Binge watching is a direct result of consumers wanting control. Digital content outlets like Netflix and Hulu are starting to release entire seasons of programming all at once. No wait between episodes. And when I want to tour a house as soon as possible, I’ll use AgentPair. Or will I?

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

The pitch

Binge watching is a direct result of consumers wanting control. Digital content outlets like Netflix and Hulu are starting to release entire seasons of programming all at once. No wait between episodes.

Amazon’s promise to get you something in two business days has changed retail shipping forever. We want what we want, when we want it.

For example, when I want to tour a house as soon as possible, I’ll use AgentPair.

Or will I?

The sale

From how certain foods are arranged in the grocery store to the average number of seconds an online ad can be presented before we click the “skip” option, real estate agents should pay close attention to how consumers interact with brands and content.

We are impulsive, and to make matters worse, hand-held communication is only catalyzing us. We can brush off an irate boss or forever remove a person from our social circle with a tap or leftward swipe.

Thanks to AgentPair, prospective homebuyers can do the same to you.

AgentPair_ssAgentBio

You may have read about AgentPair; they’ve been onstage at Inman Connect. If you’re not familiar, the app connects antsy home shoppers with available agents. Or, at least, agents who want to make themselves available, because you have a “do not disturb” option.

When prospective buyers drive by a house for sale and happen to have a few minutes, the buyers can hop on the app and let any nearby agents know that they want to get inside, as soon as possible.

Agents can register with AgentPair to advertise themselves to buyer-users. If you’re around and responsive enough, you’ll earn their business. Maybe. This app is certainly a good way for the buyer market to exercise a lot of agents before they decide with whom to work.

Welcome to 2015 consumerism.

AgentPair_ssConfirmation

How much can you do for me before I have to pay you for it? This is the exact mentality that leads us all to expect Wi-Fi to be free, even though it clearly is costing somebody money to provide it.

Smart agents will acquiesce to the inevitable and respond to AgentPair notifications. Even if you can’t get a buyer into a home, the first to respond will most likely win. As I said to AgentPair CEO Clark Giguiere during our Google Hangout, it’s not necessarily the content of a response that matters; it’s the immediacy of it.

Still, it would help to do your best for the prospect. Will you make phone calls for them? Will you try knocking on the door if the listing agent isn’t accessible?

Buyers can send out a “global request” to see a listing to all area AgentPair agents. They can also scroll through a bio and select an agent that way. Or, maybe they saw your AgentPair code on some collateral or a banner ad, so they plug that in to get your attention.

If I were a listing agent, I’d have my AgentPair code on everything.

AgentPair_ssAgentList

Obviously, safety in the age of rapid-response mobile agency is critical. AgentPair addresses this by including an alert mechanism to inform team members of when you arrive and leave. Plus, showing instances and locations are logged. In essence, it’s no different than responding to a phone call request for a showing.

Announced last week was an agency-branded version of AgentPair. This means you can use the app as your own, with your own look and company jargon. Current clients can be provided an instant, text-based method to reach out with showing requests and questions. They won’t see the other agents who are registered in that area. This is a powerful bit of marketing, especially for those teams who may not want to pin their hopes of a commission on the efficacy of their wireless carrier.

Agents more inclined to leverage mobile tech, those who build their own websites and send e-newsletters, could leverage this white-label option to further the promise of “always being there” for customers. It also demonstrates an awareness of how people expect to be treated in this age of instant communication. (But please, at least take the time to actually type. Emoticons are tantamount to cave paintings. Let’s all try to keep moving forward.)

The close

There’s a lot of practicality in AgentPair, and certainly an insightful recognition of consumer impulsivity. I hold no doubt that this app is ahead of its time. However, is that always a good thing?

Giguiere referenced Uber in our discourse. While AgentPair is reflective of the ride-sharing app in that it uses a mobile device to connect consumers with a service, conceptually there’s much more to this new way to bum a ride. Uber users get an instant availability alert; they can see their driver; they know when he or she will arrive; and they know what kind of car they’ll be in. It is these elements of perceived control over the transaction that the incessantly myopic taxi industry inconceivably can’t grasp. AgentPair is highly similar. But like Uber, is the agent market ready for the switch?

I also wonder: To what extent will CRM solutions begin to integrate such a feature? That’s more of a business question than one of functionality. Perhaps some partnership opportunities exist for AgentPair in that regard.

I’m most intrigued with a more robust subscription version of this app that will launch next year. It will include an analytics feature set to make the act of a showing a house a much more powerful asset to your operation. There’s a lot of data in a simple text message, and AgentPair is seeking to leverage every one and zero.

Do you use AgentPair? What do you think? Leave a comment and let us know!

Do you have a product for our tech expert to review? Email Craig Rowe.

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