This past weekend I helped my mother with a list of “chores” she needed done on her computer. As a soon-to-be octogenarian later this year, she uses her desktop computer and iPad daily for email correspondence, surfing the web and binge watching shows from Netflix, Amazon and any other source that creates critically acclaimed content.
Among other things, I had to check her virus protection, clear her spam, sent and deleted emails as well as research a particular error message she was getting each time she went on Google. It turns out that her Vista operating software was soon to be outdated when it came to any Google Chrome updates. With her limited technology knowledge, she took this to mean she wouldn’t be able to access Google Chrome or Google search or the Internet in general. This was going to be an unacceptable situation so it was time to help her upgrade to Windows 10. #NanaNeedsHerGoogle
Now I am no computer nerd but I felt comfortable that I would be able to successfully install a new operating system for her. I visited MicroCenter here in town and grabbed the latest version of Microsoft’s Windows 10 program and headed to Mom’s house for what I hoped would be an easy and painless experience. Several hours over two days and a few quietly uttered “F-bombs” later, she’s back “online” and able to surf, search and send.
I realized that there are quite a few similarities between installing a new operating system and a successful real estate practice . In fact, here are 10 things Realtors can learn from installing Windows 10 (or any other new operating system).
Patience is one of the most important requirements for making any changes in your approach. Things will not always go as planned so be prepared to go slow and expect that some mistakes will happen but chances are you will not break anything. Not everything can be resolved immediately. Many times there are things happening in the background that you need to wait for until the bigger plan can unfold.
Error messages don’t always make sense. “E:\ is not a valid win32 application” doesn’t mean much if you aren’t a computer programmer. Sometimes you need more information or need to ask further questions. Remember, the best salespeople are the best “question askers.”
Don’t be afraid to ask when you need help. I accessed Google multiple times when I hit different obstacles along the way and even contacted the MicroCenter help desk when I didn’t understand anything I was finding online. (Shout out to Brandon for his patience and simple explanations during our trouble-shooting session). As simple as the real estate business can be at its core – matching a ready, willing, able Buyer with a Seller who has a home that matches the Buyers needs – it’s not always that easy. Every single transaction is different. Seeking help from your broker, fellow agents, affiliates or legal counsel is always a great way to get to a successful place.
Removing old products or programs may be necessary before proceeding with your new goals. It’s a common requirement to uninstall older versions of computer programs or incompatible systems before installing the new software. What programs do you need to uninstall before you can achieve your desired levels of success? Maybe Bad Attitude 2.0 or Shiny Object Distractions 3.5 should be on your “Delete list”? The way you “used to do things” doesn’t mean you should still be doing them. We have moved on from MLS books and flip phones so embrace your new tools and systems.
Leveraging partnerships requires collaboration. Installing new software and operating systems is one things but making sure it still interacts with other systems like email and printers requires some attention to detail. It’s necessary to make sure the “lines of communication” are still intact and all programs work together. As you begin doing things differently in your business, how are you insuring that your relationships with affiliates, partners and cooperating agents is a smooth and respectable part of your process?
The power of using scripts. Software works when it executes the scripts the creator designed. These scripts, when repeated over and over again allow the program and the user to accomplish what is needed. In real life, well-designed and practiced scripts and dialogues will help the user accomplish desired results as well.
Take time to review the tutorials. As easy as the new systems might appear, it’s probably a good idea to take a few extra minutes to learn as much as you can about your new investment. Reading instructions and watching any manufacturer-created videos will be beneficial. For Realtors, taking advantage of classes, workshops, webinars or coaching might be a way to make sure you are utilizing all of your talents to the best of your ability.
Reboot or restart for best results. Once the new programs have been installed, most systems will require you to restart your computer to take full effect. We can all learn from this as well. A fresh start each day will help insure that our operating system is charged up and ready to work at full speed.
Change takes time to get used to. A new system means new look, new sounds and possible new results when using it. If it didn’t look and feel different, it wouldn’t be new. Adapting to a new schedule, a new routine or a new technology isn’t easy so give yourself the benefit of the doubt that it will take time to get comfortable with.
Don’t misplace your product key. In order to install a new product or operating systems, manufacturers provide you with a “product key,” a long multiple-digit code that verifies that the product was purchased and is not being copied or shared between users. It’s always wise to hold on to the packaging that the new product comes in just in case of a system malfunction or any issues that could occur down the road. When it comes to your business – what is your “product key”? What is that secret code that you use to achieve success and deliver memorable experiences in a unique and different way from all the other nameless, faceless Realtors?
My product key is simple to remember…Build relationships, solve problems and have fun. What’s yours?
Photo credit: Brar_J via Flickr