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Tom Flanagan, vice president of marketing and technology at Residential Properties Ltd., is among 10 recipients of the 2013 Tech10 Award from the Tech Collective, an association for information technology and bioscience. The award recognizes exceptional technology professionals in the state.
Along with his role at Residential Properties Ltd., Flanagan is a syndicated technology columnist for Inman News and a mentor at Betaspring, a Providence-based startup-accelerator program for technology entrepreneurs. He has been a featured speaker at both local and national events, including the Google IT Summit and Real Estate Connect and was recently nominated as one of the top 100 most influential real estate leaders.
He holds an A.S. in multimedia from New England Institute of Technology.
PBN: In what ways can multimedia help real estate professionals connect to homebuyers and vice versa?
FLANAGAN: Technology and multimedia have had a tremendous impact on the real estate industry. Tools such as interactive mapping and high-definition video help consumers learn more about a home and a community. In fact, we have an in-house video department at Residential Properties. The medium has been wildly popular with our clients and sales associates. It has been incredibly rewarding to bring both of them into the creative process.
PBN: How do you help real estate agents who aren’t familiar with new media bridge skills gaps?
FLANAGAN: My philosophy for introducing new technology and platforms has always been to keep it simple and communicate the value proposition. I believe that photography has always been the foundation of real estate marketing and today’s visual Web is perfectly suited for the industry. In terms of social media, big platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest can be a great fit for a Realtor, if they are leveraged properly. I have conducted workshops and training for our real estate agents at Residential Properties over the years to address these apps and it’s been a lot of fun.
PBN: What predictions do you have for how technology will impact the real estate industry in the future?
FLANAGAN: Emerging technologies will continue to have a significant impact on the industry. These are exciting times in real estate. Drones and UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) have been a polarizing topic in recent months, particularly in terms of privacy. However, with responsible use, these instruments present an opportunity to capture unique imagery that can be valuable and entertaining to the consumer. Also, although wearable technology is still in its infancy, products such as Google Glass could certainly find their way into real estate marketing, enhancing an alternative way to view or showcase a home. •