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5 keys to learning new technology at any age

Oct 27, 2016

pexels-photo-large-208354-edited.jpgThink you’re too old to learn new technology?

Good news. You’re not.

Why should you give up your tried-and-true, low- or no-tech system for prospecting and managing deals?

Fair question.

As you know (or at least the back of your mind does), it’s going to get tougher to stay competitive as commercial real estate brokers use more and more tools that offer greater access to data in real time. The game is changing—but can you keep up?

The trick is learning in a way that doesn’t disrupt what you do best: connect with clients offline.

Let’s look at five keys to successfully learning and adopting new technologies.

1. Step out from behind “I can’t.”

“I can’t because...” is nothing more than a thinly disguised brick wall that both protects you and holds you back. The new tech learning curve is not an age thing, or an ability thing. It’s just a new thing.

The next four keys can help you step out from behind this mindset. As you skim them, keep this advice from a tech pioneer in mind:

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”  – Henry Ford

2. Practice patience.

How long has it been since you left your full-time job as a student? If it’s been more than a few years, your learning mind could be a bit out of practice. Fortunately, it’s nothing a little patience (and a support team) can’t fix.

While you’re at it, steal a move from your mentoring playbook. You know how you wouldn’t encourage a child to quit after the first, second or tenth fall off a bike? Show yourself the same patience and understanding as you learn new technology.

Other brokers have made the leap to new tech—learn why

3. Take small bites.

According to research conducted by neuroscientist Brian Knutson, we learn better in small doses as we age. It makes sense—you didn’t learn the ins and outs of your industry in a day either. Why expect yourself to digest an online platform all at once?

Let’s take a CRM, for example. You’ll start by building the database and seeing how the pieces fit together. Learn the details of contact functionality first. You can then move on to properties, different data views and eventually reporting and analytics. Easy, or easier at least, right?

4. Resist the lure of old habits.

It’s easy for a golfer to slip into old habits even as a coach tries to correct the swing. Why? Because the new swing feels awkward at first.

It’s the same with learning a new platform. Your current system feels more natural. As soon as you stop letting your head lure you back to the old way, new technology will start to feel natural, too.

A pep-talk from a coach can’t hurt either...

“The secret of change consists in concentrating one's energy to create the new, and not to fight against the old.”  –Dan Millman, author and coach

5. Ask for directions.

Still feel that new tech tools are just not your thing? Okay, let’s reel this in a bit. Tech providers often offer videos, live webinars, ebooks and more. Stalk resource pages on company websites for learning materials that suit your style.

If you decide to ask for directions, the tech support team is available as a guide at any point along the way. No judgment.

If you take our advice, you’ll soon ask the question often posed by fellow tech-averse converts, “How did I ever live without this!?”

Topics: CRE Tech

The Apto Team

Written by The Apto Team

Apto, the commercial real estate software company, is the #1 CRM and deal management platform for commercial real estate brokers, with more paid users than any other service. Apto was built by and for brokers to help them manage contacts, properties, listings and deals from anywhere, on any device. Apto customers include thousands of independent brokers around the world, as well as multinational brokerages CBRE, JLL, NKF, Cushman & Wakefield and others. Headquartered in Denver, Apto is one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., as ranked by Inc. magazine three years in a row.

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