The real estate industry is changing. Hand-written offers, filing cabinets and printers are a thing of the past. Mobile offices, instantaneous responses, and data analytics are here to stay. For a brokerage to survive in this new digital age, their agents need to be equipped with state of the art tools at their fingertips.
Now that the days of drowning in paper are over, it seems like a new real estate technology pops up every day and it can be easy to get overwhelmed and lost in all the options. So how do you differentiate the useful from the useless and figure out which tools are right for you and your brokerage?
I spent a lot of time thinking about this very question for my team at The Boutique Real Estate Group. I started this brokerage with the primary objective of providing a world class experience for our clients. I have known from day one that in order to deliver on this goal my agents would need the right tech tools to do high quality work and provide a seamless experience to their clients.
I invest in technology that will improve the agent experience and the customer experience. I have developed these 5 “rules” for picking the right technology to develop a tech-centric brokerage:
1. Set a vision for your brokerage
Spend the time to brainstorm and define what kind of brokerage you want to be. What is important to you? What does your brokerage stand for? And how will technology help you achieve this? Clearly define it. Write it down. Memorize it. Now every time you look at a potential tool ask yourself if it fits into your tech framework and if not – pass!
2. Culture is everything
You’ve defined your vision, but how do you bring it to life? The answer is – culture. Don’t underestimate the power of culture to get everyone in your office to achieve your vision. It is up to you and your leadership team to develop a culture that embraces technology and values change.
3. Mobile first
Any technology that you consider for your brokerage MUST be mobile and tablet friendly. Agents, brokers and the modern customer need location independence – the freedom to work and sign on the fly. In the high speed world we live in nothing kills a deal like time.
4. Integrating gives you magic powers
The real secret to the getting the most out of your technology investment is integrations. When data is seamlessly shared from platform to platform, your agents or transactions coordinators don’t need to waste time on tedious data entry. This can improve accuracy and allow your agents to focus on their clients.
5. Pick a partner
In the end, when you select the technology provider – you are selecting a partner that will be with you for a long time. Make sure to pick a company that shares your values, that will answer the phone when you call and that is working to build the same future for real estate that you are. Don’t necessarily pick a company just for your needs today, but for your needs in 5, 10, 15 years…
With these rules in mind, I have built a tech-enhanced brokerage that is leading the way into real estate’s digital future and is fully armed to deliver high quality service. Now that I’ve shared my secrets, please add your own in the comments section below.
Congratulations! You’ve already taken the first step to properly preparing your brokerage for success in the digital age. Next up: navigating the hundreds of options out there – good luck!
Raj Qsar, Principal and Owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group, was named The Real Estate Influencer of the Year 2017 by Inman News. He has cracked the code for creating a tech-enhanced brokerage and The Boutique was named Most Innovative Brokerage. Find out more about what the Boutique Real Estate Group is doing by connecting with Raj on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.