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Who’s the Boss?

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By Jose Perez

real_estate_technology(1)Living in both the real estate brokerage and technology worlds, I have seen firsthand the frustrations that brokers and the folks they buy real estate technology from experience when it comes to the lack of agent adoption.

It’s fascinating to see the excitement everyone feels when companies roll out the next big technology that’s going to help agents be more productive and brokers more profitable, yet 6-12 months later, you run a report and see that only 10-15 percent of agents are actually engaged and using the product.

I know the guys and gals that put out these awesome solutions. They can’t figure out why more agents aren’t in love with their product.

And the brokers spend thousands of dollars a month trying to give agents what they think they want, only to realize after significant investments, that very few agents are paying attention.

The brokerages that have high agent adoption of technology have it for three reasons:

1. They actually have their finger on their agents’ pulse. They don’t just think they know what their agents want. These brokers know for certain because they have done focus groups, surveys, etc.

2. Once they roll a solution or strategy out, they make it mandatory…no questions asked.

3. They provide tons of support for their agents. There is never any doubt of how to get the most out of their investment. And they make sure their agents are getting the most out of the investment, too.

I have seen and heard some of the most outlandish excuses when it comes to why a solution doesn’t work. Sometimes an agent will get so riled up, they’ll threaten to go down the street to the competition.

This is one of the reasons brokers are wary of technology and vendors.

I often talk about fear in our industry. The agent is afraid of the consumer, the manager is afraid of the agent and the owner is afraid of the manager.

In this stressful environment, it’s even more important to know exactly what consumers want from us when it comes to technology. And, most importantly, you must know what your agents want and need to not only make them more productive, but also the best option for the homebuyers and/or sellers in their market.

If you give your agents ownership in the decision to adopt new technology, it’ll be much easier to get high adoption and engagement, precisely because you not only asked them, but also got them involved in the decision itself.

Finally, if you’re successful in this arena, you put yourself, as the broker/owner, in a position to increase the value of your business. If you control how the technology is used and how the data is leveraged, you now have one more asset in addition to your listings, physical plant, and goodwill.

Jose Perez is the founder of PCMS Consulting. The real estate solutions provider offers a fixed-price, pay-as-you-go alternative to traditional national franchise systems. PCMS combines real estate consulting with powerful technology to help brokers and agents engage and respond online.

For more information, visit www.pcmsconsulting.com.

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