“I have been a fan of using Twitter as an article clipping service,
which I can filter via a select group of tech savvy broker/tweeters
– through the Flipboard magazine style formatting app,” Rigl
shares. “This, along with support from SIOR and other group
meetings, seems to do the trick.”
In terms of assessment, he says the office tries it out, talks about
it, “and once it meets the criteria of usefulness in the office, one
of us, and then usually all of us, will adopt the app,” he says.
Interestingly, Spears says he also uses technology in the hiring
process. “When a candidate is sitting at the desk with a stapler,
a calculator, a computer, a file folder and paper clips I ask them
what they would do if I gave them a task that was extremely
important and time-sensitive,” he shares. “Most people sit and
squirm; they don’t get it. The right answer is ‘Google it,’ and
when they say that I hire them on the spot.”
SOMETHING OLD OR SOMETHING NEW?
What criteria do SIORs use when determining whether to add
technological capabilities – or to eliminate them? “Usually it’s
how much time and effort have to be placed to learn its use, and
how complicated it is,” says Spears. “My main criteria are: What
am I trying to accomplish? How important is it? Is it something
I’m planning that only I can do, or can I delegate it? Is the party
to whom I will delegate going to easily use it? And of course,
what is the ultimate benefit to us financially and in terms
“It’s generally ad hoc with our firm,” says Rigi. “For example, we
recently moved away from Outlook in favor of Gmail. Outlook
was taking too long to load on the laptops, required frequent
profile updating, and so on. Gmail, on the other hand, has served
us well with its fabulous search capability and versatility, and
Chrome provides its own suite of apps (maps, calendar, etc.) that
are becoming invaluable free tools.” He adds that Google Now! is
a recent app for iPhones and Androids that has voice recognition
he considers superior to Siri.
Russell recalls his experience with Surface Pro. “I knew
Microsoft worked on it, but when it first came out I looked at it in
the store and it was too weak, so I passed and kept using my Dell
laptop,” he recalls. “Now, with the new version, it’s one of my
‘hot to trot’ things.”
Speaking of “something new,” Spears is planning some changes
for 2014. “We are looking into new database stuff, and also are
moving to VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol),” he shares.
“We’ll be moving a lot to the Cloud; that’s where
Which is a key point noted by several SIORs, as cloud-based
services enable them to remain connected to all their data – no
matter where they are. They also agree it’s critical to make sure
that whatever software service you are evaluating is highly
compatible with the operating system you are using. And finally,
if at all possible, you should beta test any service you are
considering before making your purchase commitment.
STEVE LEWIS is President
of Wordman, Inc., a marketing
communications firm based
in Loudon, TN. He has been
representing real estate clients
and covering the commercial real
estate industry for more than 30
years, and he continues to write
freelance articles about the real
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