Trevor recently attended YachtWorks Brokerage University (you can see his write up here), and they obviously were trying to convey how important technology is important in todays marketplace. It is important to sellers and potential buyers, there is no doubt about that. At the end of the day it comes down to how easy information quality information can be accessed. We can debate all day about how important being on Facebook is, if Twitter is here to stay, or who first came up with the idea of "social media" integration into their website. There is a much larger force at work here behind the scenes, and it is called signalling.
How do you signal that you "get it" to potential customers? How can they easily obtain quality information about the type of people they are about to conduct significant transactions with? Word of mouth is great, and is going no where, but sometimes it is not enough to set you apart. Being an early adopter of new technologies and communications mediums is not always easy. It requires work, effort, learning, and paying a premium for some cutting edge products. However, it is precisely these qualities customers are looking for. How do your potential clients know you are up to date on all the current trends or willing to go the extra mile? All the current electronic packages in boats? You can signal this by using Twitter, posting YouTube videos, writing blog posts, and communicating with customers in their medium of choice (email, texting, cell phone, voicemail, video chat, twitter, facebook, etc). Even if you adopt technologies which fade away and are fads, it signals you are unlikely to leave any stone unturned for your clients. Using these tools you can set yourself apart from desk jockeys and any yacht broker who paid $30 for a box of business cards, you have invested yourself in being up to date with the business world.
What does technology have to do with boat washing? Very little. When we write about Navionics for the iPhone or Android, not only are we interested in the technology, but we are hoping to communicate to our customers that we "get it". If we can talk with you about the bleeding edge of the marine industry, there is a good chance we know a lot about our primary job, washing boats. How else will our customers know we have a passion for what we do?