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All companies use technology—there’s no way not to use it. But does your tech have purpose?

A lot of companies turn out technology for a “wow” factor. It’s not uncommon for tech companies to build technology for technology’s sake. That doesn’t help anyone, especially those of us operating a brokerage. Creating technology should be focused around one thing: serving a purpose.

Generally speaking, tech’s purpose should be to make life easier and save time. Never invest in or release technology without demanding that it be valuable to your employees or your brokerage as a whole.

Tech Should Be Scalable
We believe that every brokerage should have four pillars: agent services, career services, broker services and transaction services. You have to intimately know how each department of your brokerage works to operate successfully.

Measuring the success of your brokerage isn’t difficult. Most would measure their performance by the amount of money coming in. Instead, use agent count as the No. 1 predictor of success. When your tech has purpose, those four pillars are executed correctly, and your agent count will grow. You have to be able to scale as you bring those new agents in the door. If your tech can’t scale, you can’t grow, which means you can’t be successful.

Tech Should Be Efficient
When building new technology, it should be created to take the drudgery out of running your brokerage. You know how to run a brokerage, you know how to do a real estate deal; the tech you build for your brokerage should focus on creating a streamlined and efficient process.

With that in mind, without technology made specifically to be efficient, you will eventually hit a certain agent count where processes become so complicated and cumbersome that you can’t sign another agent on because you can’t operate your business.

Focus on layering your technology on top of your tried and true processes. You’ll find that the result is efficiencies that allow you to do things like close 20,000 transactions in a year with six or less people in the closing department.

Tech Should Be Model-Specific
Consider building your own technology to fit your model. Not often will you find something off the shelf that has everything your brokerage needs. Most end up trying to combine several different technologies that were created for their own specific purpose and don’t talk to each other, which means you won’t be able to scale and be efficient. Even one technology can’t be all things to all users.

Most importantly, tech that is built specifically for your model can be designed to make your systems connect and make them work exactly the way you think they should work. It’s all deliberate—no extra features, no missing features. Everything you need is where it should be and can be implemented the way it is supposed to, and if the market changes or there is a new process that needs to be automated, it’s very easy and quick to change.

Technology with a purpose unlocks the ability to scale, be efficient and be model-specific. An integrated system is worth the effort. As a real estate broker, you and your agents need a website, you need to work your sphere of influence and you need marketing materials. All of these parts of the transaction process have purpose and work together to achieve a goal.

Your tech should, too.

John Kloian III is the chief technology officer at HomeSmart International in Scottsdale, Ariz. Kloian leads development and technology operations and oversees HomeSmart’s software creations and technology to ensure a streamlined and efficient daily technology experience for all clients.

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