While learning new technology can be intimidating, mastering a few apps can make operating a business more efficient.
Hilary Broadway, chairwoman of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce and broker-in-charge at Allen Tate Mooresville/Lake Norman, regularly leads seminars about how to integrate technology into business.
She said she is fascinated by technology and enjoys trying out new applications. In the real estate business, she has found that applications for mobile devices allow agents to conduct business quickly and from anywhere.
Previously, agents regularly drove to and from their offices retrieving documents and could wait days for signatures.
She now can use apps on a tablet device to import contact information from a business card, accept signatures and access all of her documents.
“A lot of people think the iPad is a sort of toy, but it is a highly effective business tool,” she said.
Here are a few of Broadway’s favorite apps:
Recipients can return the documents with an electronic signature, which means they can sign with a mouse, upload a scanned image of a signature or type in their name and choose a signature style.
Most of the apps that Broadway recommends are free. The biggest challenge can be learning how to use them.
“I think that people are eager to embrace technology, and I think people are intimidated by technology,” she said.
She tells people that if they are overwhelmed with information about apps to pick one or two and decide what they want to accomplish with it. Many people often want an app that will save them time or help them stop duplicating efforts at work.
“To learn to use it, you just dive in,” Broadway said. “Many of these apps have wonderful tutorials.”
Websites for apps often offer videos and descriptions of how to use the app, and some provide customers’ descriptions of creative ways they are using the app. A quick search on Google or YouTube also can pull up helpful instruction.
“There is a lot of help out there,” Broadway said. “People truly do not know where to start or how to start, but once they get in there, they find it’s so freeing to be able to use them.”
The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce regularly offers technology workshops for members. For more information, visit http://www.lakenormanchamber.org/