This article was written by Homesnap CEO John Mazur and is reposted from Forbes Real Estate Council. You can click here to see the original.
It’s not news that real estate has gone real-time.
With home searchers accessing listing data at all times of the day, from anywhere, on a range of devices, the business of real estate has been propelled into a hyperlapse of activity, forcing agents to keep up with their clients in order to remain responsive and relevant.
For agents, real-time responsiveness has become the Zero Moment Of Truth (ZMOT) in many forms: staying on top of market changes so they know what’s happening before their clients do; being available in real time to their clients, who are not going to want to wait; acting on leads and inquiries immediately because there is always another agent who wants that business too.
But there are deeper and more complex implications to the real-time agent reality that brokers and agents will benefit from understanding and real estate tech developers need to incorporate into their solutions. The result is an exponentially more productive and competitive agent. As the CEO of a company that created a mobile productivity tool for agents, I spend a lot of time trying to understand what agents want and how to provide it to them. Here’s what I’ve discovered about what agents should be asking for from their mobile tools.
Automate Vs. Engage
First, agents must separate their tasks into ones they can automate and ones they must engage in. Automation of digital marketing, for example, frees up agents to spend time on collaboration and communication with clients. By taking advantage of marketing products that take on tedious and time-consuming duties like audience targeting and optimization, agents can focus on lead conversion (vs. generation), selling homes and serving clients.
Push Vs. Pull
Next, agents must take advantage of technology that pushes relevant information to them, while actively pulling data only when necessary. Technology that serves agents should deliver valuable, relevant information in real time, customized to the needs of the agent and their clients. Otherwise, the agent is forced to spend valuable time searching for data that should already have been delivered to them.
Finally, agents must align themselves with products and platforms that incorporate and operate from the most accurate and up-to-date information about their market. As agents, they have access to that data through their MLS; their technology and marketing tools should leverage that same data. They should deliver actionable insights in real time that help agents passively manage their social media marketing, lead generation and contact management, while proactively prompting them to engage with clients at the right time. These products help automate business functions while simultaneously strengthening relationships.
The real estate technology industry is booming. There are a lot of companies focusing on discrete stages of the real estate cycle, from lead generation and contact management to transaction management. Agents should take the time to understand what’s available to them and to put potential products through their paces. If their agent tool doesn’t help them operate efficiently by automating their tasks using customized, real-time data, then they simply aren’t getting the most out of their technology.