“How do I get my agents to adopt new tech?”

Tyler Smith is the CEO of SkySlope, and he’s here to take on the industry’s questions, speaking from his experience as a tech leader and former top producer. And when he says, “Ask me anything!” he means it.

“Hey Tyler, how do I get my agents to adopt technology?”

There is an entire process behind the research, vetting, and selection of brokerage technology. Oftentimes, you spend months researching and comparing various platforms — and you’ve been told it will optimize the way your brokerage does business.

But how can you be certain your team will incorporate the technology you’ve invested in and not simply fall back to the traditional approach they’re familiar with?

No matter how revolutionary a tool or technology, the success and failure of any platform hangs on one single element: adoption. If your agents don’t use it, you waste time and money.

With over ten years of experience in providing transaction management software to brokerages, CEO Tyler Smith and his team have learned a few things about helping teams successfully onboard and adopt new technology.

In this AMA, Tyler Smith outlines three important steps your brokerage needs to take to encourage tech implementation and success when adopting new platforms.

1. Eliminate the M-word
First things first, remove the word “mandatory” from your vocabulary. We learned early on that when you try to force a new process on your team, you will likely get push-back, if not complete unwillingness.

Remember Newton’s Third Law of Motion (what, you weren’t paying attention in high school physics?) — for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Basically, the harder you push, the harder your agents will push back. Remember, as independent contractors, your agents are free-spirits and they don’t like to be told what to do.

As a broker, you want to lead by example and position new technology as something that will improve your agents’ lives. Allow your agents time to learn and adjust to something new.

2. Create and leverage early adopters
As you know, it’s not enough that you believe in the product. As the decision-maker, you may be the flint, but your top-producers are the spark and you need their buy-in.

We see the power of influencers everywhere — from TV ads to social media. Celebrities and online personalities who are singing the praises of a certain product or service are no different than your top-producing agents.

When I was a top producer, my broker invited me to be part of an advisory board to help make recommendations about the direction of the brokerage. As an advisor, I was invested in the products that my brokerage implemented and I rallied my fellow agents to get onboard.

Early adopters will ignite and encourage those who are more hesitant to adopt new technology. Allow your most influential agents to have a say in the decision-making process. They will become your biggest promoters.

Just like agents use client testimonials, your clients are your agents. Have your agents share their experience with the technology that is being implemented. Use their testimonials with the rest of your team to prove value.

Top producers have a lot of leverage with the rest of your team so use them to your advantage. Once you have a few early adopters, ask them to spread the word. Invite them to trainings to talk about their success in using specific tools or products. Agents love recognition, and highlighting their success is crucial when it comes to mass adoption. Ever heard of FOMO? The ‘fear of missing out’ is one of the biggest motivators when it comes to agent adoption.

3. Choose vendors who act as partners
A good vendor doesn’t just set it and forget it. They continue to provide value through the lifetime of the partnership.

Most importantly, the companies that you partner with should be providing you with data on a regular basis. It’s crucial to be able to identify who is and (maybe more importantly) who isn’t using the software. Having this information will help you identify who may need some encouragement or additional support.

To that end, when you consider vendors, think about those who not only provide you with insights but also serve as collaborators with your admins and agents. You want vendors who will provide ongoing training and have reliable support.

Questions to ask when soliciting vendors:

  • What kind of data and analytics do you provide? Make sure your technology partner can give you access to your most valuable data. Data is the unbiased information that helps you make better business decisions. A great technology company is able to provide you with critical insights.
  • Is there 24/7 support? Agents never stop working, so a vendor’s support team needs to be readily available and easily accessible. The best vendors provide round-the-clock support with convenient access and quick response times.
  • What’s the onboarding and training process? Is the vendor willing to provide hands-on training? No one knows a product better than the people who create it. Live and interactive trainings will provide the best bang for your buck. Furthermore, continued training and support promotes adoption and is often the added motivation agents need.

A final disclaimer: Don’t change the process
Agents are more likely to adopt technology that replicates their current routine, especially if that technology makes their process more efficient. Be forewarned, change is hard, no matter how small. Any new operation you deploy should be simple and intuitive for the user, and not deviate too much from their typical process.

SkySlope’s transaction management platform helps brokers leverage and track brokerage data. Learn more here.

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