Regular contributor and indie broker Troy Palmquist gives his service-oriented approach to arming agents with tech to compete against the big industry names that are gobbling up tech and services.

Troy Palmquist is an indie broker in California with more than a decade of experience. His regular column, which covers a range of helpful tips for agents and op-eds on industry happenings, publishes Thursdays on Inman.

With all the noise and disruption revolving around big-box brokerages and their so-called tech, what options do indie brokerages have to offer their agents? For starters, the competition isn’t as stiff as the big-boxes would have you believe. In fact, many indie brokerages already have more, or dare I say, better tech offerings than the big guys.

In reality, these larger brokerages are positioning themselves as “tech” companies, rather than service-oriented real estate companies. And I’m not the only one questioning their tactics.

I got into this business to help people. I invest in my agents so they can take care of our clients, and tech should be part of the conversation. But I personally would rather be part of a real estate company providing a service, than a “tech” company whose bottom line is enhanced by making money off agents who are buying into their tech.

There’s an art to selling homes. It takes passion and persistence, a knack for people pleasing and the ability to think creatively. Above all, it’s about being able to leverage modern technology to help you do your job better than anyone else.

Agents should not feel threatened by tech — they should embrace it. And if they are lucky, they will partner with the right brokerage that can help them do just that.

For the past six months, I’ve worked hard to implement a technology package that doesn’t simply give us an edge in the marketplace, but truly benefits both our agents and our clients.

Shouldn’t that be the priority for every brokerage in our industry?

I commend fellow real estate entrepreneur Eric Bloomquist on his recent sponsored post that challenges big money tech and says, “Personally, my money is on the company that solves the question of the customer journey and how their product makes it less expensive, more transparent and easier to manage.”

That is exactly what we are striving for at my brokerage. We are getting behind tech offerings that are proven to make a difference in our agents’ lives, specifically RealScout, Spacio and MoxiWorks.

These agent-centric platforms allow our brokers to perform at the highest possible levels, with real data they can count on and services they can trust. And if indie brokerages like mine are willing to make an investment upfront, the benefits of these platforms pay for themselves within a single close.

Bottom line: You don’t have to join a big-box to remain cutting edge. In fact, “tech” should not be a deciding factor in an agent’s journey, but rather a consideration.

Ultimately, one of the most important factors in choosing the right brokerage is taking a closer look at its approach. We take a service-oriented approach to distinguish ourselves, while offering tech services as an added bonus. Here’s how:

1. We invest significant dollars in our agents upfront

Our agents are armed with metrics that help them make connections, strengthen relationships, gain knowledge and earn trust. What do the big-box firm’s metrics reveal?

2. The platforms we vet provide actual, real-time, tangible tools and data

This makes a huge difference in an agent’s overall performance. Others offer up what many are calling “phantom data” and “pseudo tech” that is simply a means for recruiting rather than providing tools to help agents better serve.

3. Our focus is on services first

Some large brokerages make money by touting their databases. As an indie brokerage, we help our agents make money by providing educational packages that put coaching, technology, sales strategy and customer service first.

And because we treat every agent like an individual member of a greater team — rather than lumping them together into a number among thousands — they are able to excel, grow and become more efficient, maximizing profits for everyone involved.

My obligation as real estate professional is to stay relevant while leveraging honest, accurate market data to deliver tangible strategies and results to my clientele. Sadly, the same cannot be said for some brokerages who have lost their way.

So, with all the big-box brokerages touting their tech what options do indie brokers have to offer agents? The real question should be: Do you want to work for a tech company or a real estate company?

I welcome a phone call with any brokerage or agent looking to get a leg up on the evolving tech space. The truth is, you don’t have to go to a big-box to do it.

Find out more about how indie brokerages are using tech to survive here.

Troy Palmquist is the founder and broker of The Address in Southern California. Follow him on Facebook, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription