- Agents need to act at the speed of the consumer.
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I think some agents get the wrong idea about certain technology products.
Namely, those in the category we’ve loosely deemed “on-demand services.”
I wrote a column awhile back suggesting these products might eliminate buyer agency. I realize now I didn’t make my point clear enough.
The developers behind them aren’t out to replace real estate agents.
However, I maintain that if you don’t at least acknowledge the consumer trends driving the birth of such products, then you could very well be left behind.
As Clark Giguiere, founder of Irvine, California-based AgentPair, relayed to me, “I want to reduce the friction between consumers and agents; I’m not trying to replace anything.”
We were on a Hangout discussing updates to his on-demand home tour app that will further its mission of making it as easy as possible for homebuyers to see homes.
The highlight of these new additions is a tour-scheduler applet that brokers can embed on their website.
“I’m not trying to replace anything.” – Clark Giguiere
Upon clicking a button that brokers can drop on listing pages or (even better) a landing page linked to an email campaign, a short information-capture card opens. Buyers then input their name and phone number, as well as the day and time they want to see the listing.
Every agent within the brokerage who is an AgentPair account holder will be notified and given the opportunity to claim the lead.
It’s a much faster and cleaner way to grab buyer attention than standard HTML forms, which often end up in the inbox of “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Smart brokers would encourage all of their agents to snag this app and use it as a recruiting tool. Even smarter brokers would use it to replace their updesk operation.
The software has what I think is an even more appealing feature, in that the data capture card can be all text-based, a form of communication that has become much more appealing to consumers. It asks for only a phone number and showing time.
Upon that request, PairBot, the software’s automated concierge, fires off a response to the buyer with a link to the app, simultaneously creating an AgentPair account for them.
Giguiere told me that he’s on the cusp of launching a new-year partnership with a nationally recognized listing portal for its agents who have listings in California and Arizona.
He has moved his company into an agreement with Pro.com’s Text-a-Pro service to help agents offer touring buyers a fast quote on sidewalk repair or carpet replacement.
It will also include a breakdown of a home’s recorded maintenance history to allow responding agents to see a quick overview of a listing’s physical wherewithal.
As AgentPair’s features clearly show, it’s about helping agents react to the speed of consumer demand.
We’re on the cusp of 2016. Every day that goes by only adds to the momentum of the industry’s technological evolution.
I believe agents need to continually find ways to augment expertise with automation. Homebuyers need real estate agents — that’s not in question.
What is yet to be seen, however, is how agents will choose to answer that need.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.