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Industry Insider Update: Technology's Role in a Changing Industry

Last week we examined the evolving role of the real estate agent in light of changes happening across our industry. Technology is a major player in both how and why our industry is shifting. This week well look at the role its played as well as how agents can harness technology to grow their businesses. Technologys Impact Historically, agents have served as data providers for their clientshelping potential buyers find properties, guiding sellers through the pricing process based on home prices in the area, and more. But with the introduction of technologies like Zillow, Trulia, and even Amazons Alexa, consumers are being increasingly empowered with easy access to information. The power and impact of technology doesnt end there. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will be the next big drivers of change with respect to automation and data-driven insights as well as products and services. And many transactions will be moving into the digital space, speeding up the home buying and selling process. For the smart agent, its time to pivot from fighting back against technology. Agents must embrace their new roles and harness new tools for greater efficiencies and sales. Smart CRMs and the Power of Big Data CRMs or customer relationship management tools have been a part of the savvy agents toolbox for many years, but thanks to technological innovation, theyre getting smarter. Todays CRMs go beyond automating client communication for constant touchpoints throughout the cycle. Driven by predictive analytics, smart CRMs anticipate when a buyer or seller is approaching an action point. Theyll then rank prospects with a propensity score to help agents determine who their warmest leads are. For agents looking to get the most out of these tools, weve compiled a quick list: BoomTown! and Commissions Inc help agents build websites with lead generation capabilities, tying in CRM functionality and predictive data. SmartZip is a robust predictive marketing platform designed for teams or larger groups. Offrs goes beyond the web, integrating multifunction channels, including outbound phone calls, email surveys, and direct mail connection points. Moxiworks empowers the user with consumer data from public sources, social media data, shopping habits, education and more, and prompts the agent when to take action on a lead. KV Core also utilizes consumer behavior, combining marketing automation with business analytics through their brokerage tool Kunversion. RealSuite by Realtor.com is currently in beta testing but is another marketing tool to watch out for when it becomes widely available. There are also a number of technologies solely focused on data and predictive capabilities that then become the technology used by broader tools. These include: First and Remine are both integrated with Contactually and LionDesk CRM tools. Revaluate is integrated with BombBomb, eEdge, Mixmax and Placester Empowering Your Business There are a number of tools out there to choose from to help take your business to the next level, but the professional agent must go beyond choosing a Smart CRM if they want to make the most out of industry changes and stay relevant to their clients. The right brokerage can also empower an agent, providing tools and training beyond the basics to equip them for an increasingly digital industry. While some brokerages choose the solutions for their agents, Benchmark recognizes that some offerings may not apply to every agents particular business needs. Our fee-based model allows you to direct your money towards the technology that you feel is best for your business. This full look at the state of the industry came from a recent monthly mastermind meeting with Benchmark CEO Phillip Cantrell. These meetings are just one part of how Benchmark is working with its agents to stay on top of industry trends to both face and shape them for their own (and their clients) benefit. Find out if you might be a fit for the Benchmark team today by taking our short online assessment.

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