We all know a guy (or gal) that always has to have the newest gadgets on the market regardless of its practicality. What happens when that new tech pulls a Samsung Galaxy Note and doesn't work the way it's supposed to? Adopting technology for technology’s sake is not a smart strategy. With the right process, a tech adoption and rollout can be a big boom to a company's bottom line. The key is in selecting the right tools for your business and marrying it with a solid process that gives everyone on board and running with the new tech.
Start with the workflow
Step one is figuring out what product and software would best benefit the firm. Identify your brokerage’s the current workflow. Find the parts of the process that could be solved with a technology solution. Where is your agency wasting time? Is there a pain point that bleeds money? Once the workflow dams are identified, it's time to research the products that could alleviate the problem.
Get the team involved
Remember that guy? The one with the Apple Watch and Google Glass? All teams have members excited about technology innovations and development. Ask those individuals to be involved in the product selection and adoption process. Gain team members feedback so they are the first to buy-in to the upgrade and advocate for the chosen solution. Their enthusiasm for the new technology adoption will translate into the rest of the staff. Train the selected team on the software and let them beta test for the agency. Once the service is completely rolled out, these individuals will be the first ones their colleagues turn to for help.
The big announcement
Once it's time to announce to the entire team what technology service will be coming on board, start by making clear the workflow problems this technology product will solve. Be very specific. People want to know exactly how this adoption benefits them. If the chosen product has proven to save an average amount of time for real estate agents, tell them. If it boosts return on investment by a certain percentage, share it. After all, real estate professionals like numbers. This will help sell the service to the team.
Demonstrate how the technology service will alter the workflow and what people can expect during the roll out. If certain responsibilities are changing, like one particular person will manage the product, or two roles are being merged into one now because of the efficiency, people need to know.
Provide test time
Work with the service provider to see if they will allow team members access to the system before the official rollout happens. Giving everyone who will use the program the opportunity to explore the dashboard and features ahead of time allays some adoption fears. It will minimize the stress of starting a new system because they are familiar with what's coming on board. They don't have to hit the ground running on a Monday with a whole new operating system. During this exploration and test phase, ask for the team to provide feedback and pose questions to better understand the oncoming technology service.
A pathway to support and training
Whatever technology product your brokerage chooses to use, as part of the selection process, ask about service and support. How will your new team be able to learn how to use all of the features? Even if the user interface is streamlined to be intuitive and easy, the provider should still offer some sort of customer service for unforeseen situations. As part of the adoption, make sure the entire team knows how they can access training and receive more support. In some cases, this may be additional staff education modules as part of a training day or an elective seminar.
Celebrate the success
Once a piece of technology has been working for a while in the brokerage, give the team an update on how it's going. Prove to the team the adoption headache was worth the hassle. How much time have team members saved? How much more in commissions are individual agents bringing in now? Perhaps have someone who had particular success stories share it with the team.
Technology is forever changing the real estate industry. As we move forward, new tech adoption will become a way of life. To stay ahead of the curve, check out five real estate tech trends to watch for in 2017.
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