RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

SEP 2017

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

Issue link: http://remag.rismedia.com/i/864801

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Page 20 of 118

16 September 2017 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE {The NAR Power Broker Roundtable} Robert Bailey: Business technology is a billion-dollar business, and brokers invest significant dollars each year to ensure their agents are efficient, connected, and competitive. But the adoption and usage of all this new technology can have draw- backs. Some agents are less interested in learning new things. Others are just too busy. And with so many working remotely, what's the impact on culture? What are brokers doing to ensure a return on their technology investment? Mike Pappas: When new systems come in, adoption and engagement are the so-called "special sauce" that can make a critical difference— so we're laser-focused on getting everyone to see the value and get onboard. At the same time, we're very aware that everyone learns dif- ferently, so we offer a smorgasbord of emails, webinars, one-on-one training and on-site/off-site coaching oppor- tunities so that agents can become familiar with programs on their own time and in their own way. Dan Forsman: We're big believers in communication, and it's important that what we introduce to our agents is both relevant and exciting. We've instituted what we call an "Innovation Council," made up of leaders from all our offices. They communicate to us what the agents want and need, and they also become the first-line con- duits to take new innovations back to them. Then, as Mike indicated, it's a matter of providing training in enough ways and times to help bring every agent up to speed. Chad Ochsner: I'll second that. We host a consistent "Fourth Friday FAST" meeting, which stands for "Fantastic Alliance Services and Tools," where, among other things, we introduce new systems and programs, in addition to new market- ing partnerships our agents want to know about. From there, branch office managers sit down one-on-one to help agents understand and see the value of newly installed technology. And monitoring is essential to track the usage. Tom Skiffington: Most of our agents frequently work out of the office, so it's especially crucial for them to have a technological edge. But since we're spending some 20 percent of our outlay on technology, ROI is equally critical. When a new agent comes into the company, we set everything up for them—website, social media pages, search portal profiles, their blog, and our proprietary lead-gener- ation system. Then we sit down and walk them through everything—one- on-one, small group coaching: what- ever it takes to be sure they know how to use it to their advantage. RB: With all these people out of the office, what happens to company culture? How do we maintain the kind of synergy, mentorship and reward systems that inspire camaraderie and performance? MP: We take the company culture to them, with social events like "Wind Down Wednesdays" where we buy the first round of drinks at a local watering hole. Or we might reserve a night at a local gallery, where everyone drinks a little wine and gets hands-on painting lessons. Sometimes a manager will drop in on an agent in the middle of an open house. When it's quiet, that can be a great time for a casual little one-on-one. DF: We schedule "Power Lunch Fridays" at various offices, with good food, cool guest speakers and so forth—and they're often covered live on Facebook, so even those who can't attend in-person can follow what's going on. TS: Social events provide a great opportunity to launch new programs and systems because everyone is relaxed and receptive. But the simple truth is, if some new piece of technol- ogy helps make them more profitable and productive, you can bet they will get onboard. CO: Something that's been success- ful for us is a company-wide internal app we install on agents' cellphones so that we can push out notifications, special messaging and so forth. With some 50 percent of our agents work- ing remotely, it helps everyone stay in touch with what's happening in the office. RB: In the end, our job is to provide value to our agents. As they say, "If you build it, they will come." RE 8For an expanded version of this article and other NAR Power Broker Roundtable topics, please visit www.rismedia.com. Technology Adoption: Impact on Office Synergy MODERATOR: Robert Bailey Broker/Owner, Bailey Properties, Santa Cruz, Calif.; Liaison for Large Residential Firms Relations, NAR PARTICIPANTS: Mike Pappas CEO, Keyes Co./Illustrated Properties, Miami, Fla. Dan Forsman CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties, Atlanta, Ga. Tom Skiffington Broker/Owner, RE/MAX 440, Perkasie, Pa. Chad Ochsner Employing Broker, RE/MAX Alliance, Denver, Colo. The Power Broker Roundtable is brought to you by the National Association of REALTORS® and Robert Bailey, NAR's Liaison for Large Residential Firms Relations. Watch for this column each month, where we address broker issues, concerns and milestones.

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