Your real estate brokerage depends on technology. How do you choose which platforms to use and which are a waste of money? Unless you have a full-time IT department at your disposal, you may need help answering these questions and maintaining your technology systems.
Hiring a technology consultant can save you money and aggravation, according to the Edward Lowe Foundation, a small-business and entrepreneurial development foundation. Here are questions to ask yourself before hiring a technology consultant:
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- What do you need that your current technology cannot do?
- How will you use this technology?
- Who should have access to it?
- How much support do you need? For how long will you need it?
- Will your systems handle sensitive information?
When you talk to potential tech consultants, consider asking these questions to learn more about their skills and experience:
- What kind of tech support do you provide?
- What is your procedure if systems are down or data is lost?
- What is your availability for responding to questions or fixing problems?
- Who are your references? Describe similar projects you’ve worked on.
Spell out what services you need and how performance will be measured. Make sure to include confidentiality agreements if the consultant will handle sensitive data. Anything that isn’t included in the initial contract, including unforeseen issues, may have to be negotiated separately.
For more information, read the Edward Lowe Foundation’s tips for hiring technology consultants.