What’s left out of many technology conversations is a challenging fact: agent technology adoption ultimately determines the success of a product purchase by a brokerage or team. Getting agents to actually use technology, and to use it effectively, is a tricky thing to nail. As T3 Sixty covered in the 2017 Swanepoel Trends Report chapter, “The Agony of Technology Adoption," (now available on T3 Intel), adoption rates hover in the low double digits, at the high end.
There’s one big reason for this: technology that matches an agent’s business personality and style makes it more effective, resulting in higher usage rates. Many agents purchasing technology for themselves also fail here.
To help companies, and agents themselves, choose the technology that best matches their business style, T3 Sixty identified four agent archetypes as they apply to technology. Matching a technology purchase to a particular agent archetype will increase adoption rates, improve performance and bottom lines.
The image below positions these archetypes on a grid that helps explain their elements and how they relate to each other, with each quadrant defining a different agent archetype: Prospector, Networker, Converter, and Marketer.
The horizontal axis represents an agent’s ability with, or their affinity with, the type of leads they get, whether cold or warm. Working with both types of leads successfully requires different aptitudes, skills, approaches and technologies.
The vertical access represents how agents best engage with prospects, whether directly or indirectly. Direct selling deals with sphere-of-influence marketing and targeted engagement, while indirect selling has more of a lead-generation approach.
Agents in each of the respective quadrants need different strategies, and thus different technology tools, to maximize success. They can all achieve success; they just have to approach it differently,
Below, the four different agent archetypes, each presented along with examples of specific tech products – selected from the T3 Tech Marketplace, a directory of real estate industry technology information – that fit each archetype.
Prospectors are the hunters among agents. They often have a driving work ethic, which helps them canvas neighborhoods, farm lists, hunt FSBOs, expired listings and more. As such, they need ample sources of fresh leads and tools to help them uncover new business.
The tools Prospectors need helps them with target marketing and data-backed lead-generation and sales automation.They also use coaching tools to stay on track and networking tools to connect to other agents.Their technology needs include:
- Data system (Expired, FSBOs, etc.)
- CRM/Follow-up system
- Direct mail
- Conversion-oriented website
- Testimonials, reviews, proof of results
- A phone/maybe a dialer
Networkers generate the vast majority of their business by cultivating their sphere of influence. They need basic tools to stay connected to their client database, like CRM, email marketing, real estate reviews and lots of face-to-face time, great organization and good time management.
Their tech needs include a combination of strong CRM, email marketing, print automation, long-term relationship marketing, testimonials and reviews, presentation and data tools, and transaction coordination tools to free up time and to stay connected to the agent's sphere of influence. Their tech needs include:
- Basic CRM
- Basic email marketing/touch system
- Business card website or basic brand website
- Social media presence
- Time and friends!
Marketers are very good at generating warm leads. They rely heavily on content marketing, targeted marketing and specific offers. These agents specialize in a niche as an expert, which helps them attract consumers with similar interests and needs. An example is a golfer looking to buy a home on a golf course who may potentially seek out the local golf real estate expert who has worked hard to build that reputation.
Marketers need tools that automate or dynamically create content, that connect quickly and instantly to consumers but in a personal way, specialized or custom marketing strategies, print and social content strategies and more. The technology Marketers need include:
- Niche-or brand-oriented website (neighborhood, etc.)
- CRM system with email marketing system
- Offers (free reports, blog articles, etc.)
- Lead capture tools
- Social media and local content
Converters typically run analytics-driven system in which they fine-tune the process of converting cold leads into clients, often at scale. These agents never have enough online lead sources and measure ROI by channel religiously. Systems are so important here.
The tools Converters rely on provide help with lead routing, lead conversion, lead generation, connectivity of multiple tools and lead sources and sales pipeline reporting. Showings, offers, transaction management and more, round out Converters’ technology. Their needs include:
- A budget
- Advertising programs
- Lead generation website system
- Follow up and lead system/lead generation CRM
- Religious commitment to follow up
The technology agents need, and will use, heavily depend on how they work, their strengths, their business model. Many companies and agents often miss this critical point, one that means the difference between tech success and failure. Want help evaluating the technology that will best fit your company, agents, or team? Reach out to me, Travis Saxton (firstname.lastname@example.org), lead of T3 Sixty’s technology consulting division, for an assessment.