Does your MLS or Association provide tech support? It should.
June 26, 2017
Technology in the real estate business is truly ubiquitous. Think about how many times you used your smartphone today related to your work. If you are like most agents, you probably used it to check your email, set an appointment and contact a client before you even stepped foot in your office. Or perhaps you didn’t even go to your office now that technology has enabled most agents to be able to work from almost anywhere.
We have become so dependent on technology in real estate that if we misplace our phones or our computers crash, we are likely to have a panic attack, right? Real estate agents and the real estate industry rely on, as never before, technology to power our transactions and our day-to-day operations.
So why doesn’t every MLS and/or REALTOR® trade association provide technical support for its members?
Ahead of the curve
For more than a decade, Florida Realtors® has provided Tech Helpline, the #1 tech support service for Realtors, to its members. Initially to support Florida Realtor members, it proved to be so successful that we began to offer Tech Helpline as a standalone service to other associations, MLSs, and eventually brokerages across the country.
As Realtor dependence on technology has grown, so have the challenges and complexities that technologies bring into the workplace. Malware has morphed to include ransomware, phishing is now rampant in real estate, and the emergence of the cloud combined with the massive data storage needs of agents from the photos and videos that consumers are demanding. Technology is a major factor in the day of an average real estate agent or broker.
This also means that tech support for Realtors has become an essential business service. It has gone from being a “nice to have” membership benefit to becoming a “must have” service that every MLS, association and real estate brokerage should be providing to its members.
We can make this claim because membership surveys support it. Time and time again, when MLSs or associations survey members to ask what are the most valuable member services they receive, the tech support that Tech Helpline provides is either at the top or near the top of their most valued member services.
What also is validating the need for universal tech support for Realtors is the growth of Tech Helpline. In the first four months of last year, for example, Tech Helpline added more than 100,000 new users, from Arizona to Virginia, Great Falls to San Diego. And 120 days into 2017, some 53,000+ more new users gained access to Tech Helpline, including Realtors in Wisconsin, Ontario, Canada, Estes, Colorado and five markets in Pennsylvania.
Tech Helpline has gained a reputation as “the Genius Bar for real estate.” It now serves nearly 600,000 Realtors® throughout the U.S. and Canada with a U.S.-based staff of professionals who have nearly 300 years of combined IT experience and only work with real estate agents and brokers.
Tech Helpline supports an array of tech tools and tech problems: laptops, desktops, smartphones, printers, software, Wi-Fi issues, email setup, viruses, malware, computer crashes, browser problems, slow computers, etc. Tech support is provided by phone in English or Spanish and by online chat and email.
The need for universal coverage
Bill Martin, Florida Realtors® CEO, nailed it when he pointed out how “vital technology has become in the day-in-the-life of a Realtor,” and said this: “We believe that Tech Helpline and the services we offer should really be available to every Realtor in North America.”
How can you get Tech Helpline? Ask your MLS, association or brokerage to contact Tech Helpline at Florida Realtors or www.techhelpline.com to see how affordable tech support for members can be.
Remember the old MTV commercials from the early days when they were just getting started? Not every cable channel carried MTV, but guess what? Once people saw MTV, they wanted it. So MTV created the “I want my MTV!” campaign to encourage people to contact their cable operators directly and, soon, thousands of cable firms across the U.S. picked up MTV.
So tell your MLS: “I want my Tech Helpline!”
To receive more information for your association or MLS, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.