Every Apple product launch comes with a large dose of hope to go with the hype.
The New iPad Launched Yesterday. I’ve already ordered mine. I’m not going to go over the insane specs of the new screen or enter the debate about whether it lives up to the hype or not. Much has been written about it in the last 24 hours. More will come. To his credit, within the first few hours after the announcement, Joel Burslem wrote this excellent post, “What the new iPad means for Real Estate.”
“It’s going to make nearly every real estate website out there look, well, pretty fuzzy,” Joel wrote. “Ever tried to watch a standard definition TV signal on your HDTV – looks pretty horrific, right? Those photos and icons you optimized in 1999 for a 56k dial-up modem connection are going to need some serious attention. Stat.” He also talks about how it will give real estate video a “shot in the arm.”
I think his assessment of the potential is spot on. My concern is this – it’s just the latest technology to come with the hope of providing this elusive kick in the butt the industry needs. For different reasons, a similar post could have been written about the original iPad or the iPad 2. In fact, similar words have been written for the last five years. Over and over and over again, with every advance in technology.
Too many real estate photos still suck, and brokers allow it. The plethora of brokers and agents who continue to push out bad real estate videos will still push out bad videos when they’re shot in HD and displayed in all the glory of the new iPad’s retina display. The inspiration for wholesale, long-term change in quality is not going to come from these external technology forces.
There were no technological limitations to making these changes happen before yesterday. And there was no shortage of solid business rational to justify the change. Perhaps there are agents this morning saying, “Wow, the resolution on that new iPad screen is amazing. Finally, I have the reason I was waiting for to step up my online game, to take better photos and create higher quality, more compelling videos.” Perhaps.
The source of any inspiration can be internal or external. But inspiration that stems from external forces, like technology, is temporary and needs continual external reinforcement. Inspiration that stems from an internal source has the potential to be long-term and self energizing. What the real estate industry needs to make the shift Joel is talking about is more than the new iPad can deliver.
Great work is never externally motivated.
What Joel is arguing for is for great work. Inspired work. Great work always contains a palpable element of depth, it goes beyond knowledge and skills. It has a spiritual quality that can only come from an inner fire. Perhaps the new iPad can be the spark, but the fire will to need to be fueled by something internal if it’s going to have any staying power.
Inspiration to fuel the kind of change Joel is arguing for has to come from within each agent, within each broker, within each brand. And if the new iPad is the spark that lights that fire, I hope we’ll be able to look back and say, “Joel nailed it.” I’ll be happy if he did.
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Photo: Creative Commons license by canon7dude via Flickr.