If you’re reading this, you probably don’t need it. You probably already know how to do everything on this list and more. But I’m guessing you know people—agents right in your office, no doubt—who are still living and working in the Dark Ages and who need this information. This article is for them; share it with them.
These days, an agent who wants to make good use of technology and work effectively with clients needs to be able to do certain things. Here’s my list of the minimum technology skills for today’s agent.
1. Own and use a laptop computer.
You don’t have to buy it yourself; someone else can do that for you. But you should know how to:
- Pick up a wireless Internet signal and log on to a wi-fi network.
- Verify that your anti-virus software is up to date and working.
- Manually back up any important information that’s on your hard drive or verify that any automatic backup feature that’s installed is up to date and working.
2. Use e-mail.
- Maintain an e-mail address for professional purposes.
- Know how to log on, check e-mail, reply to and forward messages, send and receive documents.
- Check for messages at least twice a day.
3. Use a smartphone.
- Maintain a cell phone account with a data plan and use a device that let’s you send and receive message when you’re not near a computer.
4. Know the basics of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (or the Mac equivalents).
- Be able to create letters and simple documents in MS Word.
- Be able to create simple graphs and charts using MS Excel.
- Be able to create and give a presentation using MS PowerPoint.
5. Maintain a profile on LinkedIn.
- Have a LinkedIn profile with connections with others on the site
- Update your status at least once a month.
6. Maintain a website or a blog.
- Have, at the very least, your own website where prospects can see listings and search for properties.
- Write a blog (preferable to having a traditional website) and post a new article at least once a week.
7. Use Facebook and/or Twitter.
- Maintain a regular Facebook account or Fan Page. Post status updates at least 2-3 times per week.
- Maintain a Twitter account. Post a minimum of 10-15 messages per week.
What else should be included?