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Finding a home for new technology with Google Apps

Posted by Mike Mercurio, CEO, SDAR

Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Mike Mercurio, CEO the San Diego Association of REALTORS®, California’s largest local branch of REALTORS®. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

People have been buying and selling property for centuries, often with the help of a professional who understands the complexities of real estate transactions. The San Diego Association of REALTORS® (SDAR) was created more than 100 years ago to give these professionals the opportunity to connect and discuss issues on a local level.

Our goal as an association is to give our 12,000 members the education and tools they need to be successful. It’s no secret that the real estate market has been challenging recently, so we are constantly looking for ways to help our members reduce their costs, streamline their operations, and find better ways to communicate with their buyers and sellers. We’ve been using Google Apps at our association main office and 5 service centers and have found the tools to be particularly useful in the real estate industry, so we decided to announce that we will be offering Google Apps to our members at our annual REALTOR® Expo and Conference.

We believe that Google Apps will transform the way our members do business. With Google Sites, they’re able to create websites for buyers with new listings and open houses, information on neighborhoods and schools, as well as directions and maps to each property. They can also create sites for properties on the market. Instead of calling or emailing clients, our REALTORS® can just update their sites, so buyers and sellers always have one place to go.

The most important aspect for members, however, has been the mobility of Google Apps. Since email, documents, and sites now live in the cloud, they can access this information from anywhere with an Internet connection -- at a property, from the office, or from home. Speed is of the essence in this business, and since REALTORS® are always on the go, being able to see new emails and respond right away is incredibly helpful.

With the uncertainty of the economy, we’re very happy to have found a way to significantly help our members’ businesses.