In these uncertain times, it has never been more important for brokers to leverage technology. But do you ever feel sometimes like you’re damned if you do, but damned if you don’t?
One thing is clear: when your brokerage has smart tools in place that streamline your team’s work, you’re in a better position to thrive—no matter what the market is doing.
According to NAR’s 2022 Technology Survey, only 61% of agents agree that their brokerage provides all the technology tools they need to be successful. That’s a significant number of potentially dissatisfied agents. With the market the way it is, agents who don’t feel like they’re getting the support they need will go elsewhere. And a pool of strong sales professionals is the foundation for a successful brokerage business model.
At the same time, a lot of brokerages provide tools that agents don’t use. For broker owners, it can feel like you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. But we know that the most successful agents are the ones that leverage technology to their advantage, and the most successful brokerages are the ones that make it easy for agents to do so.
We recently read an article that talked about one of the most successful agents in the US in terms of transaction sides closed (more than 800 in just 4 years!) and his secrets to success. According to him, it boiled down to 2 things:
As a broker, it’s your job to provide and help your sales professionals use resources that keep the client relationship front and center. Let’s look at why that’s harder than it seems, and how you can fix it.
Real estate is an industry with notoriously poor tech adoption, particularly among agents. Why?
According to NAR, in 2022, the median age for real estate agents was 60. As the Pew Research Center has observed, “Many [older adults] are simply not confident in their own ability to learn about and properly use electronic devices.” Less than half of 50- to 64-year-olds feel very confident using technology. In stark contrast, younger generations are adopting new technology constantly, creating a lag that’s hard to overcome.
Broker owners and their best agents know that sometimes they are the victims of their own success. Their work streams and lifestyles can be very hectic. Every deal includes bumps in the road that agents must react to. Fires pop up they need to put out. There often isn’t much downtime for them to get familiar with new tools, even if those tools would help them work a lot smarter.
Many well-meaning broker owners invest in tools that they know will help their agents, but then forget a crucial element: proper training and onboarding.
Because agents may already feel insecure about their ability to use technology and they don’t have time to teach themselves, the tool goes unused.
This might be the most damaging reason of all: some agents actively mistrust their broker owner’s motives behind providing valuable technological resources, especially extremely useful tools like CRMs. They frequently worry their broker may take the leads they’ve worked so hard to generate and nurture. Therefore, they deliberately avoid using them, very often shooting themselves in the foot.
Despite the challenges broker owners face encouraging tech adoption at their brokerages, all is not lost. Many brokerages use technology to get incredible results, and this success is based on several fundamental pillars and winning strategies. Let’s look at them now:
Even small changes can be exceptionally hard. Implementing new technology is no different, and in fact, it’s even harder because it often involves a certain level of disruption. This is why it’s so important to engage all the stakeholders at your brokerage and get buy-in, so that everyone is on the same page about what is needed to successfully transition and how you will measure success.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a perfect example for this point, because it’s both a resource that many broker owners make available to their teams (but one that is frequently under-leveraged for the reasons mentioned above) and a tool for building and nurturing relationships over the long term, which has always been the real secret to success as a real estate professional.
According to a CRM study from Deloitte, which looked at a random sample of more than 10,500 customers of the largest CRM in the world over 2 years, CRMs are such valuable tools because they work. CRMs increase:
And according to the same NAR Technology Survey, the top three tech tools that gave respondents (or their agents) the highest number of quality leads in the last 12 months were:
The results should speak for themselves: providing your agents with the right tools, then helping them adopt them, will boost conversion, free up precious time by automating lead generation and nurturing, and ultimately increase agents’ bottom lines—and yours. These benefits, in turn, will help brokerage owners earn more trust from their agents and remove that barrier from the tech adoption equation.
It’s one thing to demonstrate technology’s benefits, and when properly implemented, everyone will see them for themselves.
But technology also needs a cheerleader, especially when there is a difficult transition on the horizon. As the captain of your ship, being an enthusiastic promoter of real estate technology is important, as is demonstrating an interest in learning more and staying on top of developments in the industry. It also means making an effort to learn the same tools you’re providing to your team, if only to better understand the challenges they’re facing so you can help overcome them.
It goes without saying: if your team knows how to use a technology tool and how using it will benefit them, they will be likelier to use it. This isn’t just important during the onboarding period: if your agents have good experiences with training and adoption for one tool, there will be goodwill established for the next change or transition period, whether it’s months or years down the road.
This is an area where picking the right tech provider is so important. You’ll want to make sure your vendor partner has the resources, content, and dedicated support staff to make sure your team can get answers to its questions quickly and painlessly.
Let’s use the CRM example again: the biggest CRM vendors in the world are Salesforce, Adobe, Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, and HubSpot. They’re popular for a reason: traditional sales teams use them to great effect.
But real estate is a unique industry. To ensure maximum adoption (and maximum ROI), you need to opt for solutions that are built around the nuances of buying and selling homes, not try to force a square peg into a round hole. Working with established partners with a proven track record in the real estate industry is a sure way to get tools your team can actually use.
Constellation1 CRM is the premier CRM for real estate, with the integrations, customizable lead-routing rules, mobile capability, automation, and broker visibility you need to ensure your team actions and nurtures every single lead.
With Constellation1 CRM, you can integrate with all your organic and paid lead sources, automate lead assignment to the best agent for the job, ensure fast lead follow-up, enjoy equal functionality on mobile or web, and see everything from a tailored, easy-to-use broker dashboard.
CRMs are essential tools that the industry’s top performers consistently use. When you help your agents use them effectively to streamline their work, you will boost retention, increase capacity, and ultimately help your bottom line.