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Real Estate Technology at a Crossroads

Aug 11, 2019 by

Real estate is at a crossroads on which core trade practices will be redefined forever. The industry’s technology is no longer focused on one-off activities like forms, scanners and email. It’s focused instead on building success into a larger ecosystem that comprises intelligent systems, streamlined workflows, machine learning, social media and consumer apps. Technology is moving so fast in this direction that real estate professionals essentially have two choices: embrace technology or stay behind.

What’s behind this technological shift? My thought is that the industry has recognized that an overabundance of specialized products is making things more difficult than they ought to be. After all, who wants to use multiple solutions that have their own logins and interfaces? Who wants to enter the same data and documentation several times? Who wants to contact three or four different companies for training and support?

Technology is moving away from this segmentation because it keeps real estate professionals from doing that which matters most: succeeding through quick action, accuracy and customer satisfaction. To brokerage staff, succeeding means simple workflows that reduce their risk of errors and enhance the accuracy of their work. To agents, succeeding means finding leads, closing them and providing superior client satisfaction along the way. And to the brokerage, succeeding means enabling agents and staff to do all of the above while ensuring clients get the real estate experience they came for.

Shifting to a larger ecosystem not only ensures that these users achieve personal success, but also allows them to share it with one another. This is what drove Lone Wolf’s acquisitions of Instanet Solutions and zipLogix, and informs our solutions and services to this day. We want to help real estate professionals—all of them—be better at what they do best.

Our real estate brokerage technology platform, for example, is quickly becoming a one-stop shop for the entire real estate transaction. It includes everything from forms, transaction management and back-office to an increasing number of integration points for upstream CRM and downstream activities for title, mortgage and other services. This platform is changing transaction management as we know it, and what once was a segmented, time-consuming process will become an integrated, seamless one. As an ecosystem, it enables REALTORS®, brokerage staff and management to collaborate in real-time and act on meaningful activities with speed and precision.

But integrations are only one facet of a larger ecosystem. The UX—which refers to the customer’s user experience while using the product, as well as the support, training and professional services they receive from the technology provider—and a REALTOR® focus are equally critical components.

A bad UX means that the product will fall short of helping the user and impair their productivity, while inadequate support, training and professional services will prevent the user from getting the most value out of their solution. If a REALTOR® doesn’t know how to use the technology, if it fails to meet their needs, or is simply not secure, then adoption is a pipe dream—and segmentation will remain.

In our progress toward ecosystems and complete technological solutions, it’s imperative to protect the interests of REALTORS® and preserve their pivotal role in the real estate transaction. At Lone Wolf, we form strong relationships with Associations of REALTORS®—national, state or local—as well as MLSs because we know that establishing trust in the technology is essential for its adoption. Trust, both in the solution and the solution’s provider, is perhaps the most significant factor if REALTORS® and the industry at large are to ride the fast-moving technological wave.

Mourad Zerroug is VP of Engineering at Lone Wolf Technologies. For more information, please visit www.lwolf.com.

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The Best Smart Home Technology for Pet Owners

May 1, 2019 by

Smart home technology is improving life for everyone, even your furry little friends. These days, there are tons of products available for pets who live in the lap of luxury, from smart feeders that automatically dispense food to treadmills designed for felines.

For those who like to spoil their dogs and cats, here’s the latest and greatest pet technology to bring into your home!

iFetch Too

For some dogs, a quick game of fetch is never enough. If this sounds familiar, then the iFetch might just be for you. This automatic ball launcher will have your pooch running around all day long with up to 300 throws per battery charge. Various distance settings that range from 10 to 40 feet allow you to set it up inside or out, so your dog can chase tennis balls to its heart’s content even when you’re not home. And for the ones who love digging holes, the iDig is also worth checking out!

Little Cat

Is your feline enjoying the cat nip a bit too much? For cats that could afford to lose a few pounds, the Little Cat from PetDing is the perfect solution. Essentially a large hamster wheel with a built-in LED light that cats love to chase after, it’s like an exercise program designed to get your little fur ball off the couch. Available in four different colors, it’ll look great in any house or apartment.

Petcube Bites

There are lots of pet cameras available for those who suffer a little separation anxiety during the day, but the Petcube Bites does more than just let you check in on them. The two-way speaker allows your cat or dog to hear the comfort of your voice when you’re away and you can even reward good behavior with the built-in treat dispenser.

Wagz Smart Door

Nobody wants an unwelcomed visitor coming through the doggy door. Now you can keep out any surprises with the Wagz Smart Door that uses a unique ID tag in the collar that only opens the door for your pets. You can even control when they’re allowed to go outside and use the live HD video camera to monitor any motion around the door.

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Stop Hiding Behind Technology

Jan 27, 2019 by

Did you know that before there was the world wide web, people still managed to buy and sell real estate? What’s happened is that technology has changed the game from people and information to impersonal data. More agents rely solely on automation for connection and are failing to harness the power of human connection. It’s time to gear up with innovative ways to connect with prospects using both personal and automated services.

With automated voice messaging, lead generation direct-connects and more, we may have lost the very foundation of the real estate transaction, which is actually exchanging real-time connection with the prospect. Automation is a terrific tool to stay connected and informed, but nothing beats face-to-face connection. It’s time to go beyond technology and get out there and see the people.

When you listen to the real needs of your prospects, you’re better equipped to meet and exceed their demands, as well as offer true distinction in regard to what you do and how you do it. Here are a few tips on how to up your game by adding a real connection factor to your marketing and messaging:

Prepare for Showtime
Take that tired old listing presentation and pump it up. It’s time to refresh, reboot and redesign your presentations with the latest integration of platforms and services. One newer idea is to do a video walk-through of your new listing for a fresh way to ‘view’ new inventory. Post it to your Facebook business page and use geotargeting to market it directly to those prospects who show interest in the area or location. Real-time video can show off the highlights of a home, especially condos that look pretty much alike on the outside.

Up your listing presentation with video marketing samples, embed drone footage for special properties and include new innovations for e-marketing platforms that target specific buyers for your new listings. Give a whole new level of ‘experience’ to both the seller and the prospective buyer using video engagement.

Get Hyperlocal
Did you know that the consumer shows more interest in their immediate neighborhood than in broader zip code data? Research has cited that when prospects search zip codes, they’ll spend seconds versus minutes online when looking for properties in a 4×4 block area. Take this opportunity to get deep on local demographic information that has high relevance to a prospective buyer’s needs. Include specific information about lifestyle amenities within blocks of the subject property, in addition to housing data. Visit, walk and meet the neighborhood to become their expert.

See the People
Door-knocking has been around for years, but when you execute with a purpose to ‘meet’ instead of ‘solicit,’ you’re met with a more open energy. Target the 40 properties around your brand-new listing and ask if they can help you “find” a new neighbor. Take the opportunity to introduce yourself and your team. Offer an invitation to attend a ‘sneak peek’ private open house reception at the property before the public viewing. If they attend, send a “Thank you and nice to meet you” note. If they don’t attend, send a “Sorry we missed you” note. Either way, the local neighbors get to put a face with the yard sign.

Go beyond technology and reach out to engage your prospects with a human connection and create raving fans for life.

Terri Murphy is a communication engagement specialist, author, speaker, consultant and coach with Workman Success Systems. She is the author of five books and radio host for KWAMtheVoice.com. For more information, please visit TerriMurphy.com or email Terri@TerriMurphy.com.

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Driving Efficiency Through Streamlined Technology

Dec 28, 2017 by

Massachusetts firm finds the power in Clareity’s broker dashboard

Comprised of approximately 90 agents in nine offices, Robert Paul Properties in Osterville, Mass., was looking for a way to make life easier for its busy workforce. After trying several different solutions, the firm decided to implement Clareity’s DASH! Broker Dashboard, which required minimal behavioral change and brought all of their technology tools together in one place.

“We were impressed by the simplicity of being able to keep our agents on one platform and all our resources in one spot,” says Emily Clark, general sales manager of Robert Paul Properties. “On top of that, the single sign-on (SSO) is a great feature because our agents are so busy that they don’t always remember different passwords, and this lets them keep going in the same direction.”

The firm, with offices in Cape Cod, Boston and Cambridge, began building out its Clareity platform at the beginning of 2017…and has been loving the results thus far.

In laying out Clareity’s SSO Dashboard, the firm put all the real estate apps their agents take advantage of in one location, and all of its internal forms and tools in another section, making it easy for employees to navigate.

Thanks to the dashboard, Clark notes, Robert Paul Properties’ agents can quickly log on and immediately see the applications available to them, making it a piece of cake to display value propositions. Agents can start and end their day on the dashboard, utilizing all the tools they need for a successful real estate transaction. DASH! can even be activated from any phone, tablet or computer, so the information is always within reach.

“Not only can agents access the MLS, but we have all our internal stuff in one centralized location so they can fill out all the forms required—signed requests, closing and offer forms—and they will automatically get submitted to where they need to go,” Clark says.

Loving the ease of having everything in one location and having access to their calendars and different notification pieces, the firm’s agents have been universal in expressing their fondness for the service.

“The agent communication part is also a big draw,” says Clark. “If they have a new listing coming on, they have the ability to go in and post it before the system automatically sends a notification to the whole company.”

Utilizing DASH! has also improved the firm’s social media reach because it’s made it easier to link anything posted by an agent company-wide.

Agents can also reach out to a Clareity representative should any questions or hiccups occur along the way. And while nothing major has happened, Clark takes comfort in knowing that they can quickly reach out for help.

“If there are additions, we let our agents know, but they can usually just look at the screen and know what’s going on, which has really helped us keep the communication open between offices,” concludes Clark.

For more information, please visit www.clareity.com.

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