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Top Technology Trends to Watch in 2011, part 3

June 13, 2011  |  by MRIS_CIO_Michael_Belak

Global Collaboration. Are you looking for ways to get more value from each dollar you spend? Why not let technology help you get the value you need? Enhanced collaboration tools and global services are creating new capabilities for brokers and agents.  Collaboration tools such as video conferencing, telepresence and shared electronic workspaces are growing in importance.  Still require your staff to come to the office to perform tasks?  That’s so 1980s… You can reap many benefits by enabling your staff to telecommute using collaboration tools resulting in increased employee morale, greater productivity, cost savings in reduced office space, etc.  Example:  Did you know that 65% of IBM’s workforce spends part of their time working at non-IBM locations?    40% of IBM’s workforce has no dedicated workspace at all.  IBM spent over $1B to promote telecommuting, an easy investment to make as they saved over $2B annually.  So… when would you like to start saving money?   Entry-point technology costs are low, so you don’t have to “spend a lot” to “get a lot.”   You can start simple today and as your needs grow; you can adopt more robust technologies tomorrow. For your next office meeting, save time and gas by holding a video meeting using Skype.  Its *free* to obtain the software and there’s no long distance cost if the meeting is with another Skype user.

Global services also offer increased choices for brokers and agents. With better collaboration tools, many services can now be outsourced worldwide – even individualized services can be done with good quality at reduced costs.  Need an administrative assistant to help with bookkeeping issues?  Perhaps a PowerPoint presentation to be done by Friday?   Why not focus on getting more customers and outsource this work to a firm like BrickWork?  Brickwork is an example of an outsourcing firm in Bangalore, India that specializes in providing remote executive assistants and virtual support services. Because of their offshore location, they work while you sleep and can provide services to individuals and firms, often at much reduced costs when compared to US prices.  So why not increase your productivity and get your own virtual assistant today?  In today’s global world, it’s important we recognize the US no longer has all of the best firms and services.  If you’re only working with US companies, you may be paying too much or not getting the best products and services available.

Summary: MRIS expects Global Collaboration to grow over the next few years.  Astute brokers and agents should look for ways to leverage collaboration tools and global services with their staff and customers to generate cost savings, promote employee retention and help grow revenues.  Fostering greater collaboration earlier in the sales cycle between agents and prospects will also help agents turn more prospects into paying customers, resulting in greater long-term earnings.

Posted in Blog, Industry News, MRIS CIO Insights

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4 responses to “Top Technology Trends to Watch in 2011, part 3”

  1. I would love to see MRIS lead the way and provide members a way to collaborate on home selections with their clients. Right now, agents can send clients email alerts, and can create shopping carts for each client. This is a good start, collaborating with clients now is handled through email — terribly unproductive. Taking it another step further, agents and clients (once logged in) could collaborate on specific listings — add comments, add status, add review notes, etc. This would be a private forum between designated agents and clients. This would be a huge value-add to agents and their customers that can only be properly supported by an MLS.

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