ME: “This is going to be the best thing that has ever been offered to them..I know it!”
THEM: “Is this another pitch for a shiny object?”
I attended the Kona caravan tour meeting today to help promote a class I am teaching for my client, LUVA Real Estate. I’m standing there in front of about 40 Realtors promising them productivity, excitement and success by learning mobile apps for cloud computing on their mobile devices. The looks on most of their faces told me they were not as excited as I was.
Many comments on Facebook, tweets on Twitter and posts on Google Plus have both extolled “shiny objects” and vilified them. Shiny objects are those “cool, new, must-have” tools for small businesses, especially in the real estate industry where MANY vendors have spent the last few years trying to make Realtors jobs easier, providing gadgets, “one button does it all” marketing options, transaction management platforms and more.
HOWEVER, in this market, where inventory is slim and competition is fierce, many of the Realtors I have spoken to are going back to the basics. The steady staples of email marketing, calling past clients, etc.
Which brings me back to today and my steely eyed Realtor audience. They have seen shiny object vendors and they have chosen to put their sun glasses on. One agent, who was very matter of fact, said, “I don’t need to learn any new tools. I am just trying to get the MLS to work. They keep changing things over there and it’s all I can do to just try to learn THAT technology so I can do my job”. I know she is not alone in this sentiment. I have seen Realtors all over the country on chat groups talking about the dismal technology that drives their local MLS’s. If someone needs to create a new shiny object, it’s the MLS!
Back to tech tools- my friend Scott Schang wrote an article for REALTOR magazine “How to Tame a Technology-Saurus Rex” and he discussed the fact that many agents buy the shiny object and think it’s going to do everything for them. I have seen Realtors buy these programs, products, platforms, etc, and the technology can be FANTASTIC and the CEO’s pumped that THIS is going to reinvent the real estate industry, but not much changes for the Realtor. Because at the end of the day, it’s still work and without a marketing plan in place with a strong knowledge of how this new object is going to play into the plan, Realtors most likely will look at the new object like the treadmill sitting in their garage…or that box of vitamins meant to upgrade their lives. See? The treadmill still needs the owner to get on it and sweat. Those vitamins need to be taken consistently. Perhaps the seasoned agents in the room today knew that and decided they had enough tools to manage already. Up went the glasses.
A few Realtors DID come up to me after the meeting and took my flier and a few people signed up for the class. However, BEFORE I teach them about DropBox, Videolicious, Google Docs and such, I will make sure they have a plan and know that these apps are not going to change their lives unless they work at it. And I will most likely tell them to listen to the information and only pick ONE new thing to try so they can meld the new tech tool into what they are already doing..and then like a good juggler, bring in another ball.
However, I doubt I’ll be seeing those Realtors with the sunglasses.