Troy Palmquist is an indie broker in California with more than a decade of experience. His regular column, which covers a range of helpful tips for agents and op-eds on industry happenings, publishes Thursdays on Inman.
With all the noise and disruption revolving around big-box brokerages and their so-called tech, what options do indie brokerages have to offer their agents? For starters, the competition isn’t as stiff as the big-boxes would have you believe. In fact, many indie brokerages already have more, or dare I say, better tech offerings than the big guys.
I got into this business to help people. I invest in my agents so they can take care of our clients, and tech should be part of the conversation. But I personally would rather be part of a real estate company providing a service, than a “tech” company whose bottom line is enhanced by making money off agents who are buying into their tech.
There’s an art to selling homes. It takes passion and persistence, a knack for people pleasing and the ability to think creatively. Above all, it’s about being able to leverage modern technology to help you do your job better than anyone else.
Agents should not feel threatened by tech — they should embrace it. And if they are lucky, they will partner with the right brokerage that can help them do just that.
For the past six months, I’ve worked hard to implement a technology package that doesn’t simply give us an edge in the marketplace, but truly benefits both our agents and our clients.
Shouldn’t that be the priority for every brokerage in our industry?
I commend fellow real estate entrepreneur Eric Bloomquist on his recent sponsored post that challenges big money tech and says, “Personally, my money is on the company that solves the question of the customer journey and how their product makes it less expensive, more transparent and easier to manage.”
These agent-centric platforms allow our brokers to perform at the highest possible levels, with real data they can count on and services they can trust. And if indie brokerages like mine are willing to make an investment upfront, the benefits of these platforms pay for themselves within a single close.
Bottom line: You don’t have to join a big-box to remain cutting edge. In fact, “tech” should not be a deciding factor in an agent’s journey, but rather a consideration.
Ultimately, one of the most important factors in choosing the right brokerage is taking a closer look at its approach. We take a service-oriented approach to distinguish ourselves, while offering tech services as an added bonus. Here’s how:
1. We invest significant dollars in our agents upfront
Our agents are armed with metrics that help them make connections, strengthen relationships, gain knowledge and earn trust. What do the big-box firm’s metrics reveal?
2. The platforms we vet provide actual, real-time, tangible tools and data
This makes a huge difference in an agent’s overall performance. Others offer up what many are calling “phantom data” and “pseudo tech” that is simply a means for recruiting rather than providing tools to help agents better serve.
3. Our focus is on services first
Some large brokerages make money by touting their databases. As an indie brokerage, we help our agents make money by providing educational packages that put coaching, technology, sales strategy and customer service first.
And because we treat every agent like an individual member of a greater team — rather than lumping them together into a number among thousands — they are able to excel, grow and become more efficient, maximizing profits for everyone involved.
My obligation as real estate professional is to stay relevant while leveraging honest, accurate market data to deliver tangible strategies and results to my clientele. Sadly, the same cannot be said for some brokerages who have lost their way.
So, with all the big-box brokerages touting their tech what options do indie brokers have to offer agents? The real question should be: Do you want to work for a tech company or a real estate company?
I welcome a phone call with any brokerage or agent looking to get a leg up on the evolving tech space. The truth is, you don’t have to go to a big-box to do it.