Stay Smart About Brokerage Technology

Technology is a powerful tool for improving the profitability of your brokerage and your agents’ performance. The current pace of innovation is almost staggering, especially with the latest developments in artificial intelligence.

New tools now incorporate machine learning, predictive analytics, computer vision, natural language technologies, and more, to provide real estate professionals with a wide array of time- and money-saving options for prospecting and working with clients.

Now, more than ever, brokers must view technology as a critical factor for remaining competitive, including agent recruitment and retention. If done well, technology can enhance your agents’ productivity and provide more time for giving clients that vital human touch.

Finding the Best Options
Start by asking your agents. What technologies are on their radar? What’s most appealing about a particular tool, and how will it make measurable improvements?

Try to learn from other brokers by attending industry events and reading articles in Real Estate magazine, in addition to other outlets geared toward managing brokers. Search for case studies on individual brokerages, detailing what technologies they’re using.

One of the best ways to find options aligned with the industry is by looking among companies of NAR’s REach® accelerator program. Each year, less than 10 firms are selected and given opportunities for top-tier industry feedback, improving their ability to design technology that helps REALTORS® be more successful.

So far, nearly 50 companies have participated in the REach® technology accelerator. To learn more about their offerings, visit narreach.com.

Improving the Process
Before going too far down the path of selecting new technology for your office, these steps can help you determine which tools are worth your investment:

Define the objective. What problems are you trying to solve, or what opportunities are you hoping to seize? Given the allure of new technology, it’s all too easy to put the cart before the horse.

Set benchmarks. Establish a target return on your investment and make it as measurable as possible. That way it’ll be easier to step away if a tech solution isn’t meeting your objectives and try something else.

Facilitate buy-in. Not every agent in your office is going to use every tool you offer, and that’s okay. But don’t make the mistake of adding technology that no one supports.

Training Agents
People won’t use what they don’t understand. That’s why training, along with ongoing tech support, should also be part of your vendor selection criteria.

Agent training, however, shouldn’t be limited to specific technology applications. Encourage and support agents’ efforts to stay informed about the full spectrum of technology topics, including new digital marketing techniques, virtual staging, transaction management, and more.

I’m pleased to announce that NAR’s e-PRO® certification program has been completely updated, with new classroom training sessions starting this month. The e-PRO® certification includes the latest real estate technology updates, including comprehensive training on data security. Visit epronar.com for additional details.

  • Completely revamped with new content
  • In classrooms – July 2018
  • Online course – late 2018

Gould_Marc_60x60Marc D. Gould is senior vice president, Member Development, for NAR and executive director of the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC). A wholly-owned subsidiary of NAR, REBAC is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. With more than 30,000 active members, REBAC awards the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation to REALTORS® who have completed the designation requirements. To learn more,  visit REBAC.net.

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