Technology is influencing and infiltrating nearly every step of the real estate transaction, a fact that has many real estate offices focused on creating and providing leading-edge training to their real estate agents.
This morning, Cary Sylvester, Executive Director of Technology Innovation and Jason Tang, Executive Director of Technology from the Keller Williams International Support Center, led a panel to discuss how top market centers implement a successful technology training strategy.
Joining them on stage was a stellar panel including:
Amy Clifton, Assistant team leader and MC tech coordinator at the San Antonio I-10,
Bryan Fair, operating principal and investor in several Atlanta market centers
Matt Rains, director of technology for Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners
Victoria Lance, tech coordinator for the Atlanta – North Gwinnett market center
Ester Odendaal, operations, marketing and support manager for the KW South African Region
The panelists had this advice for team leaders and staff aspiring to build a technology-driven culture in their market centers:
Your real estate office needs a tech-savvy staff … now
While each panelists had different strategies to achieve their technology training goals, there was one thing they agreed upon: identify a leader or staff member within your team who can serve as the technology trainer, coordinator or advocate. This person (or team of people) can be in charge of training agents on the technology products that power their businesses or they might run the technology operations of the market center. (These are things like servers and computer systems.) Or they may have a more comprehensive job description such as Agent Services Coordinator. As is the case for Fair, Rains and Lance. They found that a staff member is the best place to find a great candidate for the Agent Services Coordinator.
If someone on the team doesn’t have that passion it’s best to look outside the office. “Take them through the entire RSTLM process, talk to their previous place of employment and ask probing questions to find out how they respond to different situations,” advised Fair. What kind of probing questions? “You want to be sure they respond to a situation you’ve experienced with your agents when they have technology questions,” added Lance.
Your tech-savvy staff needs to be empowered to find solutions
When hiring technology advocates, panelists consistently described them as “resourceful.” They all agreed that team leaders should focus on someone who finds answers to questions – no matter how tough or obscure.
You should create a technology training schedule for all audiences
Real estate agents typically fall into three categories: the tech-savvy group who are looking for training on the latest releases to technologies their already using; the intermediate and beginner groups who are knowledgeable, can do the basics but have room to grow; and then “there are the people who aren’t sure how to turn their computer on,” joked Odendaal. Catering to those types of groups requires follow-up training. “New agents join on a regular basis and somebody needs to be there to help them.” Her team put together a four-week training session to rotate leadership teams and their agents in and out of a tiered curriculum. Odendaal was thrilled to share the results of their plan: currently the South African Region has 193 agents (they currently have 204 agents total) running a marketing campaign through myKW – which is their version of eEdge.
Clifton, who works closely with the other MC Tech Coordinator Sonia Quintanilla, use a “boot camp” approach to their technology training. For instance, each week they hold a three-hour class to familiarize agents with Keller Williams Realty’s suite of marketing and technology products. Of course, like any good business, they start with the basics: the database.
You and your staff need to know and use the systems
As important as it is to have someone (or a couple of people) managing the technology training in your market center, it’s equally important that all leadership and staff are trained on the systems as well, explains Clifton. “Agents definitely need to be able to access someone who has the technical know-how. It’s also important that they feel they can go to the team leader to ask their questions.”