
However, with this list of cons, technology brings a massive upside with it. Let’s take a look.
Pros of Technology:
- Organization. We all could use a little less clutter and confusion and a little more organization.
- Streamlined communication. Who has time for the endless back and forth emails just to set up a time to talk?
- Consistent marketing output. It’s no secret, marketing is the lifeline of a business and consistent marketing is the key to keeping your opportunities for the next investment coming in.
- Inexpensive employee. This one always turns some heads. Technology can replace a number of tasks that many businesses hire someone to do. Simply put, technology is your new hire without all the crazy excuses why something isn’t done yet.
- Better experience for your prospects. Your buyers and sellers will feel better about doing business with you simply because the process is clean, organized, and more professional.
- Time off. Be honest, did you get into business to work 24/7 or did you start your investment business to have time freedom? Technology gives us that ability to be free and still have things working.
Technology can do a lot and make business better for us, but that opens up another question. What platform should you use? What is the best one for you? Why should you choose this one over that one?
Quick answer: the best platform is the platform you feel comfortable using—and you actually do use it. I see it every day, real estate investors with a marketing and CRM platform in their business and yet they have no idea what their login information is. No platform is good, no matter how cool the features are, if you are not using it.
Thoughts on Tech
After years of building multiple businesses and consulting for hundreds of others, I have seen my share of technology in business. Instead of pointing out everything wrong with specific platforms, I want to give you some key elements to look for in your platform of choice that has been proven to create the success technology is meant to bring.
First, the number-one element any technology you choose should have the ability to customize and configure to the way you want it to work in your business. The platform’s ability to fit into your marketing and sales process and seamlessly function to the way you operate, is crucial. What I have seen consistently is businesses that simply work differently from the way the technology is designed, and they quit using it. To be consistent and leverage technology, it must fit your style.
Second, the technology should handle more than just one specific element of your business. Specific platforms like calendly are great for having calendar booking software, or Mailchimp for sending email marketing. But, when these platforms only handle one element, you are left trying to figure out how to get all of them to work together without issues. This in itself is a full-time job. The more you can do for your business under one software, the less stress it brings and therefore the more you will enjoy using it.
Third, it must have the ability to have multiple users. Even as a solo entrepreneur or the lone wolf in your business, there will be a time when your business expands, and others will need to access the system. Being able to expand and grow inside a platform as this happens is critical to staying consistent and not changing platforms every time you add someone on.
There is more to consider when adding technology into your business, but these three are the start. Weigh these positives and negatives, apply them to your business model and you’re on your way to a clear, more well-informed decision.