Two Industry Leaders Team Up on ‘A Journey to Tech Perfection’
REAL Trends and Inside Real Estate set out to answer an age-old problem for brokerages: How do you get agents to use the wonderful products and services that you offer? Many times, the technology is complicated, or the agents don’t want to invest the time into learning a new program. However, much of the time it’s due to a lack of management support, few training opportunities and a dearth of incentives for sales associates to commit to your brokerage tech platform.
After struggling with agent engagement with their tech products, The Keyes Company decided to go a new direction and found success with Inside Real Estate’s kvCORE product. “With the lead landscape changing, we needed to take control of our destiny and control it ourselves away from the major portals,” says CEO Mike Pappas. “To do that, we needed a smart CRM (customer relationship manager) to handle longer-term relationships with our clients and leads. When we analyzed the lead generation we were getting from portals, we found we had an average 6- to 18-month close time on those leads. Without being able to engage in the process using a tech platform actively, we were losing a lot of opportunities.” With kvCORE, “we find it allows us to build deeper relationships with associates’ databases.”
One of the brokerage’s biggest struggles, according to Wendi Iglesias, chief information officer for Keyes, “is that sales associates throughout our industry spend their time out in the field working with customers, and they’re very good at that. They’re not often as good at using technology platforms and engaging with their sphere of influence or engaging with past customers, because every morning they’re working with the customer who needs them right at that moment.” She notes that many times a brokerage brings in a fantastic technology and rolls it out to the sales associates, but it requires too much engagement from an agent, so it doesn’t get used. Agents either don’t have the time, or they don’t know what to do with it. “We had all the tools, but we weren’t setting it up in a way that the lead generation was what it should be,” says Iglesias. “It was too difficult for agents to manage.”
Thus, they began their journey to tech goal setting and finding a more accessible platform that “would do everything that the agent was supposed to do for them—without them having to go in and set it all up,” she adds.
Read on to learn how[NL1] they set their tech goals and chose a platform to how they crafted a successful rollout.
Determining Pain Points
When starting their tech journey to a new platform, Iglesias said they had to identify their pain points. “While our old platform had many of the tools that we have now, it took agents a long time to get there, and many felt they needed a special degree to be able to use the system,” says Iglesias. Here are the pain points Iglesias and the team discovered while setting their tech goals.
Pain Point No. 1: Too Difficult to Use
“One of the challenges has been that as you bring in technology and roll it out to the associates, while the technology may be fantastic and wonderful, if it requires too much engagement from an agent, then it doesn’t get used,” says Iglesias. “The agents don’t have the time or don’t know what to do with it.”
Pain Point No. 2: CRM Becomes Cold Storage
The second pain point they discovered is that a CRM becomes “a place to dump contacts rather than engage with the customers. They either don’t have the time, or they don’t understand how to engage,” says Iglesias. “Then, getting the agents engaged with their sphere of influence was a big hole. Getting them that engagement with their sphere of influence and having it automated was important to us.”
Pain Point No. 3: No Useful Lead Generation
“With our old platform, we didn’t have the right tools to generate leads,” Iglesias says. “When you tell an agent that he can generate leads from social media, you also need to give them a way to do it that isn’t time-consuming. Like so many brokers, we’ve spent gobs of money on lead gen through Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com, and Homes. Now we’re trying to solve for organic lead generation.”
READ FULL STUDY BY CLICKING HEREBy Paul Salley Filed in: agent adoption, Real Estate Technology