Let’s talk science. I won’t go into too much detail; it isn’t my favorite subject. But it’s something that we should talk about.
In physics, critical mass is a nuclear term. It’s the minimum amount of a given material that you need to set off a self-sustaining chain reaction. While that may be a good thing in nuclear physics — where you typically want to start chain reactions — you don’t usually want to see the same sort of reaction in a business setting.
We are approaching that critical mass in real estate.
It all comes down to software.
It’s counter-intuitive for me to say, but the real estate industry is reaching a point where there is too much software out there.
Recently, Lone Wolf Technologies released a joint report with T3 Sixty that examined the current state of software in real estate and explored what needs to happen in the future for technology usage to become sustainable. Through the research conducted, we learned that the average brokerage uses 20 or more pieces of software for day-to-day processes.
Surprisingly, that number was 12 in 2020.
This means that since then, brokerages have added at least eight new tools to their business — and from that information, we can draw conclusions about the amount of software out there.
1. That number likely grows exponentially for agents.
When you’re running a brokerage, you don’t add a new piece of software on a whim. There’s a process: identify a need, build a business case, assess options, and see if it fits in the budget. You still end up with eight new pieces in a couple of years.
As an agent, you typically have a lot more freedom to test out new software options. You might sign up for a free trial; you might get a recommendation; you might see a fantastic Black Friday offer. It doesn’t take as much due diligence to add to your tech stack, and that can get unsustainable quickly.
2. It’s overwhelming to work with.
Imagine this. You’re trying to set up an ad for a listing — but instead of telling one system to choose the ideal set of placements across Facebook and Google, you have to pick every individual placement, every billing interval and every display frequency. It wouldn’t take long to get frustrated or even give up — and it’s the same way when you’re switching constantly between solutions and logins.
3. It introduces security risks.
Most times, when you sign up for a new piece of software, you have to create a password. Ideally, this would be a unique, randomly generated password that’s nearly impossible to guess — but who among us can say we’ve never duplicated an easy-to-remember password for multiple logins because remembering that many is too much?
Unfortunately, that creates more opportunities for security breaches.
The bottom line is that real estate software is reaching a point where, at any moment, it could start to trigger chain reactions — meltdowns in productivity, workflow or security.
What’s the solution?
Ultimately, what real estate needs isn’t more software but more from software. It doesn’t need more options; it needs the existing options to work harder. In turn, that means it needs more from the people who make that software.
At Lone Wolf, we’ve known this shift was coming for a while, and we’ve been preparing. First, it was through connections between solutions to reduce friction — and take the pressure off of real estate professionals to work across different platforms.
Then, it was through collaborations between providers because no one company can do everything the industry will need for the future.
Now, it’s through simplicity, connected hubs that bring together everything involved in an agent’s workflow to keep that critical mass under control. That’s exactly what we’ve done with the new agent marketing centers from Lone Wolf — we’ve brought together the tools to take control of your agent business in one location, one login and one answer. Learn more here.