Before cars had GPS navigation systems, people got lost a lot more often. Researchers explained that men were predisposed only to stop and ask for directions as a last resort response when lost.
The same type of reaction is true today for many of us when a technology glitch occurs. We often try to first fix the problem ourselves instead of immediately reaching out for help.
The problem often becomes what we think will take a couple of minutes to correct ends up taking a lot more time than we ever imagined. Ten minutes of troubleshooting can quickly turn into 30 minutes or more before we give in and seek assistance.
The best practice? Go ahead and pick up a phone and call, chat or email tech support – first, not last.
That’s what Don Rathbun, a Realtor Emeritus with Florida Realtors, did when faced with a tech problem. He reached out to Tech Helpline, which for him is a member benefit. That means his call to Tech Helpline was free, but the help he received was priceless.
“From the start,” Rathbun shared, “[Alex] understood [the] problem. He was extremely patient and went above and beyond to make the necessary adjustments so that I would not have the problem in the future.” He also thanked Tech Helpline for “having people like Alex available to help us.”
For Sally Harasz, a Florida Realtor member from Ponte Vedra, getting professional help was the only option. She explained that Tech Helpline analyst Adrian “was a huge help to me today, and I am most grateful.”
“I gave him the challenge of finding and restoring 22 GB of files, and he methodically looked through various computer systems and functions and restored all the documents. I am now back up and running and in business,” Harasz said.
Agents rely on technology now more than ever
During the pandemic, real estate became more dependent on technology than ever before. The 2021 Technology Survey from the National Association of Realtors documented the impact.
Some 78% of all respondents said that eSignature was their single most valuable technology in the last 12 months. Local MLS apps/technology was second (54%), and nearly tied for second was social media (53%).
With 90% of respondents using Facebook in their real estate business, it’s clear that agents rely on technology to remain connected to their clients.
More technology tools coming
While tech tools for transaction management, CRMs, lockboxes, video calls, and showing software integrated deeply in the day-to-day workflow for nearly every agent, the chance of an agent that needed help has also increased dramatically.
For example, in 2020, Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity provided more support and training for more Realtors than ever in a single year.
More technology is coming, so the need to have reliable and accessible tech support isn’t going away.
The Technology Survey also found that in the next 12 months, respondents say that the five technology tools they will use in their business will be eSignatures (73 percent), social media (53 percent), local MLS apps/technology (47 percent), customer relationship management or CRM (44 percent), and lockboxes (43 percent).
Looking 24 months ahead, respondents believed that drones (37 percent), cybersecurity (34 percent), 5G (31 percent), and virtual reality (30 percent) would be the most impactful emerging technologies to their businesses.
Adopting and adapting to new technology always can be a struggle, as Diana M. Gardner, President of the Albermarle Association of Realtors in North Carolina, noted.
Call for help first, not last
For agents like Greg Gosselin, a member of the 2020 NAR Housing Opportunity Committee and the Maine Association of Realtors, contacting tech support first saved him a lot of time, allowing him to focus on his business.
He encountered a “Windows nightmare” and reached out to Tech Helpline, provided by his Realtor association as a member benefit. “My day was not consumed with technical issues but with income-producing work.”
The bottom line: let the tech experts focus on helping you fix your glitch and get back to business by reaching out first. Hopefully, your association or brokerage provides you with free access to Tech Helpline. If not, ask them to check out techhelpline.com, as the importance of getting fast tech support is now a must-have for agent productivity.
Do you have a Tech Helpline story to share? Tag #TechHelplineHelpedMe in your social media post.