September 21, 2021

6 Ways to Drive Agent Adoption of Brokerage Technology

Ashley Walsh
Ashley Walsh

While the primary reason agents choose to join or leave a brokerage is still commission splits, broker-supplied technology is emerging as a new factor influencing decision making.

Most real estate agents report being generally satisfied with the technology tools their brokerage offers, however they still have a wish list of items that they want their brokerage to offer. At the top of the list are Predictive analytics, CRMs and transaction management software.

For independent brokers to compete against franchise brokerages (like Compass or Keller Williams who are leaning into tech-forward models to attract young talent) they will need to to have tech tools in their recruiting toolbox.

You may be hesitant to invest in technology for your agents having heard that adoption rates are often disappointing. So how can you be certain your agents will incorporate the technology into their day to day lives, helping you realize the return on your investment and retain top talent.

The answer: Be intentional about driving adoption. We’ll cover 3 ways to proactively support adoption of your brokerage supplied technology.

Survey your agents.

Before you make any sudden technology moves, it’s a good idea to get a pulse on what your agents have and what they think they need to do their jobs better.  This can help you in a number of ways.

  • Determine what services agents would like you to supply
  • Avoid services agents have tried and didn’t like
  • Determine a short list of tools your agents already use and would use
  • Have a short list of key systems you’ll want future technology to integrate with. 

Evaluate for usability.

When it comes to adoption, the top of your list should be a system that’s easy to use. You will likely have a broad range of digital fluency across your agent base and don’t want to alienate less tech savvy users with overly complicated or complex software. You also need to consider how usable the software is on the go. Most agents will be using their mobile device more than a desktop computer and need to be able to handle basic scenarios like looking up a client phone number, confirming dates or viewing documents at any time.

Leverage internal champions.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few key systems, it’s time to enlist some internal agents and teams to give it their stamp of approval. Getting buy-in from a few top performers or your top team will instantly gain attention and interest, but it's also important to involve a diverse group and not just those who are early technology adopters. This will give your less tech savvy agents more confidence to try something new. 

4. Choose partners you can lean on.

A good partner should understand that agent adoption isn’t easy and should be able to discuss how they will help you to be successful. After-all, it’s in their best interest for you to succeed and continue being their customer. 

At a minimum, you should look for partners who offer training packages, a knowledge base with answers to frequently asked questions and live support agents for more complex questions or users who need a little extra help.

5. Offer consistent training.

First off, be sure to find a partner who offers great support and training as part of your overall package. It’s critical that your agents feel supported and can get help when they need it.  

For your initial roll out, it’s important to offer multiple training sessions at different times to ensure no one is left out due to a vacation or a real estate emergency.  Consider a basic training level for a few sessions and then adding in an advanced training after agents have had a little time to get comfortable. 

For the first few weeks, it’s a good idea to have those early adopters and champions set aside time to answer questions for anyone who is struggling to catch on.

It’s also important to have a plan for new agents to be introduced to software.  Make a point to schedule this very early in their onboarding period to establish good processes right out of the gate.

6. Keep the momentum going.

In order to keep the product sticky after your initial roll out and pick up any stragglers, you need to keep talking about your tools and celebrating wins. Here are a few ways to ignite positive conversations and help others gain further value from your investment.

  • Ask advanced users to present new ideas or ways they are finding success using the software. Perhaps make it a lunch and learn or a breakfast meeting to encourage attendance
  • Acknowledge and thank those who you can see are making an effort to learn and change old habits. This can be publicly or privately depending on what you think the person would appreciate most.

To sum  things up, to encourage and motivate your agents to adopt the tools your brokerage provides, you must make sure you support them and help them understand the value for them as an individual, not just your brokerage.

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