Battle for brokers is about technology, not just about money

Proptech survey by @properties shows brokers prioritize technology over money

(iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
(iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

The battle for brokers isn’t just about money. It’s also about the technology to help them do their jobs.

About 98 percent of the 500 @properties brokers who participated in a proptech survey said technology is an important attribute of a real estate agency, putting priority over commission split (96 percent), culture (91 percent), and training resources (88 percent), according to @properties Christie’s International Real Estate.

“Technology is essential to the work we do, but it only works when agents are comfortable using it,” said Kevin Van Eck, executive vice president of innovation and education for @properties Christie’s International Real Estate. “If you’re going to invest in proptech, it’s critical to have a plan in place to keep your agents engaged and trained on an ongoing basis.”

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More than 90 percent of the respondents said they want an integrated technology running in an all-in-one platform instead of apps running on different systems. Easy-to-use and personalization were selected as the most important single attribute of brokerage technology, according to @properties’ survey.

Brokerages have focused on technology to provide more information so that brokers can be more responsive to clients. Compass, @properties’ competitor, went public last year positioning itself as a tech company like Zillow. In 2019, Compass bought Contactually, a popular customer relationship management software company for $26 million and later struck a $70 million deal to buy Modus Technologies, a title, and escrow startup.

Founded in 2000 by Thad Wong and Michael Golden, @properties attributes its growth to its in-house tech tools, dubbed pl@tform, which enables agents to digitally manage client relationships and real estate transactions through one fully integrated system. The brokerage, which has more than 3,000 agents in 40 locations across the country, ranks eighth on the Real Trend’s list of largest residential brokerages in the U.S. by sales volume.

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