Is Technology Moving Too Fast?

In the last 24 hours, two great articles hit my inbox, both focusing on technology and real estate.  The first, on CBRE’s Blueprint site titled Three Tech Trends that Will Transform Real Estate, discussed the overall use of real estate and how it will evolve in the years to come. The second, written by the very forward thinking Jonathan Schultz titled Real Estate Operations and Technology Are About To Change Forever, hit on some of the key ways companies can prepare for the future.

After reading these articles, I was excited about the future until I thought back to my post from last week about how real estate marketing is stuck in the past. And then it hit me.

Is technology moving too fast for our industry?

I talk to a lot of people in our industry.  Everyone is BUSY. As my partner Joe Sarno likes to say, “It’s easy to be busy. It’s not as easy to make money.” But it’s not just brokers. Everyone uses the same language and it all revolves around “busy”.

If we are all so busy, who has time to take their foot off of the gas and learn how to use new technology?

Beyond the time aspect, there’s always the fear of buying a new piece of equipment or learning a new tool, only for it to be obsolete in six months. However, if we don’t TRY to keep up, we run the risk of being completely left behind.

So how do I keep up? Here are a few quick and easy tips:

  • While I joke that I don’t read, I actually read a lot of articles on workplace trends, technology in real estate, gadgets, etc. There’s so much content, most of which is free, that unless I trust the author, I tend to skim to see if it’s worth reading before actually getting engaged in the article.
  • I use social media to see what others think. It’s a great way to find out if a tool or app has staying power.
  • I actually talk to people. I know it’s a crazy concept, but since I like people and want to learn, I find that asking simple questions is amazingly helpful. Five minutes ago, I asked a colleague what he likes best about his Apple Watch and learned about the Golf Shot app.
  • I try everything. Not everything sticks, but if someone tells me about a new app, I immediately download it and give it a try. Truth be told, I am like a big kid and like new toys.

If you think you are too busy to keep up, you are right. I think you should keep doing things the way you have always done them and continue to use your old blackberry because you like the keyboard. If you are a landlord, you can continue to run your buildings the same way you did in the 80’s and 90’s, and if you are marketing space, you can continue to do it the old school way.

Just know this. I will keep upgrading my technology. Forward thinking landlords will come steal your tenants and give them the workplace environments they are looking for, including modern amenities, buildings systems and infrastructure. And marketing…well, I know that will catch up too.

It’s not that technology is moving too fast.  We are all just moving too slowly! The disruptive thinkers among us, like Jon Schultz and others, will push the industry forward…or drag it, kicking and screaming.