Consumers and agents may not understand the difference between real estate platform versus bolt-on technology, but they soon will. Let’s discuss why it matters to both consumers and agents.
Real Estate Platform Protects Your Privacy
From a consumer perspective, information about your home, your finances, and your preferences is worth a lot of money to big companies and could cause aggravation if in the wrong hands. Data security is important now more than ever. Uploaded contracts, disclosures, inspection reports, agreements, and other reports aren’t always encrypted. Who owns that data? What if your data were released without your knowledge?
As a consumer, who you do business with matters. The same is true with brokerages and agents. Does your brokerage have agreements with 3rd party vendors on who owns data and what can be done with it? Does your brokerage own its own real estate platform, or do you employ bolt-on technology by outside companies to run your business?
CEO’s of national brand companies say they’re going with bolt-on technology as opposed to real estate platform technology so as not to disrupt agent’s business. They say they want to give agents the freedom to choose whatever software they prefer using. The truth is, agents prefer not to change, so they stick with who they’ve used for years, even if it’s not great. Agents tailor their business around what their software can do, not what is ideal for their business.
If agents could design the perfect software, it would look and work much differently than what they have now. Most agents don’t have the time, money, or expertise to do this, so they stick with the status quo, even though it’s holding them back.
Currently, when consumers sign onto apps and real estate websites their data becomes free game. Consumer search preference data is valuable for advertisers and as a result, consumers are being bombarded with calls and emails from all kinds of companies. Consumers don’t like it. They just didn’t realize what they were giving up to get real estate information. Agents who advertise on those sites fund this behavior because they want the leads. Ironically, agents are purchasing the very data consumers hate giving up.
A Better Way
There is a better way. Consumers will give you everything you want if you give them everything they want and agree not to sell or give away their data. If you can protect the consumer, they don’t mind if their agent emails them with real estate information they care about. Consumers information to be relevant to them., and they don’t want to be spammed.
This is exactly why our company has been developing its own platform for a few years now. We don’t want to be reliant on outside companies with ulterior motives. We want to control and own the data so that consumers can trust they won’t be bombarded with offers from companies they don’t know. However, the consumer experience must be first class and offer things consumers want and nobody else has.
The Consumer Experience
It’s all about the consumer experience. We’ve studied the items consumers like best. For instance, we tested over 1 million consumers and found that they like neighborhood information better than at the zip code level. In fact, they spent on average over 4 minutes on site per neighborhood versus a zip code. Consumers want information like the home’s DNA score, commute times to places they choose, and more. Because we’re developing our own platform, we can deliver all these consumer preferences, and more.
Keller Williams’ Realty consumer mobile app is in testing pending release. Currently Google employees are testing out the platform for us and providing feedback before we release to the public. It will not only be best in class; it will offer privacy and confidence to the consumer. Our desktop websites are working now, and we’re still tweaking and improving those. If you’d like us to send you our app or provide you a local neighborhood website, we can do that. Just email me at Brett@topagent.com and we’ll get you started.
It’s a work on progress, and we believe it’s one the consumer will love and appreciate. In fact, we believe it’s the Future of Real Estate. We’d love your feedback. Try it out and let us know what you think!
Check out this weekend’s open houses on our current mobile app which will be upgraded automatically when we release the new app.