When it comes to managing your real estate team, in an effort to satisfy evolving client demands and industry expectations, various parts of your business have likely evolved throughout the years. But have you ever really stopped to ask yourself whether or not your technology itself has evolved enough to keep up with your clients' expectations?
We are living in an era dominated by technology. In the past few years alone entire industries like ride sharing, hospitality and even dating have been and will continue to be disrupted and potentially obliterated. Every industry runs the risk (or perhaps the benefit, depending on how you look at it) of being disrupted by new technologies, real estate included.
Just think - over 40% of the companies that were at the top of the Fortune 500 list in 2000 were no longer there in 2010.
In other words, the tech transition is a rapid-paced story of old versus new. Today, technology is evolving at a pace that we are neither prepared for nor familiar with. The bottom line is that change is not for real estate companies who prefer it, change is for real estate companies who wish to survive.
Consider the evolution of the real estate category to date. We’ve moved from door to door sign hangers, to direct mailers, to becoming more heavily reliant on technology and social media. There’s been a notable shift from phone books to CRMs and real estate lead conversion platforms; and while we may not know exactly what’s ahead, there are several steps you can take today to start to prepare for the transition. Earlier this year at Inman Connect 2017, Bubba Mills, CEO of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching shared his tips for keeping up with the Tech Transition. Read on to explore Bubba’s take below.
1. Engage Prospects on Social Media Early and Often
In 2005, only 7% of adults in the US were using social media. Those days are long gone. We’ve now entered an era in which actively engaging your clients and prospects on social media isn’t an option, it’s an expectation. Today more than 65% of US adults are using social media regularly regardless of gender, job or generation. Open house ads have evolved from newspaper ads into Instagram ads, and the ultimate way to offer behind the scenes access to properties prior to the actual open house event is via Facebook Live videos. The key here is to capitalize on these new social platforms in an effort to find new impactful ways you can stand out to clients and prospects within those new emerging digital mediums.
2. Emphasize Client Experience
Within a constantly evolving technology landscape, is anything constant, apart from change itself? There are many brands who’ve continued to thrive throughout all of the recent disruption, and for most of them the secret lies in the customer experience. Take Disneyland for example: A nostalgic theme park is perhaps an unlikely hero in the era of technology giants, though Disney seems to have managed to capture the magic so to speak. Disneyland’s annual attendance rates and entry price per guest per day have consistently increased year over year since 1955. How is it that people continue to come back to a theme park all the while paying more and more money year over year? One word: Experience. Disneyland has maintained laser focus on a delightful consumer experience at a time in which expectations around experience have never been higher. Now more than ever before, consumers have influence over brands via their social media platforms, voicing a constant stream of brand feelings and opinions 24/7. Consumers expect a personalized and relevant experience from every company from Disneyland to your real estate business, and they’re not afraid to be vocal about it! Use the social technology tools available at your disposal to help improve the experience at each and every client touchpoint.
3. Stay Focused on Relationship-Building
How do agents manage to stay relevant amidst all of the tech industry disruption? At the end of the day, real estate is fundamentally not about closing a sale, but rather cultivating relationships and positioning yourself where your clients are. As the landscape changes, so must the ways in which you cultivate client relationships. Fish where the fish are, remembering that relationships are the #1 underlying driving force in the real estate industry. Every conversation, social media interaction, and transaction should lead to further developing your relationships with your clients, leads, and prospects. Position yourself where your clients are by being active on mobile, in search and on social media, striving to approach them in as authentic a way as possible. In other words, strive to be yourself on social media and throughout those digital platforms.
4. Use the Technology Available at Your Fingertips
Take a hard look at whether or not your real estate technology is in line with client expectations and/or up to par with the technology available to you. Technology saves you time by giving you the ability to automate tasks which in turn makes life easier for you and for your clients and enriches the client experience. Ask yourself if your existing efforts are capitalizing on the technology available to better your business and the industry as a whole, or whether or not it might be time for an upgrade.
At the end of the day, regardless of industry or technology, business is won by finding the obvious greater value you can provide to clients. Recognizing the critical roles that social media and the evolving technological landscape will play in the future for your clients and your prospects today, will ensure you’re set up for the future success of your business. There’s no time like the present.
“As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once unknown and frightening becomes your new normal” - Robin Sharma
Want to hear a tech transition success story? Meet John Mikesh, owner and broker at ROOST Real Estate. Download John's case study below detailing how since implementing CINC's technology 5 years ago, ROOST Real Estate has experienced growth every year!