Real Estate Agent Technology Adoption
By David Camp
At Real Estate Connect, I attended a session dedicated to driving agent adoption of technology tools. Having been in this industry for 15 years, the struggles discussed sound as familiar to me as the first day I entered the industry.
For those of us delivering technology solutions to agents, below are some thoughts to ponder:
- Consider the audience – our end user is focused on sales. The nature of the sales professional is to build relationships, flush out opportunity and close the deal at hand. It is easy to forget the amount of time required to invest in relationships that result in revenue.
- Understand the Agent’s role – the consumer is looking for a trusted advisor. This truth is why referrals remain a critical source of new clients and deals for Agents. Our tools must position the Agent as a trusted advisor.
- Simply automated – it is the nature of technologists to add feature after feature into products but the real challenge is developing simplicity into products and automation of activity. Automation will drive adoption.
The dialogue during the “agent adoption” session took me back to a conversation with an industry friend who was the CTO of a large real estate brokerage at the time. His company spent significant dollars and hundreds of hours trying to get agents to add contacts into their database. The mission was to help the agents build their sphere of influence. Repeated attempts to grow the contact database failed. Then, they developed two reports for tracking markets and home values. When the reports released, there were two key elements: one click to add a contact and one click to launch either report. With two clicks, the agent setup a market report drip campaign. On the 7th of each month, that report landed in the mailbox of a contact. Immediately, the agents started adding contacts to the database. These reports helped the agents win business and success stories surfaced rapidly. It impacted what the agents care about; “making money”.
So, the key to agent adoption is building a product that is useful for a sales professional, simplify the setup and automate the delivery. It sounds easy but remember the words of Steve Jobs “Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”