The real estate industry has an unhealthy obsession with software tools. If there’s an obstacle, we immediately try to find a software platform to fix it. If it’s new and shiny, even better.
Reading through comments on Facebook communities or by checking online forums, you’ll notice the trend. People ask, “What’s the best tool for __?” With a quick search, you’ll see questions like:
- What’s the best lead generation software?
- What’s the best tool for holding my agents accountable?
- What’s the best tool to improve lead conversion rates?
If you’re asking these questions, you’re starting in the wrong direction. Software solutions don’t solve problems. They optimize processes. They improve workflows.
After reading responses to these questions, you’re led to believe you can pay X dollars per month for a real estate platform that will magically solve whatever ails you, whether it be related to lead follow-up, lead generation or another business need.
Software needs strategy
Software upgrades what you’re already doing; it doesn’t change it. Software solutions improve processes, speed up actions and organize work-related tasks. Essentially, software is an assistant. It helps. It increases. It augments. But it’s not a problem-solver.
For example, if you’re driving a ton of leads to your business, and your agents need help responding to all of them, then you might invest in a CRM platform to assist with communication.
But if you’re not holding your agents accountable or assigning system rules to respond to leads, buying a system such as BoomTown wouldn’t improve your lead follow-up. It’s a tool within a strategy.
Another example: Data shows that if you respond to leads within five minutes of registration, you have a higher chance of converting them. So, you create a new workflow for agents to do this. To help them, you decide to invest in a system that helps with communication and follow-up. This is the right mindset. You can see the tech investment started with a strategy: contacting a lead within five minutes. Then, you find a software tool to help.
It’s easy to find software to jump over obstacles, but it doesn’t address root problems. It’s why people get confused and even switch software providers when they don’t see the results they want (even though it’s working for others).
The problem is simple. Software doesn’t drive results. Strategy does.
Good strategy is the heart of solving business challenges
People love to take the easy road, the simple path — which is why so many don’t start with business strategy. Good strategy takes months of hard work and planning.
Let’s examine the problem: If you wanted to become a champion real estate agent, you might join a team to train you in best practices, start reading, practice selling houses, and test new ideas until one succeeds. Sharpening your skills and developing strategy takes time and effort.
Without a smart strategy to drive your actions and software decisions, you could be pointing your business in the wrong direction. For example, software won’t generate the success you want if you’re trying to generate more leads when you should be focusing on responding well to the leads you already have.
If you try nonetheless, you’ll blame the software provider for the mess without identifying the real cause of the problem: not having a strategy that drives tech decisions. That’s why a strategy-first approach is needed.
Don’t sink your business with tools. Invest in strategy.
Think about some of the biggest names in real estate, the teams known for their success. There’s no doubt they employ software to help facilitate their goals, but you’ll notice they always talk about the strategy they implement first.
We’ve seen it over and over again. It’s not the teams with the best tech that get results, it’s the teams with the best tech AND the best strategies.
The next time you’re setting goals, take a look at what software tools you currently use. Will they help you reach those goals? If the answer’s no, begin researching what technology will.
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