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Are You a Tech-Smart Agent? Few Are.

February 27 2015

leadinga tech smart agent

I stumbled across this infographic from the California Association of Realtors® the other day and it got me to thinking. In general, my experience has been that there are three types of agents when it comes to technology:

  1. There are those that simply don't get and/or are just unwilling to embrace it.
  2. There are those that think they are technically sound, but in reality they are just slightly better off than group #1
  3. There are those that get it. They either are naturally gifted at picking up new technology platforms, or they have the dedication and discipline to set time aside and learn the platform to it's fullest potential, to grow their business.

If you are in group no. 3, bravo! This article isn't about you, so you can move on with your day and enjoy another article on our site. In the 15+ years we've been running our real estate marketing agency, I've found that only a small percentage of the truly proficient exist.

When I came across this infographic, I got to thinking about what the actual percentage would be if I had to think across all the agents we come into contact with on a daily basis. After a little thought, I would put the truly proficient at about 10-15 percent of the entire population we interact with.

The interesting thing about this number is how it coincides with many brokers and owners I meet with. When we discuss their brokerages, the common conversation we end up having has to do with how 90% of the business their brokerage does is handled by about 10% of the agents in the office. This is what many refer to as the 90-10 rule. It's not unique just to real estate. This rule seems to apply to just about any industry you would choose to examine.

So what am I saying about technology and the state of real estate? I'm saying there is an interesting correlation that I see between those that are on the forefront of technology, and those that are doing the majority of the business in their marketplace.

Among other things, this infographic says that 89 percent of people use online resources during the home buying process. If you are not technically savvy and have not spent time making sure you understand and that you are represented online, how are you going to reach these people? While it's true that you may simply bump into these people in the "real world" (e.g. open house, at church, etc.), why leave meeting a prospect to chance?

If you are not taking advantage of technological vehicles to attract, cultivate and maintain clients, the agents that have embraced and are taking advantage of these technology platforms are going to eat your lunch. There is no middle ground here. We have reached a time in the world where your lack of technological experience is going to make it so the marketplace will leave you behind your colleagues.

So does this mean you have to completely change your thought process and dive right into technology and learn to love it? While I would suggest "yes," I am a realist and know that it isn't just that simple. You are a busy professional with lots on your plate. As humans, we are also resistant to change. Those two things might make this a hard pill to swallow.

It doesn't have to be this hard, though. My suggestion is you find a platform that offers a middle ground. For instance, our firm offers a little known service where we basically act as a concierge for the agent. They simply have to enter the names of people into their database, and everything else is automated or taken care of by our team. They don't need to know how to build an email, send a text message, or anything. They simply think it, request it, and it's done.

Finding some middle ground will help you bridge the gap between where you currently are with technology, and where the front end of your industry currently is. At least get your toes wet with technology. Until you feel 100% comfortable taking things on completely by yourself, the middle ground can keep you relevant and help you compete in your marketplace.

To view the original article, visit the Leading Agent blogLeading Agent blog.