Don’t mistake perceived value for actual value when evaluating your agent offerings.
2019 promises to be a competitive year for recruiting—even more so than usual with new business models and disruptive recruiting strategies. What’s a brokerage to do when it comes to standing out from the crowd? One of the strongest ways to stand out during the recruiting conversation is by showing off a strong technology stack.
“The technology stack is definitely in the top 3 considerations when a recruit evaluates joining a brokerage. Commission — the money I can make, the strength of the brand I’m joining, and the tools and services I can leverage as being part of this community. “ – Bill Yaman, President and Chief Operating Officer
The 2019 competition will be fierce: National franchise brokerages are rebranding and expanding their agent offerings. Locally strong independents are partnering with networks and umbrella companies to facilitate better opportunities for their agents. Smaller, boutique brokerages are finding their niche as successful agent centers in many markets. All brokerages are emulous of each other as they compete for both new and seasoned real estate agents.
What technology can your brokerage offer to an agent that makes their business more successful and less stressful?
Real estate technology has ballooned in the last decade. Each year, tens upon hundreds of new startups join the ranks of tech geared toward this industry. Conferences have ballrooms packed with vendors sponsoring the bar, the coffee, the snacks. Are they just one-hit wonders? How can we avoid the bright-shiny-object syndrome? Which is fool’s gold, and which is going to bring a return on investment?
As brokers or admin execs, we can feel fatigued by too many choices—each shouting the same value proposition of “make your agents happy” and “grow your business.”
Beyond trying to look for new tech, consider your brokerage’s current technology stack.
Are your agents using the tools and tech you’re already providing for them? Why or why not?
It’s important to consider that bringing in too many new tools will overwhelm your agents and cause adoption to plummet. This has manifested into what we call #ToolFatigue. The tool is provided, but no one uses it (adoption is low) and everyone is unhappy. There are lots of tools, but no guide for when to use each one, no time to learn or implement, and no perception of convenience.
That sounds like my team. But I can’t just overhaul my entire stack and expect celebration in the streets. How do I pick the right tech for my agents?
Evaluating, changing, or maintaining your tech stack can be boiled down to two measures of value. Understand perceived value of technology as well as the actual value of the technology. By narrowing down pros and cons in these two definitions, selecting the best tech for your culture becomes a much less harrowing practice.
When an agent offering seems like a valuable idea, has buzz about it being a value-added piece to the recruiting conversation, makes a brokerage seem competitive…
A technology offered has the perception or understanding that it is useful, convenient, and easy to implement. It may have perceived value based on exclusivity (only a few can have it), affordability (it’s too good of a deal), or it’s easy to add to your existing workflow.
For example: There are many brokerages that offer access to apps that make scheduling showings for listings easy to do via a mobile device. Agents, even if they haven’t yet experienced using the technology, could perceive this tool as easy to add to their existing workflow.
Measurable success due directly to the implementation of an agent offering. Impactful, evidence-based, and provable.
For examples: The same app for scheduling showings provides a report for brokers to review. Brokers could see that all of their agents have adopted using the mobile scheduler instead of calling back-and-forth to manually schedule showings. This would be measurable data that shows actual (real) value of the tool.
Measuring Actual Value
- Usage reports / Login reports
- Agent usage surveys
- Lead generation
- Year over year budget line item comparison
- # of events completed in a timeframe increased
BOTH create a gut feeling of having something that a competing agent doesn’t—the ability to provide a better service to their customer. Both are important factors to consider when evaluating technology for your agents.
Look at your tech stack, or the line items of your marketing and technology budget. Go row by row and think about these 4 considerations.
- What do I think this item positively brings to my company, our culture, and my agents’ business?
- What do my agents feel that this item positively contributes to their business?
- What can I measure to prove that this item is positively affecting my company and my agents?
- Are there discrepancies between the perceived value and the actual value? If so, which do I think should weigh more in my decision?
2019 is bringing new challenges to real estate, and all brokerages—no matter the size—need to prepare themselves as we see new shifts in the way we do business. Setting best practices for your recruiting goals, your agent offerings, your marketing budget—these are all housekeeping items brokers and execs must check off their list before the spring market comes thundering in.
If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to peruse the tips we previously outlined on building an effective marketing budget for 2019. It explores perceived value and actual value when looking at spend across your marketing and technology assets. Read more…
June Laves, Marketing Manager at Imprev, Inc
Before joining the creative minds at Imprev, June worked as the marketing specialist for a top performing independent brokerage helping over 200 agents grow their business.