Tech It Up a Notch

Nine strategies for doing more with the technology and Web sites you already use.

September 1, 2010

"Less is more." It’s an unexpected stance on technology coming from practitioner Brian Copeland, a self-proclaimed "100 percent mobile agent" who doesn’t go anywhere without his iPhone, MacBook Pro, and MiFi compact wireless router.

But that’s just the thing, says Copeland, CRS, of Village Real Estate Services in Nashville, Tenn. Those three tools are his tech arsenal. His laptop gives him access to client information, online services, and Web-based documents, while his iPhone also regularly serves as a camera, a financial calculator, a digital compass, and even a copy machine. (That’s right, a copy machine—in lieu of making a photocopy, Copeland recently took a snapshot of a buyer’s earnest-money check and sent it via e-mail to his office for record-keeping.)

"I’m constantly out of the office connecting with new people," says the avid conference-goer, "but because I leverage technology I’m always in touch and getting work done."Because Copeland uses just a few pieces of hardware, he says it’s possible to become an expert on each tool. "It’s my opinion that you should use very little technology, but use it very well," he says. Yet such a measured approach is rare, says former real estate pro Doug Devitre, who’s now a technology trainer with St. Louis–based Doug Devitre International.

"A lot of people invest in technology because they perceive it to be a quick solution, but they never make time to learn everything it can do," says Devitre. "We try to learn small pieces of everything rather than mastering the things we use most often."

To help you get the most from your technology, we’ve rounded up expert tips, shortcuts, and resources. Time to start learning!

Kelly Quigley

Kelly Quigley is the former managing editor of REALTOR® Magazine.

Brian Summerfield is the former manager of business development and outreach for NAR Commercial and Global Services. 

Katherine Tarbox is a former senior editor with REALTOR® Magazine. Previously, she was editorial director for Washington Life. She is the author of the international bestselling book A Girl’s Life (Dutton, 2000) and has made hundreds of media appearances including The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and CNN.