With all the new tech hitting the real estate market, agents are confronted by the unsettling idea of being replaced by it.
Now that buyers can view and close real estate deals entirely online, do agents offer enough value to justify their commission?
We’ll get back to that in a minute. But first, we’d like to defer to the wise words of Mark Zilbert at Brown Harris Stevens Miami. According to Mark, “The advice, knowledge and hand-holding of real estate professionals will always be a priceless part of a buyer or seller’s process.”
If you’re one of the high-octane real estate agents who refuses to let disruptive techovershadow your value, lean in. We’re about to show you how to get and give maximum value each and every day on the job.
But first, just how disruptive is real estate technology anyway?
The great thing about technology is that it has the power to make almost any process easier — and in real estate, that goes for all sides of the transaction.
According to New York broker Jed Lewin, “People conducting their own searches means buyers are better informed and more realistic about what their budget will allow, and sellers are more attuned to what their properties are worth.”
For real estate consumers, it’s an obvious win. But for agents, it’s not so black and white. From Zillow to Opendoor, agents must always be asking, “How can I use this tool to deliver more value to my prospects and convert more leads?”
The right technologies will empower agents in at least one of two primary ways:
- Enable agents to deliver more value through new and innovative ways to connect and communicate.
- Take the grunt work off the agent’s plate so they can spend more time building relationships with clients.
Bottom line: Tech benefits the agent and the client if you use it right.
Have you heard Steve Jobs’s epic bicycle metaphor? It’s worth a watch.
So yes, buyers and sellers can now use apps, tools and 3D glasses to schedule viewings, submit offers and even manage transactions entirely digitally. But the role of the real estate agent still matters, perhaps even more than before.
For the first time in seven years, the US real estate market is set to decline. Buyers and sellers need a savvy specialist on their side to help them navigate this shift. But are you and your team up for the challenge?
Here’s how to close more deals and futureproof your business by using smart tech tools to win the day.
How to use tech to make your agents more productive in the day-to-day
Back in the days when a Realtor’s Rolodex was their database and fax machines were thought to be for life, no one could’ve imagined we’d be connecting with leads from the same device we use to listen to music or order an Uber.
But here we are. The digital age is well upon us and while it’s largely a force for good, we’ve entered an indisputable era of mass distraction and it’s never been easier for agents to fall behind on their numbers.
Here’s how to make sure every agent on your team knows how to make the most of the amazing tools at their disposal, each and every day.
Follow up with the hottest leads first
More than 40% of salespeople say prospecting is the hardest part of the sales process. So it’s no surprise that one of the main issues most agents deal with is consistently following up with every lead in a timely manner — especially when business is picking up.
“We see it all the time. Agents get 6 or 7 deals under contract and they get so caught up in the contract part of it that the follow up is the first thing to go,” says Debra Beagle, co-owner and Managing Broker of the Ashton Real Estate Group, which also happens to be the #1 RE/MAX team in the world.
It’s a good problem to have, but one that can completely derail the success of your business if you let it. That’s where automation can be a game changer.
A smart automation tool, like a CRM, automatically funnels leads into a relevant follow-up sequence based on their timeline. But hold on. The operative word here is relevant.
The problem with most automation tools (especially CRMs) is they’re stuffed to the brim with fancy features that were intended to make you more productive, but actually just bog down your system and your team.
Instead of sitting down and seeing only the leads they need to see each day, agents are forced to navigate a complex system that tugs at their attention with every click. Whether it’s Follow Up Boss or another CRM, make sure your agents can easily sort and filter their database to start their day with the leads that are most likely to convert, including active clients and leads with a 30-day buying timeline.
If you have a knockout IDX website, a great CRM will let you know which leads were recently active on your site so agents can focus their efforts on the leads with an active interest first, before moving on to the rest of the prospects on their plate.
Here’s a glimpse at how you can easily segment leads inside Follow Up Boss.
Check in with past clients and your SOI
Even if your business is built on paid or organic internet leads, your past clients and sphere of influence (SOI) still deserve a place on the agenda.
And you might be surprised to learn that the simplest of follow up frameworks can earn you a ton of cash.
For example, The Graham Seeby Group turned a list of just 279 contacts into $90 million in business by simply following up with past leads once every quarter.
Whether it’s using an automated tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to automatically share daily updates with your SOI, or an automated reminder to call your entire list of past clients every 3 months, using the right tech tools to develop a consistent system for nurturing your passive leads can help you maintain a thriving pipeline in the long-term.
Own your influence
According to a survey conducted by Collective Bias involving 14,000 respondents in the US, 70% of millennial consumers‘ buying decisions are influenced by the recommendations of their peers.
And real estate is no exception.
Growing your online presence should be a priority for you and every agent on your team. But it’s not only about posting flashy motivational quotes or silly behind-the-scenes looks at what’s happening in the office or in the field (though those are always fun). Real influence is about intel.
No matter how smart AI can get, there’s no denying the persuasive power of a real, breathing human person who knows their market inside and out. And it’s no coincidence that leading teams like The Gary Ashton Group and Ron Howard & Associates make learning a key priority on their agents’ agendas.
Perhaps this is where tech can offer the most value. Can you imagine all the things your agents could learn if they didn’t have to wade through the red tape of closing a transaction or searching for client intel?
A great CRM will keep all this information stored in one central place so your team can spend more time growing their expert influence and less time down the admin rabbit hole.
Manage your time and tasks
For all the benefits of automation, there are still many low-impact activities that can quickly eat up an agent’s time and energy.
From high-value activities like follow ups and appointments to dealing with the minutia of transaction management, agents and team leaders must be vigilant about how they balance their tasks.
Find time to plan all your tasks in order of importance and don’t be afraid to delegate where needed. That includes delegating to tech.
By syncing your CRM to integrate with other smart tools like BombBomb for automated video emails and Agentology to qualify leads, you can save yourself and a team a ton of time which can then be applied to higher-value tasks like focused follow ups, networking or learning and training.
(Want to see how Barry Jenkins leveraged his CRM to hit 240 transactions on a 25-hour work week? Check this out.)
Wake up and do it again
Way back in 2007 the then CEO of Deloitte Digital, Peter Williams proclaimed, “Agents will not be replaced by technology, they will be replaced by agents with technology.” And we couldn’t agree more.
For better or worse, nothing can stand in the way of technology. It will continue to revolutionize the real estate market for years and years to come. But for agents who are up for the challenge, that’s actually pretty good news.
But be warned, like any tool in your toolbox, your success with tech all comes down to how use it. With a little intention and a firm focus on the tasks that matter most, you and your team can use technology to offer a better experience to a larger number of customers each and every day.