Although realty firms have been around for hundreds of years, the notion of taking the actual business of house sales and making it into a more automated process is something that has really only come into its own over the past 15 years.
As most brokers know, the addition of the MLS on the Internet at the end of the 90’s coupled with private online listings helped increase home prices and the number of sales over time.
In the here and now, the emphasis over the past few years has been to find a way to replicate the success of firms like Uber. The idea is that with one simple application and one simple process, it will allow the customer to focus on the aspects of the sale that they really enjoy, like planning ahead for the things that they want to do to their new home.
A couple of years ago, a new insurance firm managed to automate the process of insuring customers online. They also have shown themselves able to process claims without involving staff. Because this type of optimization can save millions of dollars in costs each year, it can be looked upon as somewhat of a ‘grail’ for the real estate industry. If a real estate franchising partner can create a system that allows you to sell without incurring as much overhead, it will make your business a stronger part of the community.
Currently, the company that comes the closest to fulfilling this type of automation dream is actually homesmart.com. The fact that their franchisees consistently see rapid agent growth is testament to the faith that they have in the system.
Here are some other technology areas that quality franchisors should be offering their prospective customers:
Real estate is all about organizing your resources so that you can communicate and sell effectively in many locations. You can accomplish this type of effectiveness without computers, although you will certainly be more efficient when you do leverage technology.
As a potential franchisee, finding a firm that has a stellar CRM or customer relationship management application can actually make a difference in your agents’ performance. One key feature of a good CRM is allowing you to work across form factors and locations with easy-to-use processes. Being able to communicate to your prospects in a way that mirrors the way that you work when you are not online is another feature that is worth trying to get for your employees.
One trick that contractors have in new neighborhoods that have homes that are selling for more than an entry-level price is to add features that are not apartment-grade and then allow realtors to show those features off. When it comes to presentation, a good franchisor will create the same type of capability. To market a high end home, for example, you typically use better designers and software that has more features. If your regular agents have access to the same tools and use them with most their houses, they will automatically be doing more than the rest of the market is with regards to presentation- something that can help them close more sales.
Overall, buying a franchise often comes down to its potential for the market that you serve. When you find one that has learned to leverage technology so that you can increase revenue, it may provide you with a long and fruitful career.