When looking to make their agent’s lives a little easier, many brokers turn to cutting-edge technologies. Below, Keith Cornies of RE/MAX Advantage Realty talks all aspects of real estate tech.
Broker/Owner; Director of Professional Development
RE/MAX Advantage Realty
Certified Professional Life Coach
New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
Years in real estate: 22
Number of offices: 3
Number of agents: 130
Coaching philosophy: AIM coaching, which stands for ‘Achieve Individual Mastery.’ My coaching practice focuses 10 percent on business and 90 percent on emotions. There is no work/life balance—there is life balance and work is part of it.
I understand you’re very involved in teaching agents about the ways technology can impact their business. But how can technology also impact their lives?
I help agents create a laser focus to identify their purpose and why they’re here. That gives them a higher reason to achieve, other than just the dollar. If they’re laser focused on their larger purpose, they get internally inspired. It’s no longer horrible to phone past clients and learn new technology, because their purpose creates more focus. You can’t figure out a new technology if there’s no urgency and no real purpose.
An example of a tool that helps my agents is Top Producer mobile. Most agents suffer in their business—running around taking care of errands and tasks, and they don’t do anything to build their business. They’re busy, but they’re not being effective. Top Producer mobile is simple, it’s on your phone, it’s Web-based, and it helps make things easy.
My agents use technology and use it properly, and they want to and are inspired to, because it takes them to their larger purpose. Top Producer helps align them to their bigger purpose. If you look at technology as something that changes your life, then there will be no frustration in learning it.
Why do you think our industry has historically been slow to adapt to technology?
We’re dealing with an old-school mentality. We have to change the way we’re leading agents. We can’t tell them what to do and then leave them alone. We have to guide them through the process.
Every week, I have a Success Meeting to celebrate the success of the previous week, building and gaining momentum on what they do. Dr. David Rock talked about how people are always either in threat or reward. When you’re in threat, you can’t focus and, therefore, can’t get success. When you’re in reward, you can focus and get success.
What do you think is driving renewed interest in real estate technology?
Millennials. There is a new wave of agents coming into the business, aged 20 – 40, and they’ve all grown up with technology and with gadgets in their hands; they don’t fear technology. They want it, they love it, and they’re always searching for the next best tool. These agents are thriving because as soon as someone comes up with a better tool, they’re trying it. They want it all—they want a balanced life, they want quality of life. Technology can provide this.
What type of technologies did you bring on board for new and existing agents?
We brought on Tiger Leads. Out here, agents operate as individual soldiers. Offices don’t spend a lot of money on providing leads. We have to be different—we have to provide value. We provide Tiger Leads to our agents and we set up a technology lounge. Our support staff helps agents with taxes and back-end stuff that overwhelms them so they can do the business coming in from Tiger Leads.
Do you have any difficulty getting agents to adopt the new technologies and systems? How do you overcome their reluctance?
With consistency of support. They may get six Tiger Leads, but they don’t call because they’re afraid of rejection. I work with them to help retrain their brain. We reframe and reidentify what the lead is—it’s not just a lead, it’s an opportunity.
Do you have any specific examples of agent success that came directly from following your technology plan, specifically with using tools like Top Producer?
Katrina. When I met her two years ago, she had about 36 sales. Last year, she did 78 sales, took off every Friday and Sunday, and took one week off every month. She took three family vacations and doubled her income in the last year. Her business is thriving and she built a business she can trust because she uses technology beautifully. She’s always on Top Producer mobile and always follows up with clients. She’s calmer, happier, has more time to spend with her husband and kids, and she draws from internal inspiration.
What impact has your commitment to technology had on your recruitment and retention efforts?
When Top Producer introduced Top Producer mobile and Market Snapshot, we had to have it for our agents. We really invest in our business with tools to help our agents get to the next level. Investing in our agents on that level might not look like it’s about monetary return, but you will get monetary return. Sometimes your investment creates loyalty, and retention and recruitment gets better. You create this wonderful momentum that just keeps rolling.
What impact has your commitment to technology had on your relationship with clients/customers and your brand overall?
I own three RE/MAX franchises and RE/MAX is always on the cutting-edge. Agents have to stay on the cutting-edge of technology because it moves so fast. Because I believe in having a purpose, our company has a purpose. We deliver a value proposition to our agents to provide them with the tools they need to be the best. Agents can then share tools like Market Snapshot with their clients and, therefore, add more value to themselves.
Would you say the way you’re adopting and promoting technology is the “new normal” – or should be – for brokers?
Brokers might not want to invest in technology, but technology is what’s going to get them to see the world differently. The top 10 percent always have a coach, and always invest in technology. Brokers need to help their agents learn how to invest in their business. They have to provide them with the best technology, and then support them in learning the technology.
What advice would you give to other brokers who are looking to take this type of approach at their firm?
Change the way you look at things so that the things you look at change. If you’re looking to better your results, repeat what you’ve done that worked well and then implement new things into your office—new philosophies. Build up your agents so that they have internal confidence and are not afraid to make calls. Help your agents see their own genius.