Susan Singer - This past holiday season, my colleagues and I were chipping in for a holiday gift for our shared assistant and I was collecting the money.
One young associate asked if I took Venmo.
He explained that Venmo was an app for a smart phone that allows you to instantly transfer money from your bank account or credit card to anyone using their phone number, e-mail or Facebook account.
I smiled weakly and flippantly replied that I did not take Venmo but I would take a Krugerrand because I was trying to get back to the gold standard.
He stared blankly at me for a moment and then said “the price of gold has really gone down”. I realized then that I could be on my way to becoming a dinosaur.
I have an iPhone and iPad and I am doing a majority of my shopping on-line these days (love Amazon Prime!) but I am not on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any of the other hundreds of social media outlets that I cannot even begin to name. (Well, I continue to HOPE that I am not on You Tube somewhere.)
In fact, I have loudly and proudly proclaimed that I intend to be the last person in the world to get on Facebook. Does this mean I am missing the boat?
Here at the Bradford companies, we recently rolled out a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to all the brokers and I am still struggling to get caught up on everything that this program can do. I am seeing the things that the younger associates are able to do with it and it is amazing.
Eventually, I will get there with this program, but does that mean that I am just a non-tech savvy procrastinator or am I really on my way to becoming the office tech dinosaur? Only one way to find out – Google it.
I found an article written by Dr. John Sullivan who is an internationally known thought-leader from Silicon Valley that lists the top 10 indicators that you are falling behind the times.
1) You wear a watch.
2) You carry a camera.
3) You still use a fax machine.
4) You use printers and file cabinets.
5) You make telephone calls.
6) You rely solely on e-mail with an e-mail provider like AOL or Hotmail.
7) You carry a day planner.
8) Your language. (For example, you can’t text or tweet without knowing the latest acronyms like OMG, WTF, LOL, etc.)
9) You listen to CD’s
10) Miscellaneous factors – you still use MySpace or Friendster, you watch 100% of your TV shows on your TV or you play video games on a standalone home console versus an internet gaming network.
Well, if this list is accurate then I need to be preparing for the next giant asteroid to hit the earth because 50 million years from now, school kids are going to be uncovering my fossilized remains holding an iPhone 3GS with 7 apps on it in one hand and a Starbucks cup in the other.
Joking aside, I realize that I need to stay relevant in the Dallas commercial real estate marketplace and a big part of that is going to involve embracing and implementing technology in my work day.
One way is that I am going to get and stay involved with my younger co-workers. These are kids that grew up texting, tweeting and using Facebook and I need to be asking them to show me how to do something rather than just asking them to do it for me. “Reverse Mentoring” is a good catchword I heard recently to describe this situation.
I believe this can be a symbiotic relationship though because they are more tech savvy but I have an amount of accumulated commercial real estate knowledge over my career that is hard to replace.
Next, I am not going to disdain social media. I have pooh-poohed this form of communication as something that is just an incredible time-suck on the part of most people, but I need to realize that it is also becoming a more efficient way to disseminate information.
Last, I need to continue to educate myself. This may involve taking some technology classes (Power Point is tired!) or just making sure on a day-to-day basis that I am more open to rapidly changing new technology.
In the end, technology is just a tool. I just want to make sure that I am the one that knows how to work the smart end of the tape measure.
PS – my clock-bracelet is a fashion statement and not just something to tell time, thank you very much.
Susan Singer is Executive Vice President for Bradford in Dallas, Susan focuses on tenant representation, agency leasing and general brokerage activities. Corporate Office, 9400 NCX, Suite 500, Dallas, TX 75231, Ph: 972-776-7043