Defining Your Ideal Tech Stack
According to the 2020 Gartner’s Future of Sales Research, the next five years will see an exponential rise in digital interactions between buyers and suppliers, breaking further away from traditional sales models. To this end, it’s more important than ever for real estate professionals to have a diversified range of digital selling tools and channels that aim to inform, assist, engage and enable clients at every stage of their buyer journey.
What is a tech stack?
The tech stack, in a nutshell, is the total suite of technologies to help agents or firms manage their business - that means apps, platforms, softwares, etc and can cover front end, consumer, transaction, project tracking, and many others. Modern agents, especially with the implications of the pandemic, must be adept at using multiple, varied and simultaneous channels.
That said, with a tidal wave of up and coming technologies and softwares, while it may be tempting to adopt the latest and greatest among them, the common word of caution seems to be: choose your weapon wisely.
Before you choose...
In an industry where companies, agents and technologies are still somewhat disconnected from each other, each tool in a techstack must play a pivotal role in running and growing business, no matter if it’s a solo agent or a huge brokerage. Not to mention, each tool should be cost-effective, with scalability in mind.
Choosing each tool matters greatly because the whole tech stack should not only work together soon after implementation, but ideally, work five years down the line. Patching gaps and swapping out pieces later on will rack up costs that could be avoided from the onset.
That said, a superior tech stack will integrate multiple best-in-class technologies into one platform that is flexible and accessible. These different technologies should address the particular business goals that an agent sets for themselves, while leads should be able to move effortlessly across components, right through to transaction. A winning tech stack will automate a lot of the more menial, necessary everyday tasks the agent has on their plate, freeing them up to focus on other areas, but a winning tech stack will also be consumer-centred. Why? Because not only are customer-centric companies 60% more profitable than those that aren’t, but loyal customers are five times more likely to purchase again, and four times more likely to refer a friend.
Keeping all that in mind, here are a few questions real estate professionals should ask themselves:
- Have current pain points and gaps of the business been properly identified?
- Which tools are currently in use and what is the level of their effectiveness moving forward?
- Have the must-haves been identified (CRM system, email software etc)?
- Will prospective new technologies be assimilated well with these existing tools?
- Will the agent(s) need specific or additional training, and if so, for how long?
- Have they calculated the cost of everything, including potential adoption charges? Many professionals in the industry stress the importance of auditing and setting all numbers down on paper (or a spreadsheet).
- Will each new customer-facing tool be flexible and address at least one key question?
Finding the solution
So what should go into an ideal tech stack? No one stack suits all agents, but we’ve compiled a list of some of the most crucial ‘must-haves’:
- Website - whether that includes IDX, MLS search, etc, is up to each agent, but having a designated, professional website is a must.
- CRM - this is necessary for any agent who expects to grow business to scale, an efficient system that not only helps keep tabs on every lead, but works on behalf of the agent particularly in non-office hours.
- Email marketing automation system
- Transaction management system - DocuSign, e-Signature, Dotloop, the list goes on. Clients who have just faced–and may be currently facing–the effects of a pandemic can rest a little easier knowing that such technologies can ensure secure transactions without having to leave home.
- Back-end management system
- Ad management tools
- Social media management tools - these should integrate all the most popular platforms out there, as well as deliver real-time notifications so the agent or their team can respond right back
- Review/Referral system - agents rely heavily on recommendations, and more and more professionals are tapping into the benefits of a designated referral or review management system.
- Real estate lead generation tech - while there are many out there, agents should focus on which one aligns best with their marketing strategy and ideal customer profile.
- Cloud storage - Whether it be Dropbox, Google Drive or another, digitization of these important documents also means no more lost paperwork, and is accessible to all parties anywhere.
This list is not at all comprehensive, especially with new tech coming out all the time. But it’s an illustration of how building a formidable tech stack isn’t impossible. It should just be done with great pre-planning and consideration, genuinely meaning to strengthen the relationship between agent and client.
For more on the value of data for your business, see our recent blog post:
How to Identify and Replicate Success with Data
In property, a lot of information is transacted at every decision point, from the initial search to final purchase, but are we equipped to handle so much data?