Have you ever been overwhelmed with the number of vendors touting that their product is the silver bullet to your success. And there are so many vendors whose products do similar things, but yet none of them seem to do everything you need it to.

Well that’s where a geek like me comes in. Pat of my job is to research, test and tear apart each program so that I can give the best recommendations to help you cut through the clutter and make the smartest decisions to improve your business.

Join me at the 2014 ERA International Business Conference, March 24-27 in Los Angeles, where I will dole out the best hardware, software, phones, apps and more. But just in case you can’t make it or you need to make a tech decision before then, let me just give some quick advice on how to prioritize your tech buying needs (because there is not enough time in the day or money in your pocket to implement them all).

First you have to figure out what are your top priorities, needs, or issues you are trying to solve to improve your business. Is it….

  • Better intra-company communication?
  • Organizing your activities to provide better customer service to your clients?
  • Having a better marketing plan & online presence (website, social media, etc.) to help you retain and lure new clientele?
  • Learning which tools and apps to use to make you more mobile & paperless?
  • And so on?

Once you have come up with your needs list, structure it so that once you start looking at potential solutions, you can easily identify if that product might address more than one of the items on your list. For example, when I do consulting work for clients, I typically create a spreadsheet or grid of all their wants, limitations and budget. Then when I am evaluating potential solutions for them, I apply the features of each product to that spreadsheet so I can see which of the products I research for them meet the most of their needs.

Once you get past product features, you of course will want to do hands on demo of that program. Ask for a free login to play with for a few days so you and/or your team can really assess it first hand to make sure it fits your needs. And try to speak directly to a few of their current clients & get their feedback of the product, support and more. (Don’t ask the vendor to provide a few clients for you to call. They will just give you the list of their favorite customers who they know will speak glowingly of them.)

By doing your due diligence before you buy, not only will this strategy save you time and money, but it will also help you reduce the number of products you and your team have to learn and minimize the number of vendors you will have to deal with.

Craig Grant will be speaking at the 2014 ERA IBC in Los Angeles March 24-27, 2014. Register here.

Photo By cooldesign, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Craig Grant

Craig Grant, president of EasyRealtySites and The Real Estate Technology Institute, 2 companies whose goal is to elevate the real estate industry through technology & education.  With over 100 speaking engagements around the US each year he is considered one of the top technology, marketing & risk management instructors around.

As his motto, “Advanced Real Estate Technology Instructed at a Pre-K Level” states, Craig is able to take extremely complicated technology topics and present them in a way that the average non-technical person not only understands, but is able apply it to improve their business.

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