How does your real estate firm get new sales associates through the front door? Some might immediately answer commissions - and that's great. However, real estate sales associates in 2020 need additional motivation to join your company. Today's sales associates consider everything from a collaborative work environment and marketing resources to top-of-the-line technology and tools.
Technology can simplify and improve the sales associate experience, starting with recruitment. It's one of the best ways for firms to buck bad trends and stand out from the pack.
Once technology is firmly built into the recruitment process, it becomes much easier to use it in other aspects of business, too: Creating relationships, finding leads, and transaction management.
Many firms are rising to the challenge and energizing recruitment with next-gen technology. That's all the more vital as the internet grows into the place where most real estate pros will source their leads and establish their reputation.
In short, new associates want firms who'll give them reliable business-building solutions.
SO, HOW ARE THE BEST FIRMS DOING IT?
These six tech trends are making it easier to recruit new associates:
- Online Listings for MLS, IDX, and The Rest
As real estate has gone digital, a dizzying array of sites and services cropped up where sales associates connect with clients and colleagues. MLS, the Multiple Listing Service, is the most visible of these, but there are dozens of others.
Firms shouldn't be tempted to look at MLS as a black box for their brand-building. Instead, spark goodwill from the start by offering MLS listings on your site to sales associates. Boost their efforts on other industry sites and social media platforms, too.
This gets associates off to a running start by taking the guesswork out of a slew of tasks that might otherwise go undone. Plus, it shows from the get-go that new associates will share in their firm's success.
- Customer Relationship Management Solutions
In real estate, customer relationship management (CRM) is the science of figuring out where your prospects, leads, and clients stand at any point in their transaction process.
With a well-designed website, associates can get visibility into what leads are doing (and thinking!) long before they decide to move forward on a home purchase.
An excellent CRM suite not only connects to that first burst of website data but also follows leads through the rest of their journey. It flags turning points, such as attending an open house, and reminds associates to do the ever-crucial work of following up.
Even the best CRM has a learning curve. That said, it can save sales associates hundreds of hours a year – and give them the extra push to close agreements that might otherwise fall through.
- Website and Digital Market Toolkits
Without a website, an associate is invisible. A flourishing associate/firm partnership equips both sides to craft magnetic, meaningful brands that excite clients.
Although many associates leap into real estate as their second career, few were Web designers in their previous life. Anything and everything firms can do to help them launch their digital presence makes a difference.
And remember: The work doesn't end with a website.
Digital marketing is how associates make the leap from chasing down leads to drawing crowds. One big part of that is email marketing, which lets associates build long-term relationships with leads through useful, informative messages sent on a regular schedule.
Software can automate the designing and sending of those messages.
A website, social media presence, email subscription list, and video content all work together for a powerful digital strategy. The more of these firms can master, the better for all their associates.
- Document and Signature Management Tools
As many a buyer has learned to their shock, a home buy involves a lot of paperwork!
Nothing brings a deal to a screeching halt like a problem with legal documents. Even something simple like a misspelled middle name can add a week to transaction time.
Once they know the ins and outs of a real estate contract, sales associates quickly get tired of doing things the old-fashioned way. It is technology to the rescue with a host of new solutions that accelerate signings and catch common mistakes.
A good document management strategy incorporates two things: version-control and e-signing. With version control, you have a central repository for all your documents and can see changes over time. You can even verify that documents were received without calling or emailing. E-signing, on the other hand, is about the bottleneck of getting dozens of pages signed before and during closing. It's especially useful when associates have clients in other states or countries.
- Software for Adding More Value to Clients
Productivity is the name of the game when it comes to business software. That said, it's not just for associates. Technology can delight clients by equip- ping them to solve their challenges. For example, some firms have rolled out special software offerings to assist clients in managing their move. Associates get the credit for helping clients succeed, which leads to repeat business.
More than 95% of American adults now own a cell phone, and the majority have a Web-ready smartphone. If you offer a useful piece of software, you can be confident most clients can use it.
Of course, many other tech tools – like e-signing – also soothe clients' headaches.
- Webinars and Distributed Digital Training
In real estate, what you know is how you grow.
More than almost any other industry, developing a real estate business means learning new skills, tools, and techniques. Mentors and leadership circles are a natural fit, but associates will often be looking for solutions on their own time.
Taking lessons from customer success – the idea that businesses should train customers to get the most value from their products – many firms are embracing the role of a real estate success coach.
One way to do this is to provide associates with a library of multimedia materials, helping them come to grips with industry trends.
A webinar library is a common way to let associates learn on the go. Experienced associates can give talks on the success strategies that worked for them, which bolsters their skills at the same time. Junior colleagues, meanwhile, can reach those all-important designations sooner.
Technology Lets Firms to Put New Associates On The Road to Success
Like real estate, technology is always changing. It's not enough to have the newest tech toy on the block: It's also essential to align technology choices with the needs and goals of associates.
Technology strategy can be one big way firms show their confidence in associates. When they see that commitment – and investment – real estate pros of all backgrounds are more likely to excel.