How Has Technology Changed The Real Estate Business?
A Word with Scott Rosenberg. Managing Director of RE/MAX Results Commercial | RCRE
By: Kahlier Hart
I recently sat down with Scott Rosenberg of RE/MAX Results Commercial to discuss Technology and Brokerage today.
1. During the last decade, advances in the way people communicate and share ideas have changed thanks to technology, social media, etc. How has this changed how you do business?
Everything from how you make a call, to where you can make the call, to what you can do when you are out of the office, has changed due to technology. The biggest change in how we do business is where we do business. Today I was in a coffee shop and was able to send an e-mail to clients reminding them to take action on a recent listing. I was then able to send a text to a different set of clients requesting that they take a look at a website which also had listing information. That is not including the miscellaneous purchase contracts sent via e-mail. I made several calls, and responded to a few emails. I was able to do all this communication without a laptop; using just my iPhone and iPad. This type of technological communication wasn’t around a few years ago.
2. In 2011 a REALTOR Technology survey, administered by the National Association of Realtors and Brokers said their most often used tools of choice were a tablet, such as an iPad, and Smart phone. In the same survey, 90% of brokers said they used social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin. How have these tools changed the way you do business?
We addressed how the tablet and the smart-phone are essential to running my business. In terms of social media, I use Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin for marketing. These tools enable another touch point for potential investors to find my listed properties. I also use conversations like this to create content that is shared with other brokers, investors, and the online community.
Linkedin has become a very real and very powerful tool in business communication. Through it, I am discovering influential players in the new markets for recruitment. It has allowed me the opportunity to quickly reach out and learn whether there is an opportunity for future business deals.
However, more important than social media, the growth of 3rd party application software providers has totally leveled the playing field for smaller firms to compete with larger traditional powerhouses. A couple of years ago, you could only find these services at larger companies like Colliers, Sperry Van Ness, and Marcus and Millichap. At Marcus and Millichap they had this software called IMPACT. It was a proposal template that we would use to put together our marketing proposals. Today there are a number of hosted applications that can create that same thing for a nominal subscription fee. These services, which use to be exclusive to the larger firms, are no longer exclusive to them and that is a real game changer. This, I think is what is driving the growth of brands like RE/MAX Commercial, which offer more aggressive commission structures.
3. Which one do you find works best for your business?
With the advent of Cloud computing, which allows users the ability for everything to live hosted away from a specific server, creates a nimbleness in business that was not available years ago!!
4. Are there any specific tools that you are using that are unique to your business?
In the Cloud we have a database which holds all our property and client information. We have developed our own set of applications, applications that interact with the database to provide a template for agents to conduct and finish data collection and interviews. It also serves as a training module for agents self review. It allows them the opportunity to see how well they are conducting interviews at their first appointment sessions. We are also developing and have developed marketing plans; a plan that instructs the agent and administers what actions need to be taken each week. Our escrow workflow has a set of general expectations; a list of things that need to occur in a specific time period. We are really excited about it because the goal of all this is to create a consistent experience for our clients; an experience, which is top tier and offers greater efficacy to our broker’s use of time. We want to allow our brokers the opportunity to do what they are best at doing, which is meeting with clients and putting deals together. With the creation of the Cloud and the technology that is available off smartphones and tablets in conjunction with a well orchestrated administrative back house a broker is able to be highly productive in a number of different environments. I am not saying that being in a physical office does not have its advantages but let’s face it; agents make money when they are meeting their clients in the field. These technological developments allow agents the ability to do just that.