6 Tech Budget Boosters

Whether your company has a handful of sales associates or a network of offices, you can't afford to make technology investments without careful evaluation.

May 1, 2010

These cost-saving steps can help you make the most of your budget and spare you unnecessary expenses.

Get input from your sales force.

Before engaging the pricey advice of any consultant on tech strategy or implementation, talk with team members about their needs, their expectations, and their willingness to pay for that support. If you do still need outside expertise, you’ll be able to provide the consultant with a more targeted assessment of the help you need most.

Weigh leasing against buying.

Leasing can seem to be a manageable expense. But if the lease runs too long, you could end up with a contract that has you still paying for outdated equipment.

Look to the Web.

From VoIP phone services to online data storage, there are Web-based alternatives to yesterday’s hardware solutions. The Web is also the first place to look for economical, cloud-based software as a service offerings in areas like contact management, e-mail marketing, listing syndication, and Web hosting.   

Talk to users.

Before committing to costly expenditures like a Web site overhaul or new lead-management system, ask the vendor or provider for names of current customers. Talk to them about the service, support, and overall satisfaction with their investment.

Watch for hidden costs.

Always investigate what else it will cost for solutions that seem at first glance to be attractive and affordable. Before enrolling in Web-based services, find out whether the fee covers all the features your associates will require and whether it covers the company as a whole or will be applied for each user. With hardware, know the cost of extended warranties, lease buyouts, and tech support.

Back off the bleeding edge.

To minimize chances of ill-fated or costly investments, don’t be the first to sign for a full-scale, companywide rollout of the latest new technology. Rather, plan flexibility into your spending so that you can sample new tools as they appear and make a no-risk evaluation of which ones merit your investment.

Get Tech Savings 

The Realtor Benefits® Program has partnered with technology leaders to offer savings on products and services you use every day. Go to REALTOR.org/RealtorBenefits.