Are You Experiencing Technical Difficulties? | National Apartment Association

Are You Experiencing Technical Difficulties?

In every office there’s one person who doesn’t have a clue when it comes to technology. If you’re sitting there with your typewriter correction fluid thinking “not so, Lauren,” that probably means that person is you.

While most of us thrive in a world of gadgets and gizmos, there are some who are intimidated by technology, clinging to card catalogues and typewriters and simpler times.

You know the type…

It’s the man who still has a Zack Morris supersized cell phone.

Unless you still wear parachute pants with extremely deep pockets—a separate but no less distressing issue—it can’t be easy to heft along a phone the size of a small child. Sure, the plastic antenna really makes it pop, but the gang at Bayside High has moved on (with the exception of Dustin Diamond) and so should you.

I’m not saying you have to go out and get an iPhone, but a smartphone might not be a bad idea. Many of today’s tech-savvy residents want to live at a community that is cutting edge. They’re not going to get that feeling if they’re on an apartment tour and see you whip out a device that was conceived before they were.

Smartphones may look really scary, but they’re not. You can start out slow and worry about all of the apps and games later. You’ll score points with your boss and you can save your old clunker for that next 80s party.

It’s the woman who carries around a Trapper Keeper full of loose-leaf paper.

I love Lisa Frank and her acid-tripping dolphins and unicorns as much as the next 25-year-old professional, but it’s time to put those binders in a box with the rest of your childhood and use a grown-up notebook: an iPad.

Instead of subjecting prospective residents to the sound of Velco pulling apart (right up there with nails on a chalkboard and silverware on a plate) every time someone has a question on a community tour, imagine how wonderful it would be to simply look up the answer instantly (and quietly) on your iPad.

An increasing number of leasing agents are now using iPads while giving community tours, pulling up floor plans and pricing information in seconds. The tablet computers and their ilk are also useful for submitting service requests from the field.

Those of us who grew up being told to never, ever touch our computer screen may be hesitant to try something that requires you to do the very opposite, but trust me—it will be OK.

It’s the woman who uses a foot pedal to stop and start her dictaphone.

If you are this person, it’s time to pack up your desk plants, pencil sharpener and “Quick Guide to Shorthand” and call it a day because we cannot help you. We thank you for your 57 years of service in the apartment industry and wish you well as you embark upon the next chapter of your life in Boca Raton.

For eight other technology “challenged” types, check out my article “Are You Experiencing Technical Difficulties?” in the 2012 Technology Supplement, which mailed with the March issue.