Fifty-five years ago, Intel innovator Gordon E. Moore conceived what is now known as “Moore’s Law”: in generalized terms, the continuous, exponential improvement of technology, in both capability and cost, every two years.
Interpreted in real estate, Moore’s hypothesis illustrates the need for swiftness. In this industry, change is slow, and, as we’ve seen, those who idle seldom win. With innumerable real estate tools—all of which require vetting, from cost to implementation to maintenance—deciding to delay, or “do nothing,” may seem wise. According to SMB Group, a small- and medium-sized business market researcher, common drivers of inaction include:
- “We don’t have enough money to adequately fund it.”
- “It’s hard to figure out which solutions will best help us.”
- “It’s not a priority for decision-makers.”
- “We don’t have enough time to focus on this.”
While these challenges have legitimate rationale, they’re also a fatal misstep—one costlier, even, than the investment itself.
Consider this: Without efficient, intelligent systems, how much is your brokerage losing in misplaced productivity? If your agents are busy with repetitive tasks, for instance—ones that can be automated or otherwise handled for them—instead of meeting with prospects, how does this affect your bottom line?
According to one IT survey, without automated systems, businesses count $13,202 in lost productivity. Think about that. If you have 100 agents, that’s more than $1 million in missed opportunity. Can you afford that?
What about agents eager for greener pastures? In a Microsoft survey, more than 90 percent of consumers considered “taking their business elsewhere rather than work with a company that uses outdated technology.” As a broker, your agents are your customers. Are you equipping them with the latest, most relevant tools? Do they feel they have all they need to succeed? Are they sufficiently supported through training? If an agent moves on, how much do you miss out on?
Consider the cost of inaction on your organization’s positioning, as well. We’re in a competitive, crowded industry, and how you differentiate yourself matters. When it comes to investing in technology, does inaction support your vision, or align with your long-term strategy? I’d argue it doesn’t—and your agents, as well as the broader marketplace, notice, too.
Let’s not forget the clearest implication of outdated technology, either: risk. According to an Aon Risk Solutions report, 29 percent of business claims (errors and omissions, or other policies related to risk) were due to a hack, and last year, authorities counted a 17 percent jump in real estate-related wire fraud. If you’re not consistently investing in technology, you’re vulnerable—and liable. Cybercriminals don’t wait, and neither should you.
There’s also the flip side: how much digital improvements save. As brokerages face greater profitability strain, controlling costs is necessary. As Deloitte research shows, in businesses worldwide, there’s an emerging “save-to-transform” standard, through which businesses invest in IT as a means to savings. In fact, adopting automation, the cloud and intelligence nets “reduced costs and increased productivity,” according to Deloitte’s findings.
Lastly, there’s the evaluation process, which is lengthy, and even more so when you involve a number of stakeholders. Are you and your business partners making selections? How will you involve your IT and marketing teams? How will you pilot the software? Consider how you’ll measure ROI, as well—is it conversion rates? Eliminated line items? Production? If you’re delaying investing in technology, all of these critical implementation steps stretch the timeline, too, and you’re beginning, in effect, in last place.
Can You Afford Not To?
The biggest brokerages invested in technology in 2019, according to RISMedia’s Power Broker Report. Adoption is often painful, but the compound effects of inaction, worse. If you’re on the fence regarding technology, and hesitant to invest, assess just one ROI: your return on inaction. Is it worth it?
Don’t wait—your competition isn’t.
Bill Yaman is VP of Customer Experience at MoxiWorks, the open platform provider making real estate brokerages and their agents more productive. If you’re considering what technology your brokerage needs in order to keep up in 2020, here’s a peek at why taking action on your CRM, CMA builder and websites can’t wait.