- Put vendors on the spot, supplement vendor-providing training with your own and get a successful agent to explain how tech tools have helped them, experts say.
Many real estate agents and brokers are constantly inundated by calls from tech vendors hawking the next big thing.
How do brokers choose which products to buy, and once they’ve settled on them, how do they get their agents to actually use those products?
Here are six tips from an Inman Connect panel on best practices for choosing and using technology from third-party vendors.
1. ‘Put them on the spot’
When evaluating vendors, share every last concern you have with their technology and make sure they provide satisfactory responses, panelists said.
“Sometimes we get the vendors we deserve,” said John De Souza, president of South Bend-Indiana based brokerage Cressy & Everett Real Estate, hinting towards some brokers’ tendency to choose vendors without doing their due diligence.
2. See if they’ve done their homework
If vendors understand your special needs, there’s a better shot they can meet them.
Dina DiMaria, senior vice president of information technology at NRT, the brokerage arm of real estate franchising giant Realogy, says vendors who are successful with forging relationships with NRT are those that “learn more about who we are and some of our challenges.”
3. Don’t choose tech that’s too complicated
Some brokers may be chock-full of tech-savvy agents eager to learn the ins and outs of powerful systems. Others? Not so much.
De Souza notes that there are a lot of sophisticated customer relationship management systems that, when adopted by brokers, hardly get used by their agents.
“You have to find a product that really matches your agents,” he said.
4. Don’t rely on a vendor’s training classes alone
If brokers want to get the biggest return on investment from purchasing tech tools, they would be well advised to show their agents how to use them. That means offering classroom and one-on-one training, De Souza said.
While the training that tech vendors may provide to agents certainly helps, many agents still need more hand-holding.
5. Get a successful early-adopter to promote and explain a tool
This can illustrate the potential benefits of a product to agents, inspiring a slew of them to adopt it, De Souza said.
6. Nail your onboarding
You maximize the odds of new agents taking full advantage of your tech tools if you make sure those agents have all the resources and information — like user IDs, passwords and system setup — they need to adopt the tools lickety-split, according to De Souza.