As is the case in any business, in real estate, you’re either growing or dying, learning or leaving. That may be a hard pill to swallow for agents and managers who feel they’re out of the training stage. Nonetheless, it’s utterly true.
Over the past few years, I’ve watched some of our area’s top producers decrease. Why? In a nutshell, they were unwilling to embrace technology. They resented learning anything new, assuming they could comfortably remain in a box. Their heel-digging opened the door to upstarts focused on providing value to modern buyers and sellers rather than preserving their ego.
Being a Resource to Your Colleagues and Clients
Every week, something new comes out that’s bigger and bolder. Listing presentations have turned into listing consultations. Professional photography is standard operating procedure, with drone photos and Matterport technology not far behind. Those who don’t keep up simply cannot compete.
It’s no secret that consumers expect real estate professionals to be accessible all day, every day. They want to be able to finalize transactional paperwork whether they’re down the street or on a business trip to Central America. Our team understands that, which is why we train even our most experienced agents to keep up. It’s a matter of sheer survival.
As recent information from the Urban Land Institute shows, commercial and residential real estate is undergoing a major correction punctuated by high-tech solution shake-ups. Agents and managers with their heads buried in the sand might as well keep digging themselves a hole. Those who want to be successful, on the other hand, need to pull together individualized learning and training plans. How else can they stay relevant and increase their confidence levels?
To be sure, diving into any new resource can be tough at first. Yet I’ve seen the benefits that come from agents who originally struggled with an MLS program, only to come out of their experience with tons of confidence. That confidence usually boils over into an appreciation for a growth mindset of consistent, never-ending improvement. It’s a cycle that keeps agents on the leading edge of an industry that will only get more tech-savvy as time marches on.
Tips for On-the-Job Improvement
Want to exceed your clients’ expectations, not to mention those of your fellow agents, lenders, inspectors, and other industry team members? Follow three strategies to streamline your self-education.
1. Keep your eyes on the tech horizon.
You have programs you know and love, so use them. At the same time, stay on top of what’s coming around the corner. I admit that DocuSign caught me by surprise. I assumed it would only work for clients out of the area. Fortunately, I discovered my error early enough to realize that getting multiple people to sign off on documents online is beneficial no matter their locations.
2. Get plugged in with a little help from your friends.
When you start hearing about an emerging program, get as much insider knowledge as possible. Even if you have to hire a coach at a reasonable hourly rate to help you become an expert, you’ll be glad you were ahead of the curve. You may even want to team up with a fellow agent to tutor one another on platforms so you both benefit.
3. Stick to one brand of technology or software package.
Nothing creates more headaches than trying to marry incompatible technologies. My wife and I made the mistake of using an Apple computer at home and a Microsoft one at work. Never again. Do yourself a huge favor and invest in one brand or software type and use it across all your devices.
Your job isn’t just to be a conduit between real estate transactions. It’s to be a trusted advisor and community leader, not to mention a resource to your colleagues. Stay in the game by adopting technologies first, not last.
Jeff Thompson is managing partner at Windermere Group One. WGO is a member of Windermere Real Estate, a real estate network comprised of 300 offices and more than 6,000 agents throughout the western United States. Jeff is truly passionate about helping build companies by building their people. He leverages his 25-plus years of experience in real estate to coach other managers and brokers. Jeff credits much of his success to hard work and a willingness to partner with good people.