Driving Growth

Relationships Are at the Heart of Every Brokerage. Tech Can Make Them Stronger.

BY

Simon Chen

.

November 22, 2021

Many industries have all been asking the same question: how will intelligent new technologies impact — or supplant — the workforce? Will they bolster operations, or make humans obsolete? In today’s real estate market, that question appears to be answered. Agents and brokers remain indispensable. However, technology adoption is accelerating, empowering real estate professionals with digital solutions to help even more clients, and close even more deals.

The numbers clearly show that having a relationship with an agent or broker is still valuable for the vast majority of people. 88% of homebuyers purchase properties with the support of a real estate professional, and this is especially prevalent in the younger demographics: 91% of 22-30 year olds work with professionals, compared to 87% of 66-74 year olds and 84% of those aged 75 and over.

At the same time, Gartner’s predictions for 2022 suggest that the 10% of enterprises that adopt new technologies will reap three times more value than the 90% that don’t.

As EVP of Product and Innovation at Realogy, I’m passionate about both sides of this conversation — the critical role agents and brokers play in serving communities and building strong client relationships, and the capacity for technology to facilitate and enrich these relationships.

That’s why I recently hosted a panel as part of the Realogy Real Estate Expert Series — “Fueling Your Growth Through the Right Tech” — where leaders shared how smart solutions are changing the way they manage and maintain connections across the real estate ecosystem. Here are some of the themes that emerged, as well as specific insights to help businesses and brokerages drive their digital evolution.

Brokerages Can Expand Their Networks and Their Spheres of Influence

According to The National Association of REALTORS®, 90% of clients are quick to say that they’d happily work with their agent again — but after seven to nine years of homeownership, only about 12% actually do.

By leveraging intelligent analytics and automation to stay on top of necessary touchpoints, agents and brokerages can change this trend. In particular, CRMs provide unprecedented opportunities for staying top-of-mind with clients.

That’s why ensuring access to CRM software is a major consideration for Realogy in our open technology ecosystem. Boyd Livingston, Partner, Owner, and Manager at Coldwell Banker Premier, talked about the benefits that the MoxiEngage CRM system has brought to his organization. As he pointed out, “It does such a great job of keeping people engaged and focused — on not only the customers they’re trying to get right now, but their past customers.”

Georgia Perez, VP Business Development and Product Evangelism at MoxiWorks, was also present on the panel; she highlighted how marketing automation ensures meaningful messages get to the audiences who need them, when they need them. She described how this enables brokerages to differentiate themselves, providing timely, tangible insights into market activity along with more unique and personal content.

“Not everybody wants your pumpkin spice latte newsletter, but they do care about what their property is worth or about what it’s going to cost to get into the market they want to be in,” she observed.

Solutions such as Prospect Square push the boundaries of what brokers and agents can do with CRM technology. By helping them deliver content their customers enjoy, it lets them expand their contact lists and stay connected with clients across the entire homeownership lifecycle, driving more repeat and referral business.

Rethink Recruitment and Prospecting to Connect with the Right People

Brokers understand that retaining and attracting top talent is crucial to their success, and yet often time-consuming and ineffective without good tools. Also, because many companies track progress and KPIs related to recruitment, these challenges cause them to underperform on critical goals. There are a number of reasons why researching and reaching out to the right candidates is a struggle.[1]

  • Relevant information is contained in disparate resources that can be difficult to track down and access.
  • Data related to agent production may be out of date, meaning that promising candidates get missed.
  • Certain talent pipelines may be overrepresented and overused, while others remain largely untargeted.

There are digital products designed to help real estate companies solve the dual challenge of sourcing and nurturing talent. For example, a sophisticated, real estate-centered CRM system enables companies to improve performance metrics and close their talent gaps. The iProspect API from Realogy integrates with CRMs to automatically collate information pertaining to an agent’s production and the markets they service. It can also be customized to help manage and track recruitment goals.

Having a Best-In-Class Toolkit Helps Bridge Distances and Close Gaps

The real estate industry has learned that technology is an ally, not an adversary, and allows us to conduct business — from hosting open houses and sales meetings, to connecting with team members and clients — in a way that’s faster, simpler, and more inclusive.

During our panel discussion, Livingston noted that virtual operations have actually brought his team[1] [2]  closer together; meeting attendance is much higher than it had been when all touchpoints were in-person.

For Phillip Bolte, Primary Broker and Co-Owner of CENTURY 21 Bolte Real Estate, embracing technology has not only changed his organization’s approach to professional development, but transformed his team’s entire perspective. “[To] see them be more successful — not only in their pocketbook but their quality of life — I mean, that’s what really gets me up and gets me going in the morning,” he says.

These benefits extend to buyers and sellers as well. As brokerages offer more services virtually, such as enabling viewings and open houses, negotiating and closing deals, and developing and maintaining long-term relationships, digital delivery has become normalized. I believe this has changed the real estate industry for the better, making it more effective, more efficient, and more inclusive.

*Please note this document was published prior to Realogy’s rebrand to Anywhere Real Estate Inc. on June 9, 2022.

Simon Chen

EVP, Product & Innovation, Realogy

Simon Chen serves as Realogy Franchise Group’s EVP of Product & Innovation, a position he assumed in September of 2019. In this role, Chen is responsible for leading the company’s newly formed Product and Innovation group, where he will be tasked with bringing together digital products, strategic alliances, learning and recruiting efforts as part of the company’s growth strategy.

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