- Older agents struggle to adapt to new technology, but brokers can help ease the transition
- Technology can benefit both the brokerage and agent, but only when used correctly
- Proper training and implementation can make technology easier to adapt to
In this monthly column, Anthony Askowitz explores a hypothetical Miami real estate situation from both sides of the broker/agent dynamic.
This month’s situation: An agent who has been successful and productive their entire career is getting a little older and struggling to adapt to new real estate technology.
What really sells homes? It’s not my website, not my smartphone, and certainly not my social media profile…it’s me! My ability to connect with, listen to and understand my customers is the foundation of my career, and it has improved my brokerage’s bottom line year after year.
Worrying about technology takes me away from my primary responsibility of helping customers buy and sell houses, and I simply cannot connect with them when my face is in a phone or tablet.
I don’t need a GPS to get around a neighborhood I’ve known for decades, and simply by keeping my ear to the ground, I can anticipate which homes are about to go on the market. I can appreciate this fascination with technology, and I certainly could not do without the MLS and my cell phone. But beyond that, I really do not want to have new apps, devices or procedures foisted upon me by my office under the banner of “improved efficiency.”
I get it! I really do…our business used to be a simple matter of getting listings, meeting people and showing houses. The impact of technology on the real estate industry has come with so much force and in such a short amount of time, it’s hard to believe how “normal” some of this stuff is now.
But times change, and we must change as well, even when it is difficult.
Agents should understand that the reasons for keeping up-to-speed with technology extend beyond themselves. Buyers and sellers are increasingly tech-savvy and expect their agents to also be up-to-date with all the technology at their disposal. The agent is representing the entire company, and we must stay a step ahead of our competitors.
Most importantly, in nearly every single case, correct use of technology will help the agent actually do their job better and more effectively. He or she can sell more homes and be more productive, which benefits everyone in the long run.
How to meet halfway
Neither the pace or complexity of technology is going to slow down anytime soon, and the possibilities it offers to real estate professionals are dramatic. The agent should try to have a more open mind and block out some time for basic technology education and training.
Conversely, the broker should make special accommodations for such a productive agent, to help them become more comfortable with technology. This might include footing the bill for specialized one-on-one training, or assigning a staffer to ease the agent’s transition.
Anthony is the broker-owner of Re/Max Advance Realty in South Miami and Kendall, and also a working Realtor who sells more than 150 homes a year.