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The secret to agent tech adoption? Simplify.

Figuring out what real estate technology to provide for agents is a puzzle. If you read the headlines today, seemingly dozens of tech companies and brokerages are trying to solve the “broken” real estate industry with new products claiming to make a real estate agent’s life easier or simplifying the real estate transaction so much that we seemingly don’t need an agent anymore.

As a brokerage, what are the real estate technology tools you should be providing to your agents today and what will they ultimately use? This is doubly challenging, because brokerages face decreasing profitability and need to re-think how the brokerage survives and thrives as a profitable business.  

As a former brokerage-owner (Climb Real Estate) and now a property-tech founder (HighNote.io), here’s my philosophy on what to consider when introducing any new technology.

Make some agents happy

Making the agent happy is ultimately what it’s all about – you are a brokerage owner or manager, and your job is to support your agents and keep them at your firm. That means helping them achieve their goals and advance their careers.

But, don’t worry about making ALL of your agents happy with any new technology, because you simply can’t. As we all know, agents are not the same – one size does NOT fit all and it never will. For example, at Climb, we had four different CRMs that we endorsed and supported – we had to, because we had cohorts of agents that preferred one over the other.

3 ways to make some agents happy

The value has to be immediate: Any technology you provide needs to be usable by the agent and provide instant value to them without much training. If there is a lot of training involved, the value better be 10x per hour spent on training, because agent training is just too hard on your agents and staff. 

Saving time isn’t the point: Time is not really what you are trying to save agents. Yes, saving time, increasing efficiency, making an agent’s life easier are all good…but getting technology that helps the agent and you do more business, is better.

Do your agents even like seafood? If you spend a ton of time and money on cooking a fantastic lobster dinner for your agents, did you even ask if they like seafood to begin with? You must find what resonates with them and understand your agents’ problems. The best tech is the one that an agent can actually use (without your help). So test first with a small group and then, when sure, expand it to all agents. 

Adopt Tech that Differentiates Your Brokerage

You intuit this, you know this, but I’m going to say it. You need to adopt technology that sets your brokerage apart

In fact, if you want to stop agents from leaving and be able to recruit new agents, you need to provide real estate technology that others don’t. Everything you do for your agents is measured. If what you provide is on par as everyone else, then you have to rely on other legs to stand on (e.g., brand, relationships, split, etc.) If you are going to adopt new real estate technology, it better be better or at least different than what your competitors are using. Otherwise, honestly, you are just playing catch-up.

 Does it Really Simplify Your and Your Agents’ Lives?

The best tech solutions are the simplest ones

  • Less training
  • Less configuration
  • Less management

Equals 

  • more agent adoption
  • more sales
  • more profitability and 
  • more happiness. 

Find those real estate technology solutions that can run on their own and have agents be self-sufficient. Finally, as you think about what tech to add (or delete) to your brokerage, keep these things in mind: 

  • If you’re not tech-savvy, you must hire someone who is – it will be one of the best investments you can make.
  • It must help you and your agents make more money and increase your business.
  • Find technology that creates raving fans – both agents and clients.  If you do, you’ll win every time.

    Mark Choey is the founder of HighNote (highnote.io), a software company dedicated to providing tools that combine the best of technology and design for the real estate industry. Prior to launching HighNote, Mark was a top-producing real estate agent and the co-founder of Climb Real Estate, which he helped grow to one of the nation’s most innovative and top brokerages (acquired by NRT in 2016).

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