- Use some quiet time over summer to spend quality time on your favorite tech tools and see if they can help supercharge your business for the fall.
This article is part of our ongoing series offering tips on how to sharped your skills this summer and use the season to your advantage. Read more in our Supercharge Your Summer section.
Hands up: how many of you get distracted by pretty, shiny new tech tools that might suit your business needs, but you never have room in your schedule to roll up your sleeves and spend enough quality time to truly implement them into your business?
Well, over the summer, if it’s a slower time in your market, give yourself permission to take a look at some of the more relevant stuff you just took a quick glance at during the year.
Shaping industry tech
Mark Choey, co-founder of San Francisco-based Climb Real Estate, is head of the NRT-owned brokerage’s innovation arm, Climb Labs. He still sells property from time to time but largely gets to play with tech all year round in his position at Climb Labs, calling on Climb agents to try products and give feedback to their creators.
Thanks to his tech background in engineering and artificial intelligence (AI) and his real estate knowledge, Choey and Climb Labs are often approached by tech companies catering to the real estate market to try out their product at the beta stage.
A lot of what Climb Labs is wanting from its tech is to help find products that provide better transparency to the process of real estate, Choey said.
“Part of the job is to find this great stuff so that agents don’t have to look for it. They rely on you as a resource,” he said. Then, he has to set up training and adoption programs so that they use it.
Climb Labs has been in the beta group for RealScout, Matterport, and Disclosures.io, among others, for instance, and it has written about its experiences with this technology.
“We were very instrumental in helping shape Chime CRM. We met with them early on, gave them our wishlist for CRM. Kenny Truong and his team were instrumental in getting a lot of features in that product,” Choey said.
Something he has recently been looking at is Evabot.ai, which specializes in gift giving.
Highnote.io is another tool Climb Labs is working with over the summer, a real estate product currently in beta, that helps agents simplify their work flows, especially sales pitches, offers and even standard email.
The Highnote dashboard makes it convenient for agents to go back to and reuse a sales pitch that they used for a listing or to use as a follow-up pitch for buyers. Choey’s agents are finding it helps close the pitch because it’s such a professional presentation of materials.
Another one getting Choey’s attention over the summer is Akena.io, technology that scours the internet and looks for off-market properties and delivers them to Climb agents. The agents are helping develop the product and giving the company feedback.
Choey estimates he would typically have as few as 10 or as many as 30 tech companies on the Climb Labs list, fluctuating over time, some more more urgent, others more long-term.
Take the Climb Labs approach in your own business
Agents anywhere can be doing a version of what Choey is doing to supercharge their summer, by experimenting with new tech and seeing if it fits their needs, the Climb Labs founder said.
“I would always advise agents to, in their take-down months, to do things that will jump-start their sales in the selling months, in the spring and the fall. Summer time is a great time to do that in between vacations,” he said.
A lot of tech products take time to learn to implement, so this down time can be just the opportunity you have been waiting for.
Choey recommends that agents and brokers looking at tech tools don’t take a scattergun approach, but rather give it real focus.
Ask yourself what is causing a problem that you would like a solution for, he said.
“I would say, think about your business and what your problem is, and try and find a solution for it, as opposed to [browsing] on real estate tech websites. I would see what your problem is and what tech there is to solve that problem,” he said.
With artificial intelligence (AI) there are so many solutions to help improve productivity, Choey said.
“What are those things that are a time-suck in our time, in your life?” he asks.
A labor-intensive task bothering him in his own brokerage is the amount of sheer labor that goes into making sure documents are properly filled out during the transaction.
“Right now, the only solution is having human beings read your documents, but they are overwhelmed by hundreds of pages,” he said.
With the resurgence of AI, he thinks, this should be a thing of the past in the not-so-distant future.