(New York, NY) — The real estate industry has been slow to adopt technology to make their jobs easier. That’s because change is hard. It’s human nature that we resist altering our behavior. We know what we know, and technology is this difficult thing to master. Many brokers don’t know that technology won’t leave us confused; with the right training, it can change our lives and make our jobs easier. But you just can’t integrate technology into a broker’s daily life. They need to know why and how tools will be implemented, and be convinced that it will empower them. One way to enact change is to simply ask agents what technology will make their jobs easier which, in turn, will make them part of technology adoption.
The people at Compass, a technology-driven real estate company, have been successful in the collaboration of agent and tech because agents here feel comfortable with change because they have been intimately involved in the process. In turn, an open dialogue is created, and agents are more willing to ask questions and provide Compass with feedback, knowing that the company will take their comments seriously and adjust any part of the technology that doesn’t work for them, or that they don’t need, or that makes them confused.
One way to slowly integrate technology into a broker’s life is to host contests and reward those who have been able to successfully adopt the tools provided to them. Compass rewards its employees by driving traffic to an individual listing by featuring it on their homepage. In addition, the company showcases success stories of adoption to make the agents see how easy it is to change their behavior: if X company did it, why can’t we?
TRACK USAGE IN REAL TIME
The folks at Compass are blessed to have their own tech and product development department, and these employees, while testing agents, track their usage in real time and allow for feedback continuously throughout the cycle. If testing agents give unanimously positive feedback, only then will a tool pass to the next stage, a higher stage. As Robert Reffkin, the founder and CEO of Compass put it, “Sourcing this feedback during the product development cycle rather than after a product launches often results in a better roll-out process and much wider adoption.”
LEARN BY CONTINUOUS TRAINING
Compass conducts 1,500 trainings a month, both one-on-one and in a group. Operations specialists spend numerous hours training its brokers. They also retrain. This is important, as agents, like everyone else, learn by doing and through repetition. Only then will they become familiar with a tool. Significantly, retraining is an imperative, as the process is never done. But training must be tailor-made for each agent, as agents will be in different steps from each other.
The need for change is necessary. As we indicated above, if agents want to make their jobs easier, then they should quickly adopt to merging technology.