It’s no stretch to say that technology saved the day as so many other industries came to a screeching halt last year.
With selling season upon us, it’s time to embrace this momentum and everything that tech can do for your team. So how can you help agents make the most of real estate technology to connect faster, close more deals, and maximize the customer experience?
Invest in a solid CRM
As you know, every great brokerage needs great real estate CRM software, but which one is right for you?
With so many options on the market, it makes sense to test drive a few through the free trials that are typically offered. See which ones really meet the needs of your agents and your future business objectives. Also, make sure the one you choose is compatible with your current systems. For instance, if your website uses IDX to communicate with your MLS, your real estate CRM software should support that platform or agents may end up re-entering data rather than saving time.
Above all, your CRM should be a serious follow-up machine that frees up agents to do the crucial work of building relationships. We chose kvCORE for Weichert because it’s a powerful, but highly customizable workhorse that provides:
- Real-time lead validation and customer look-upAbility to share listings and market through mass email, text, chat, and socialFully integrated task and team management that syncs with GooglePre-built campaigns with customized action plansMobile dialer with auto-scheduled calls
Plus, it’s directly linked to the agent’s custom website.
Most importantly, be patient. Every new piece of tech takes getting used to. Your agents will gauge their enthusiasm based on your openness to learning and growing. Carve out time to train as a group, share tips and tricks, and give your team time to adjust so they can make the most of every feature you’ve invested in.
Adopt digitized transactions
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that little conveniences have a huge impact on our lives. From electronic signatures to online notarizations, digitized transactions empowered buyers, sellers, and agents to go paperless and keep business moving forward.
As with CRMs, digital transaction management software varies in terms of price, storage, security, ease of use, and customer service. Look for systems that map your journey, eliminate human error, and integrate seamlessly into your CRM and MLS.
Above all, digitized transactions should streamline your agent’s process, from contract to closing, enabling faster, smoother collaboration for everyone involved.
Embrace remote communication (most of the time)
As people everywhere adjusted to Zoom workdays, buyers and sellers hardly missed a beat, communicating with agents via text, email, phone, and even video. OJO Labs found that, at the onset of the pandemic, 41 percent of people who still planned to buy a house increased their use of remote communication with their agents.
The key here is knowing your audience. While social media is an amazing tool for connecting to hundreds of people in your community through webinars, Q&A sessions, and up-to-the-minute listings, it’s not a substitute for personal connection.
While agents are texting more than ever –– and most clients love it –– it’s important to know when to pick up the phone and talk. A phone call is still the best way to get a sense for how clients are feeling, hear meaningful feedback, and address more complicated questions. And don’t forget to book regular check-ins with your own agents! Seeing your face and hearing your voice will always make a difference.
Befriend artificial intelligence
Alan Turing would be thrilled to hear that, after decades of development, AI is finally affordable, accessible, and making a real impact (especially in real estate technology). Once your agents experience its range of capabilities, they should feel empowered not intimidated by it.
Your AI, for example, should be alerting agents anytime someone visits their page, qualifying real estate leads, and even initiating a text conversation. On the back end, AI can dramatically cut down on data entry tasks and minimize mistakes. It’s also great for generating competitive analyses, following up with clients based on behaviors, and automatically assigning them to tailored marketing campaigns.
When one Weichert agent was in the hospital for a few days following a car accident (don’t worry, he’s fine), the system kept a running dialogue with an interested party. When he returned to work, the buyer was ready to put an offer in on one of the listings they were “shown.”
As clients become more technically savvy, they’re expecting agents to personalize their experience and even anticipate their needs. AI will be a key driver in this arena.
Get ready for 5G
Clients already expect to encounter your brand seamlessly across all platforms. With 5G technology fast approaching, promising download speeds 100 times faster than we’re used to, agents will be expected to engage and inform like never before.
Fifth-generation tech should vastly improve device response times and allow us to connect all of our screens in seconds thanks to a single wireless protocol.
What may be trickier to navigate is the tsunami of data that 5G will unleash. Now, more than ever, your real estate business will need to harness, mine, and transform big data into useful information for your team.
As 5G becomes more common, multiple listing services will need to standardize property data. This will (hopefully) deliver unprecedented insights into consumer behavior. It’s also expected to be a selling point, especially for those who live in rural or less densely populated metros.
Stay ahead of demographic disruptions
Post-pandemic, remote workers will continue upending norms, choosing homes based on weather, walkability, and a host of yet-to-be-discovered lifestyle preferences.
Using rich market insights and predictive analytics can help agents get ahead of emerging trends and patterns of migration. How many clients will still be commuting? Five days a week or perhaps just one? How will the growing interest in health and wellness influence buyer preferences? Will it come in the form of exercise rooms, inground pools, or backyard gardens?
As living and working patterns continue to evolve, real estate technology will arm your agents with data that illuminates wants and needs. Having a deeper understanding of what clients really value will only strengthen the agent/client bond going forward.
Help your agents shine
No matter how far real estate technology takes us, homebuying will always be one of life’s biggest and most expensive decisions. In times like these, agent expertise is the essential ingredient that can never be replaced.
The coming months and years will bring major opportunities for agents to stand out as the world acclimates to a new way of life. As real estate technology eliminates daily to-do’s, agents can shine even brighter by focusing on the human side of every interaction, making people feel heard, understood, and cared for.
If you’re struggling with real estate tech, unsure how to grow your brokerage, or just want to talk to others in the business, we’re always happy to help. We’re excited about how tech is elevating the customer experience and hope you are, too!
Take a look around for an overview of our philosophy plus broker videos, info on tools we offer, and a whole lot more.
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