If you’re a managing broker, you’re probably bombarded by sales pitches from vendors anxious to sell you their latest brokerage technology innovation. No doubt it’s a state-of-the-art tool that’s guaranteed to help you increase profits, streamline operations and even reduce your staff, allowing you to cut expenses. And, of course, the brokerage down the street is already a customer (you’re told), so to remain competitive you need to buy it too.
Not so fast.
“Make sure that whatever you buy is actually a product that will increase your profitability,” said Bill Lublin, chief executive officer of Century 21 Advantage Gold in Philadelphia and an international speaker and trainer on technology and real estate. “The way things are sold to us is, very often, fear of loss – if you don’t do it, the guy down the street will. That’s the worst reason in the world.”
Brokerage technology products need to generate sufficient income to warrant the expense, Lublin said, and all products purchased should fit your own needs, not someone else’s.
That means that if you’re a desk-fee operator and adopting a new piece of technology will allow you to upcharge your agents – and you believe they will pay for it – then it’s probably a good thing to do. But if you’re a traditional broker and earn a profit from your share of the commissions generated by your agents, then you need to consider, as Lublin puts it, “whether the juice is worth the squeeze.”
HousingWire spoke to three brokerages to learn about their technology stack, which products they consider indispensable and which have helped them streamline their operations and increase profitability.
John Manning, managing broker of Re/Max on Market in Seattle, Wash.
John Manning is a big believer in technology. After all, he had a long career in the tech industry before transitioning to real estate in 2008.
Manning’s tech stack is invaluable for two reasons. The first is efficiency – removing essential, but non-revenue-generating, tasks and then automating them is a big part of his philosophy. Technology also allows Manning’s agents to provide “an impeccable” level of client service.