As an agent, you probably attend a lot of industry conferences. At those conferences, someone has probably attempted to sell you some sort of software with claims that it will revolutionize your business.
It might feel impossible to resist. The salesperson is standing there telling you about how great their software is, how it will change your business, and how it will bring in more leads than you can handle. So, as an agent, you might go for it. Who doesn’t want to improve their business?
More often than not, that new software doesn’t get the exact results promised or meet the agent’s expectations. That’s not the software’s fault; it’s the agent’s, sort of…
That’s not because agents don’t want to embrace new technologies or improve their systems; rather, it’s usually because their existing marketing, lead generation, CRM, or whatever else system isn’t designed or planned to fit a new piece of software into it easily. Usually, they just try to force it into their workflow.
The Importance of an Agent’s Workflow
As an agent’s administrative assistant or operations manager, there are few things worse to hear than the team leader coming back from a conference and saying: I bought this new amazing software. Can you set it up? Oh, and let me know when we start getting leads from it.
As an agent, in some capacity, you need to have a solid workflow in place that works with each piece of software you’re using.
For example, if the latest software you bought at a conference has no possible way of exchanging data with the CRM that your entire team uses and relies on each and every day, then what’s the point of using it? Are you setting yourself up for a lot of manual work, or worse, will your team need to manage 2 CRMs as part of their day to day work?
If the new email marketing platform you just bought doesn’t integrate with your website to allow for a smooth transition for a sign-up subscription process, are you going to be able to get people added to it automatically and in a seamless way?
At its core, good, quality software designed for real estate solves problems, not creates them. If the software you’ve recently been sold doesn’t fit into your existing workflow and ecosystem, it’s sure to create problems where there weren’t any before.
Evaluating Software is Essential
For software to be effective, and to deliver on what it promises, you need to evaluate how it will work with the other software you use most within your process.
That’s not to say that just because it doesn’t work with what you have, you can’t use it. Sometimes, the latest software you’re buying at a conference can replace something you’re already using while still fitting into your workflow. If that’s the case, it can improve things immensely for you.
Say, for example, you’re at a conference and you see a demo for a new CRM built for real estate that easily connects with the services you currently use. If you’re using TopProducer, which is fairly closed, dated, and doesn’t connect to much else, then that new CRM might replace it perfectly and even improve on what you do each day.
The important thing is that you need to have a plan before implementing anything new.
When you’re at a conference, it can be tempting to sign up right away for new software, especially as they often have promos in place to make it more attractive. It makes a lot more sense, though, to avoid that urge and get as much information as you can about the software first.
Consult With Your Team
From there, you should bring it back to your team. Take the time to get their thoughts on it, have them ask questions about how it will be used, and see if it can properly integrate and involve itself with what you currently have in your ecosystem. Then, go back, ask those questions, and then make a purchase.
Most agents make decisions like these without consulting their team. If your team are the ones that will primarily be implementing it and using it, getting their advice before purchasing can save a lot of headaches, money, and time later on in the process.
When you’re going to a conference, identify some of your needs ahead of time and look for software that solves those needs while you’re attending.
Do you even need a new CRM? Do you need to improve your email marketing platform? Do you need new lead-generation software that primarily brings buyers over sellers? If you don’t, then there’s no sense in looking at software that addresses those issues.
When Software Works (and When It Doesn’t)
Real estate agents are smart, and they love to find new ways to improve their processes, deliver more value to their clients, and of course, generate new leads.
But, if the new software doesn’t tightly integrate with the systems you already have in place, you either need to replan your systems or evaluate whether you need the software at all.
Promises about increased efficiency and more leads are great and all, but what you really need to know is if it’s going to work for you. Most software out there is not a one-size-fits-all solution, which is why you should hold back from buying if you haven’t asked the right questions.
If you take the time before you buy, consult with your time, and make an informed purchase (or no purchase at all) you’ll be happy with the results.
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