Once a year I sit down with our accountant, and go over the company year end books. It’s at these meetings where you hear how you are really doing, and not how you think you’re doing. Part of the conversation at these meetings invariably touches on expenditures. It is afterall, the duty of my accountant to be cautious when I am not. On the first such visit after Coldwell Banker Neumann Real Estate moved to 824 Gordon Street, the accountant brought to my attention some areas of expense that had increased significantly over the previous year – technology. Not to worry I reassured him, there were some extenuating circumstances that required exceptional investment in new technology, and I was perfectly comfortable with the knowledge that these were one time expenses that wouldn’t recur for the foreseeable future. He smirked. I remember, because I felt mildly annoyed that he might doubt me. In the six full years that have transpired since our move, one thing has proven to be consistently predictable. No matter what we spend on technology this year, we will spend more next. Partially, this is a conscious decision on our part to fulfill our commitment be an industry leader in technology and facility. But to be honest, I think a company has to increase it’s technological budget on an annual basis just to keep up!
It’s important for us to remember however, that technology is simply a tool.
When my wife and I were first married and living on our own, I recall often lamenting aloud at lacking to the proper tools and equipment to do the work I wanted to do around the house. My father, had a well stocked shop with every piece of equipment, machinery or tool you could possibly imagine. I on the other hand, was constantly running to the hardware store (or my fathers) to pick up what I needed. Lacking the proper tools was a well worn excuse in the Neumann household. Well about twenty years have come and gone, and I too have a fairly well stocked garage. Yet, I am still useless around the house! I am the perfect illustration that the best tools in the hands of the inept, are a useless investment. And that, is also our challenge as real estate professionals. There is no piece of technology that you can buy that will help you calm a panicked client. And there is no commission too high, for those of you that are able to do it professionally and consistently. I am not second guessing our investment in technology. But I do find it’s useful to remember that it’s not the tools that matter, its the craftsman.
Thanks for reading,