by Michael Hosey
For most real estate companies, information technology (IT) is an integral part of doing business: a requirement for managing everything from large amounts of data to maintaining networks and operations in general. The challenge for many realtors, both residential and commercial, rests with finding the right IT professionals who can handle these responsibilities, ensuring the safety of client information and other sensitive material. In this economy, fulfilling that duty is essential -- it represents the difference between growth and sustained success and being a laggard in the world of IT management.
All of which is to say we need to eliminate the false choice between building an expensive in-house IT department, which requires time, personal interviews and significant salaries, and doing nothing. There is, instead, a third option - the advantage of managed IT - where real estate companies can enhance their productivity, generate more profits, contain costs and enjoy the peace of mind every business owner deserves. This last point is a critical component for any organization, particularly one in a competitive environment where the existing stress factor is substantial. In other words, realtors need to embrace the benefits of IT management solutions.
I write these words based on my own professional experience, where, as the founder of My Instant Guru, I work with several companies (realtors included) that have a variety of technology concerns. For example: we have an exclusive Managed Service Platform and Backup Disaster Recovery solution, which offers 24/7 oversight for each part of a network - servers, workstations, data and printers - so businesses will not encounter any downtime or disruption in service. This guarantee is essential for realty companies, where their online presence depends on safety and reliability; any failure in that regard - any compromised visibility with current and potential clients - can do permanent harm to a firm's reputation and ability to resolve several technical issues. Having a managed IT provider addresses these matters, enabling realtors to focus on their core areas of expertise.
Secondly, managed IT solutions level the proverbial playing field for smaller, independent firms. For, the costs associated with hiring just one IT professional as a full-time employee - including benefits, taxes and training - can easily exceed $100,000. That expense, multiplied by a factor of four for an average staff of in-house IT consultants, is not practical for a small real estate company. Nor is that cost, which can be substantially higher for larger firms with offices nationwide, reasonable for companies that have substantial IT requirements. There must be, therefore, a third way of accomplishing these tasks, maintaining quality and having ready access to technical experts who can customize solutions based on a company's goals and influence in the marketplace.
Thirdly, eliminating the majority of these costs allows realtors to focus on more pressing matters. Take, for instance, the necessity of building relationships with colleagues and marketing to prospective clients in a particular region. With more funds at their disposal, real estate agents and brokers can invest their resources in business development, advertising and promotions, and outreach within their respective communities. Those dollars yield real returns through repeat transactions, word-of-mouth testimonials and trust among the very people - buyers and sellers, landlord and tenants - who can propel a firm to new heights.
By adopting the use of managed IT, real estate firms have a rare opportunity to save money without sacrificing quality, access or reliability. This option is a major advantage for companies in general and realtors in particular. By removing the stress of running or hiring a full-time IT department, real estate brokers and agents can focus on the one thing they most enjoy: helping clients. Let us empower them to achieve that goal.
Published: June 6, 2013