Operating successful real estate brokerages isn’t easy. Aside from an ever-evolving world of technology that’s difficult to adopt, many brokerages are trying hard to attract a younger workforce, expand their service areas, and keep up with the competition all at once. For most, the question isn’t, “Should we implement more tech?” Instead, it’s more of a question on how to do it.
There’s no doubt that bringing technology into your brokerage company is a necessary battle to overcome, especially as buying and selling habits continue to transform through time. However, while real estate professionals themselves have a bit more flexibility as to when, how, and what they change, brokerage firms like yours have to plan out a bit more.
Does Your Brokerage Need to Change?
The real estate industry has remained relatively stagnant in the past few decades, even as new technology has continued to impact every facet of the industry. From the way agents show and display homes to the escrow and payment processes, tech has successfully penetrated every corner of the market. So, why isn’t your brokerage as high-tech as it should be?
The fact is, adopting technology isn’t easy. Even top brokerages struggle with it as it takes precise understanding, planning, and a long, thought-out execution in order to do it successfully. You might also be struggling with accommodating the changing needs of new agents while keeping your senior agents happy with your processes. All of that makes for some very tough complications to overcome, but it’s by no means impossible.
So, if you’re trying to figure out the new world of buyers and sellers, follow the footsteps of high-tech real estate agents, and make a move towards a modern brokerage firm, you’ll have to first understand and overcome these five challenges.
As of 2018, it was concluded that over 37% of new home buyers were under 37 years of age. For real estate brokerages, that means rethinking marketing strategies from the ground up. After all, those under 37 are far more likely to interact with a company on social networks and other online platforms, and much less likely to pick up the phone and start dialing.
Yet, the same NAR report found that only 20% of firms had established the foundation for serving the emerging generation of home buyers. For instance, only 2 in 10 had established guidelines for managing professional social media accounts. Only about 3 in 10 had established any for personal social media accounts, like those for individual employees.
The new generation of home buyers don’t just interact with brokers differently. Rather, they take an entirely new approach to just about every step in the process — starting with how they search for potential homes. Half of all buyers between the ages of 37 and 51 found their home online. Meanwhile, over 56% of buyers under 37 did the same. The only group who consistently sought out an agent before looking at homes fell in the 51 and over category.
For brokerages, this means adapting to the emerging online listing platforms and P2P real estate websites like Zillow, Opendoor, and others. Failing to do so will lead to substantially reduced visibility and awareness year-over-year as this new generation continues saturating the market.
More and more statistics emerge that tell brokers and agents that the real estate industry is turning high-tech. Yet, the offerings have been slow to respond. For instance, an incredible 72% of agents continue to use less than high-tech processes, like manual data entry, in order to manage their clients and relationships. This is astonishing considering that implementing a CRM or other tool could automate much of the legwork that currently eats away at agents’ productivity.
Forbes has found that implementing a CRM can increase sales by nearly 30% and improve productivity even more.
Without a CRM or other tech tools, brokerages aren’t just losing out on productivity first-hand. They’re also missing out on essential data and insights that simply cannot be utilized when using manual entry systems that scatter information across paper and processes.
According to qobrix, brokerages can get better results if they use the right technology and “can better their marketing campaigns with more precise targeting and nurture their leads more thoroughly.” Still, most brokerages are slow adopters, and that means newer competitors (such as P2P real estate platforms) are rapidly gaining a share of the market since they are able to better understand and address consumer need.
It’s not just a new generation of buyers entering the real estate market. Brokerages know that they need to respond to the tech needs and opportunities that are afoot and, in order to do that, more and more young agents continue to join teams across the nation. However, just as the new generation of buyers require a new approach, so do the new agents.
The new generation of agents won’t be inspired to join just any firm. In order to attract the best and keep them, brokers need to understand that younger agents tend to seek flexible work hours. Plus, they don’t want to be tied to a constant physical office presence. In addition, research points to a disdain for micro-management, and they’d prefer general guidance and coaching to help them succeed.
In general, the work approach of younger agents is more lenient, and if brokers can’t accommodate that, they may not be going anywhere quickly. Of course, the world of business is all about adaption.
As a brokerage, it’s your responsibility to stay on top of changing trends and preferences in order to offer your buyers (and agents) with an experience that breeds loyalty, recognition, and a strong reputation of service. While adopting technology is by no means an overnight goal, taking the first steps into the world of modern real estate will prove well worth your while.
Are you interested in learning more about taking that step? Reach out to paymints.io and schedule a demo with one of our account representatives. By working together, we can help take your brokerage to new heights.