There is no shortage of technology in the real estate industry. On a page of Inman.com alone, a broker might find dozens of solutions that can help them grow and manage their business. The same goes for agents.
But is there such a thing as too much tech?
We asked Bondilyn Jolly, Managing Partner of 3sixtyfive.agency and VP of Marketing at Elm Street Technology, to help us understand what tech fatigue looks like and to share her best practices for helping agents and brokers undo the damage.
“Statistically speaking, the average agent uses anywhere from 10 to 12 different pieces of technology to manage all of the parts of their business,” Jolly shared. “And brokers might use anywhere from 15 to 20 pieces of technology. It’s overwhelming—not just operationally, but financially.”
Jolly often sees agents and brokers put together a tech stack that includes overlapping and even redundant systems and solutions. She said that happens for several reasons:
- They didn’t know the capabilities of the platforms they had, so sought out others.
- A new and shiny tool came out that had a lot of buzz.
- They use single elements of a tool because it’s all they know.
- The tool was useful once, but their business shifted and they forgot to cancel.
“Technology is there to help streamline, consolidate and help us to be more efficient,” Jolly said. “But we can easily become a slave to the technology, almost like the technology is owning you!”
How agents can assess and take control of their tech stack
Agents are inherently amazing salespeople—that’s why they’re in real estate. That doesn’t mean they are inherently tech-savvy, nor do they need to be. But it’s important to know what activities are strengths and which are areas where technology can be supportive.
That takes a bit of work upfront, but the payoff is worth it.
“At Elm Street Technology, we guide agents through a needs analysis,” Jolly told us. “We look at the activities you are doing every single day and figure out how we can automate those. We outline your weekly and monthly tasks and find ways to create automation or workflows.
Then we’ll look at other needs and challenges you have, look at the tech you have, and find ways to make it more intelligent and efficient for you—with the goal of saving you that frustration that you aren’t doing it right or you have the wrong tools.”
The Brokerage Technology Checklist
Since today’s brokerages leverage a larger collection of solutions, services, and tools, the process of assessing the needs and gaps is a bit more robust. Elm Street offers a checklist for brokers to do the first pass at self-assessing what’s working and where they need help. (Agents are welcome to use it as well, she noted.)
“We break down all of the key aspects of running your brokerage,” Jolly said. “We run a cost analysis as well. It’s not unlike an audit. And often we help a brokerage discover they’ve got 18 different tools and they don’t even know they’re paying for them. The sales pitch for the tools might have varied, but in the end, they do the same things. It’s a frustrating realization, but also very exciting because you know the result will be increased efficiency and better ROI.”
Sometimes it takes an outsider to help brokers and agents see the forest for the trees. That’s how Elm Street Technology helps.
“We really try to come in and say we want to be your partner we want to bring that best solution. And if elevate is not the right solution, we’re going to help guide you or recommend you where a better solution is for you because we’re passionate about being of service to the real estate community.”