How the Tech 500 helps real estate firms and agents build a smart technology strategy

Authored by:
Travis Saxton
Published:
April 2020

Brokers and agents have a vast pool of technology products and vendors to choose from and needs that differ based on business model, franchise affiliation and more. By first identifying over 270 of the industry’s leading tech solutions out of an estimated total of over 2,000, and then organizing them into specific sections and categories, T3 Sixty greatly simplifies the real estate technology decision-making process for brokers and agents with the Tech 500. Access it here for free.

T3 Sixty built the Tech 500, the third section of the Real Estate Almanac, by first developing a rubric through which to evaluate real estate technology by functionality. It identified the different needs real estate brokers and agents have based on how they apply to their sales funnels and other needs in seven sections. Each section is broken into specific features totaling 63 functional categories. This framework is T3 Sixty’s Real Estate Technology Landscape (see below).

Source: 2020 Real Estate Almanac

T3 Sixty then selected the leading products and vendors for each category for a total of over 550 providers and products. No technology vendor paid for inclusion in the list. To determine the quality offerings in each category, the following set of criteria were applied:

  • Innovation and application within the Real Estate Technology Landscape
  • The depth, breadth and reliability of the vendor or product
  • Known or tested client satisfaction or adoption metrics
  • Product or provider’s market share
  • Year-over-year growth, specifically related to significant new enterprise clients
  • Ability to service and support clients, including enterprise entities
  • Leadership in respective categories and overall impact on the industry

How to use the Tech 500

The Tech 500 is much more than a list of the residential real estate brokerage industry’s leading technologies. This invaluable strategic tool will help executives, brokers and agents develop and organize a smart technology strategy and budget.

Many brokerage companies do not realize how much technology they have. The first step in taking advantage of the Tech 500 involves using the Tech Landscape to evaluate where holes and redundancies exist in your current technology. This mapping provides a functional clarity to your tech suite that will allow you to make smart tech decisions.

With your technology cataloged, organize your technology spend and assign it by category. Be sure to keep the technology spend separate from marketing and other expenses. It is easy for other expense categories to bleed into a technology spend, which will confuse analysis.

With your technology cataloged, organize your technology spend and assign it by category. Be sure to keep the technology spend separate from marketing and other expenses. It is easy for other expense categories to bleed into a technology spend, which will confuse analysis.

Finally, determine what kind of technology will support your specific business. If you operate a business heavy on lead generation, your tech needs will differ greatly than if your business focuses on repeat-and-referral contacts. Because resources are limited, it is important to choose the technology that best supports your specific business.

This can become a quite involved exercise, having an expert by your side will really help you.

Trending real estate tech categories

As T3 Sixty dove deep into the residential real estate technology landscape in compiling the Tech 500, the team identified some rapidly emerging categories, called out below.

Streaming Video Advertising  

With the rise of digital video platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, and apps and websites from major television channels and content websites, large streaming video ad networks have developed that allow brokers and agents to deliver targeted video ads to consumers.

These streaming video ads, also called over-the-top (OTT) advertising as it bypasses broadcast and cable, are often less expensive than TV ads and, because they show up on platforms that consumers often log into or share info with, advertisers can often target their content to audiences based on geography and behavior.

In addition, they can create dynamic ad content that changes based on the consumer’s profile and geography. For example, a broker could tailor open house video ads by neighborhood, showing different ones to different users, automatically.

The Tech 500 identifies two leading real estate vendors providing this service:

  • Adwerx
  • Union Street Media

Live Chat

Live chat has become a standard feature on many websites, including those in the real estate industry. The live chat technology experience has evolved from a first wave in which brokers and agents had to engage with consumers directly to services that offered to engage leads for them live and then hand them off.

The latest live chat technologies feature virtual assistants backed by artificial intelligence that engage leads, qualify them and then route them to the best agent or inside sales team member to handle the most pressing, promising leads.

The leading real estate technology vendors the T3 Sixty identifies in this category include:

  • Avochato
  • Connect Now
  • HelloAlex
  • LiveChat
  • OJO Labs
  • OutboundEngine (formerly ReadyChat)
  • Smart Alto
  • WhosOn

Virtual Property Marketing

Virtual marketing has become an important technology category with COVID-19 shutting down many in-person meetings. This category covers virtual tours, virtual staging, 3D modeling, image enhancement, video and virtual showings.

The leading real estate technology vendors the T3 Sixty identifies in this category include:

  • Asteroom
  • BoxBrownie
  • CORE ListingMachine by Inside Real Estate
  • Matterport
  • Ogulo
  • Paradym
  • Planomatic
  • QuickTours
  • RelaHQ
  • VHT Studios
  • Virtuance
  • VScreen by Terradatum

Print and Digital Marketing Centers

Brokers and agents have had access to print marketing platforms for decades and digital platforms for several years. Recently, both print and digital marketing real estate vendors have refined their offerings, allowing agents to automate and customize their geographic marketing, both by mail and digitally.

These include dynamic Facebook and Instagram ads, hyperlocal neighborhood and homeownership reports and more.

The leading real estate technology vendors the T3 Sixty identifies in this category include:

  • Amarki
  • Back At You
  • Breakthrough Broker
  • Deluxe
  • Lab Coat Agents Marketing Center
  • MoxiWorks
  • QuantumDigital
  • SharperAgent by Constellation Real Estate Group
  • WebsiteBox
  • Xpressdocs

Takeaway

The Tech 500 provides brokers and agents with a wealth of insight into the real estate industry’s tech landscape in general and their own tech suite specifically. Use it as a resource to audit your technology offerings and strategy and to evaluate the products and vendors that may help you. If you need an experienced sounding board, some recommendations for how to apply the Tech 500 to your business, or just some questions about the vendors in the list, reach out to Travis Saxton, head of technology consulting at T3 Sixty, at travis@t360.com.

T3 Sixty – Trusted business advisors and management consultants.

Part of the T3 Sixty family of companies.

© T3 Sixty 2020. Enabling Intelligent Change.

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