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We all have a tech stack — a set of technologies, systems and tools designed to help manage the core functions of our business (a CRM, DocuSign, Slack, etc.). When was the last time you properly audited your team’s tech stack?
If the answer is never or not lately, how do you know whether you’re using the best tools for your real estate business? How can you ensure you’re remaining competitive with the rest of the industry?
Technology is ever-evolving, so the tools that make up your tech stack today will ultimately be different from the tools required of your business one year from now.
Why it’s important to audit your tech stack
A successful tech stack is one that makes you and your team as effective and efficient as possible. That’s it. To do that, your stack should support every aspect of your business, from lead generation and nurturing to reporting and monitoring.
It should be a network of tools, systems and software that work in harmony, whether to create a seamless experience for prospects and clients or to allow your team to work more efficiently and productively.
Let’s use inbound leads captured via a website as an example. You can design your tech stack to move them further into the funnel as soon as they’re captured — without someone on your team having to manually manage the process.
You could also focus your tech stack on better tracking your team’s conversion rate from first call to close so that you can maximize the income potential of your leads.
Both the top and the bottom of your funnel can be improved through technology, but only if you know what you’re missing.
When you fully understand what your technology is (or isn’t) capable of, time can be freed up to spend on aspects of your business that are the most important, such as listing pitches and face-to-face relationship nurturing.
Here are a few other reasons it matters to your bottom line:
1. To determine whether the value of the technology justifies the cost
Do you understand the ROI of your tech? According to NAR, 36 percent of agents spend on average between $50 and $250 per month on tech to use in their business, 18 percent spend between $251 and $500, and 23 percent spend more than $500 monthly on technology.
2. To better understand the workflows and processes of your people
When auditing your tech stack, it’s critical to look past your current technology and analyze what you and your team are in the habit of doing manually that should be automated.
It’s amazing how many agents still use paper and pencil for part of their CRM system. Evaluate what your tech isn’t doing just as much as you evaluate what it is doing. Moving from manual processes to automated platforms means that you immediately take your business into the future — this has tremendous benefits for your bottom line, team output and margin for growth.
3. To identify inefficiencies as well as areas where technology could be adding more value
Is there any overlap or redundancy? What about any gaps that need to be filled? Are any tools or systems unintuitive or time-consuming to learn? Are there any integrations that would streamline workflows? Sometimes your technology will create more work for your team in one area while saving time in another. Keep an eye on that.
Ready to audit your tech stack?
A tech stack audit might sound daunting, but it’s actually pretty simple.
First, make a list of the tools, systems and software your team uses along with their capabilities and any associated costs.
Next, make a list of all the manual “systems” your team uses (sending an email between team members, writing something down on a sticky note, etc.)
Then reevaluate anything on the lists that doesn’t bring you closer to achieving your business goals or improve productivity or efficiency.
Observe what others are doing, but don’t lose sight of the fact that your tech stack should be bespoke to your unique business.
When you’re ready to update your tech stack, make sure whatever you choose fits organically into your existing workflows and systems. If it doesn’t and you still feel that the change is right, use it as a time for a full overhaul, and see if there are any other changes to your stack you can make at the same time.
If you’re going to rip out and replace all the walls, you may as well get the carpet right as well.
No matter what the changing social and economic environment brings, running an efficient real estate business is key to remaining competitive. The right tech stack has the power to transform the way we conduct our day-to-day business and communicate with clients, giving us more time on our hands — time that can be used to drive revenue and grow your business to new heights.