real estate industry brokerage office real estate business

Leveraging Technology to Build a Thriving Real Estate Brokerage Business

By Bryan Brooks on September 27, 2018
Bryan Brooks

Building a top-performing real estate brokerage business from the ground up can seem daunting. On one hand, you’re responsible for managing all the back-end responsibilities associated with owning a business. On the other hand, you’re tasked with responding to the needs of your agents while attempting to create a scalable (and profitable) brokerage.

Despite these challenges, many brokerage leaders feel that the hard work put into building their businesses is well worth the effort. And with today’s technology, the effort can be a little less arduous. Here’s a closer look at how technology can help brokerage businesses thrive in the short and long term.

Tools Your Agents and Staff Need

Antiquated brokerage models require agents to pay brokers 40 percent or more of their commission on every sale—a sum that today’s agents are unwilling to sacrifice. As a result, more brokerages are finding that a flat-fee, full-service model works to their advantage by helping them attract and retain top talent. But there’s a catch—in order for your flat-fee brokerage to prosper, you must continue to grow and boost both your agent count and transaction volume.

As a brokerage owner, you may not have immediate say over how agents conduct business, but you can give them the tools, resources, and opportunities they need to work more efficiently and effectively. If your current tech stack is inhibiting back-office efficiency, your agents and staff won’t have the support they require.

The brokerage management technology you use should help establish clear, consistent and replicable processes, thus making it easier for new agents to get up to speed and maintain excellence as their production increases. Furthermore, reducing the time basic tasks require frees your staff and agents to focus on what they do best.

Taking Advantage of Technology

The technology you use has a direct impact on your ability to scale. The right brokerage management software should help you streamline operations, encourage agent/broker communication, establish consistent processes, improve onboarding times, and much more.

Because all the agents associated with your brokerage likely won’t be working under one roof, system accessibility, usability, and flexibility are key with any technologies you add to the business. Trying to achieve such technological efficiency is near impossible if you are juggling multiple solutions from multiple third parties—the learning curve and the IT skills (by non-IT people) required to pull it off are much too steep.

To properly equip your agents while driving sustainable profit for the brokerage, make sure your system offers end-to-end system integration and automation, without costly overhead or upkeep. Although the term “point-and-click” might be too simplistic, the platform you choose should empower your staff to want to use and maximize it with minimal fuss. When everyone in your brokerage is on the same page technology-wise, shared goals are easier to reach.

Along with management software, consider what other tools, programs, and resources you might offer agents to encourage productivity. Two practical necessities that must be addressed with the software you use are:

  • Transactions: From start to finish, transactions are complex and require much of you and your staff’s time. Great software not only frees up that time, but also ensures that transactions are completed expediently and accurately, which benefits you and, ultimately, your customers.
  • Compliance: Transactions and other parts of your brokerage must follow strict compliance guidelines. Any noncompliance, at best, is a headache you don’t need to deal with, and, at worst, can be costly. Choose software that includes easy-to-use tools that allow for document upload and retrieval, automatic notifications, streamlined review, and, most importantly, reduced hassle.

Once you establish that these two core needs are met with the technology you are considering, then look at the other helpful resources a solution offers. Reporting and marketing tools are good features in real estate management software but won’t benefit you if transactions barely supported by the solution are bogging you down. In short, don’t settle for software that isn’t comprehensive, robust, and advantageous.

Innovate, Evolve, Grow

The needs of your business are bound to change as your company grows. The most successful brokerages aren’t afraid to change processes, internal structures, strategies, and, yes, technologies, when they don’t align with industry sentiment or company objectives. Wearing many operational hats may work when your brokerage is small, but it’s important to specialize roles and delineate responsibilities as your organization scales so that efficiency, quality, and communication don’t suffer.

As already shown, adding great technology can help manage business operations, empower agents and staff, and deliver work-life flexibility to you and your staff. Partnering with a franchisor that offers top-notch tools can help streamline your brokerage growth without overburdening the team along the way. HomeSmart gives you access to all the technology and resources you need to recruit and empower agents—at a fraction of the cost and time it would take you to source and manage those moving pieces on your own.

To learn more about the benefits of franchising as they relate to your brokerage and goals, reach out to us to start a conversation.

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