Technology Addiction and Real Estate

Written by Ali Calladine, March 01st, 2018

It is widely discussed and accepted in this era that, just over 10 years after the first iPhone was created, Smartphones have majorly impacted the way that we think, relate, grow, and engage with the world. In Real Estate, we have easy sight of the benefits- quick responses, organization, capacity, and information. What many of us ignore is the abundant negative impacts: the proven negative impact on memory, focus, emotional stability, innovative thinking. I believe we all feel this erosion of human wellness with the 4-8 hours we spend on our smartphones every day, and yet we keep doing it. As stated by Jane Brody of the New York Times,The only difference between smartphone addiction and any other is that it’s socially accepted. But that doesn’t mean it’s not detrimental.


I’m there too. I have 58 apps on my phone, and my phone is within reach 24 hours a day- even when I sleep, or when I’m out in the wilderness.


In Real Estate, there is extra justification for this compulsive checking of our phones. we’ve created a culture of instant gratification- our leads need to be responded to in 5 minutes, our clients need to be texted back right away, the more presence we have on social media the better brand we will have. But is that our job? To respond? The thing is, good ideas come in moments of downtime, strong research happens with focused attention, taking the high road in negotiation depends on personal strength and nuanced understanding of what’s happening with those involved in our negotiations. And the research shows that checking your phone an average of once every 6 minutes seriously disrupts your ability to do this.


So today, I would just like to remind you that you have a choice.

If the way you use tech isn’t working, you can redesign your boundaries with it based on discerning what about it makes your life better, and what makes it worse. Create precedents with clients, friends, and family about how and when you will respond, create different systems for connecting with leads, and start to build new habits around how and why you’re checking that smartphone.


Building new habits might come from small changes: not having your phone with you during meals or meetings, or putting it in airplane mode while you’re focusing on important work.


It might also come from reflecting on what you’re pushing away when you impulsively pick up your phone- perhaps the intentional pushing away of emotions like boredom or loneliness, or perhaps the accidental pushing away of things like people, or big ideas.


Other Resouces:


CALM by Dr. Alter, author of Irresistable: Why we can’t stop Checking, Scrolling, Clicking, and Watching

Jane Brody, New York Times

9 Responses to “Technology Addiction and Real Estate”

  1. Bob Fraser says:

    Great post and very true. Having said that, I still check my phone every 6 minutes…

  2. Leesa says:

    Love this!

  3. Cherie Myre says:

    Love this! To be honest, my phone just makes me feel bad about myself;(

    And I hate that my husband and my son’s are on theirs all the time.

    I’ve never felt that before!

  4. Romana Kosch says:

    Thank you for the article. We are all guilty of it, my self included. We go to Mexico every year for about 2 weeks and I leave my phone at home. I purposely do not connect with the tech world but connect with my family and spouse and nature (Diving) while I am there. I can honestly say after two weeks I feel like a new person and it is hard to get back to the hectic world we live in today.

  5. Craig Veroni says:

    While I agree most people are too addicted to their phones, I think the proper use of our smartphones is an essential skill in the real estate business. I have boundaries with my phone. I never keep it beside my bed. When I turn in for the night it’s in another room either off or charging. I also never check it until after my morning workout. However, during the day, I leverage that little piece of tech to it’s fullest. By connecting with clients and leads immediately using video on my phone I’ve seen a massive transformation in my business. It’s putting the personal back into the impersonal nature of technology. By leveraging that little camera on the front or back of my phone I’m able to get belly to belly with anyone in a heartbeat. This technology is here to stay and it’s up to agents to figure out how to leverage the tech and deliver a personal level of service only a handful of agents are doing at this time.

  6. Murray MacRae says:

    Very true. Too much screen time is not good for you. I’ve made a habit of leaving my phone in my office during the dinner hour so my wife and I get some “phone free” time together and turning it off when I’m at lunch with colleagues. Leaving it at home during vacation is a little harder. I use the camera a lot, but I have a message that says I will be away until a certain date and to call my replacement in the meantime.

  7. Chris Davies says:

    For Lent this year I’m putting my phone in a box. When I get home it goes on a shelf by the door and stays there until I leave in the morning unless there’s a truly compelling reason and my wife agrees. If it’s an email or evening work thing I can use my laptop but that’s pretty rare.

    Maybe it’s easier because I’m exclusively commercial, but then again that’s probably part of the reason Suze gave me the kick to move over to specialize. 🙂

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