Compass doesn’t build anything its agents don’t sign off on, said Rory Golod, the general manager of the New York region for Compass.
“Everything in our roadmap is driven by agents,” Golod told the crowd at Inman Connect in New York on Tuesday.
First, Compass takes its tech to a select group of agents that volunteer to be involved with technology development. The tech team – which has recently grown to nearly 200 employees – explains the tech and workshops it for the agents. Then the team takes the tech around the country.
Golod explained that, at the core of it, everything starts off with, “what do our agents want,” or, “what is going to help save them time or money.”
Realogy takes a similar approach. Jeff Krupp, the chief information officer of agent and broker technology at Realogy, said the company develops tech to enable their agents to be as successful as possible.
“We go out and talk to agents,” Krupp said. “It’s important to have your regular research.”
James Dwiggins, the CEO of NextHome, told the crowd his brokerage takes a slightly different approach.
“As a company, we’re more focused on what buyers and sellers want,” Dwiggins said. “The customer is trying to understand what the value is as an industry.”
Dwiggins said, before they take any tech development further, they ask the consumer, “What is the experience you’re looking for from a real estate company and agents.”
Both Realogy and NextHome are building their platforms with an open architecture, a mixture of propriety technology working hand-in-hand with technology developed by outside vendors.
“You have to evaluate which one is better for your organization,” Dwiggins said. “That can be a real pain, long term, if you’re developing everything yourself.”
Compass’ approach is to build a comprehensive end-to-end platform, developing technology for agents, in-house, to ensure everything works together and ensure agents don’t have to sign onto a number of different platforms to do their job.
The panel was moderated by Better Homes and Gardens CEO and president Sherry Chris, who also asked the panelists to look into the future of brokerage technology in the industry.
Golod believes there are going to be single winners in a lot of industries, and the company that will emerge on top is the one that can get the best agents and clients on their platform. And to accomplish that goal, that single platform needs to help agents be 10 times more productive.
Dwiggins said he thinks the industry is in for some tough times. He can envision 30 percent of market share of iBuyers.
“I think that automation and continuing to get agents to do more is going to be crucial in this industry to continue to be a full-service brokerage,” Dwiggins said.
Krupp thinks it’s more about being flexible and being willing to change with the times as new things come up. Anybody that says they know, doesn’t really know, Krupp added.