Stop Buying Technology

by Victor Lund on December 16, 2015

less is moreIt’s the season. WAV Group is fielding satisfaction surveys to determine how agents and brokers use or don’t use technology offerings. We even encounter a curious situation where we are measuring satisfaction with broker solutions and MLS solutions in the same market.

Sometimes the easiest answer to a strategy is the simplest. What WAV Group sees today is that less is more.

Too many technology solutions is real estate have feature creep. Regardless if it is a broker CRM or the MLS system – they are too complex.  In real estate technology, usability trumps functionality.

Change is Hard

behavior changeThe most difficult thing for anyone to do in life is change. Moreover, the older you are, the harder it is for you to learn or change.  Real Estate people are old. We see this constantly, and even NAR yells it from the rooftops.

Before you switch systems, think very carefully about the overhead that it will cost your organization and users in functionality. Everyone takes a big hit. In most cases, you are taking your user intelligence way backwards to inch forwards. Tread very carefully and try not to change too often.

Training Trumps Everything

WAV Group does not have a specific gauge on training effectiveness. But we are deriving certain solutions that can help. First, training needs to be offered every day in every way! Remember, every day there is a pile of new agents entering the business that need to learn everything. Moreover, unless you have been training hard for years, even your most experienced agents are not trained on everything.

Think about training plans for each product you offer. Create training for Expert, Intermediate, and Beginner.

Think about training methods – concierge 1 on 1, in office, online webinar, How to Articles – FAQs, recorded webinars for all levels of experience.

Watch your help desk calls! Inform your trainers of the top 10 reasons why people are calling and use that to drive training. Yes, you do need to begin every training session on how to recover your password!

Measure Success

improve controlSurveys are pretty cool because you can see (by email address) exactly who is screaming for training. Section that group out of each of your surveys and have your trainers attack them.  After 3 months, go back and survey the same people who were looking for training and survey them again, again, and again.

There is a lot of stinkin’ thinking by brokers and MLSs when it comes to agent training. I hear it all of the time – “Agents don’t read,” “Agents don’t show up to training,” and so many other excuses. Remember, what ever you focus on, you will get. If you don’t start from a place where you do not believe that you can make a difference, you never will!

For years now, we have been measuring satisfaction each quarter for a number of clients. Each quarter we seek ways to improve.  Those clients do not see satisfaction as a once a year process. They see it as an everyday process that they benchmark quarterly.

Measure Adoption

adoptionWhen you are working with your application service providers, make sure that you have a way to measure adoption. WAV Group has written quite a bit on the strategy of only licensing the software you need for the user pool that you have. If only 1/3 of your agent base is using an application, a site license does not make sense.

Empower your vendor to help with adoption. They can pick up some of the training, and produce drip programs to invite users to explore the application and deepen their knowledge of how to leverage its many features. The more users that are on-boarded to the application, the more licenses you purchase.

If adoption of a product offering in your brokerage or MLS is flat or declining,  dump the product.

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