Confessions of a real estate tech nerd
Today’s real estate agents face an increasingly large number of tools: They might use dozens of different websites, and that’s just for real estate! Options for CRM, website development, content management, document management tools will only continue to grow and the reality is that this entire spectrum of tools is required to do a great job as a realtor.
This is in stark contrast to the early 2000s, when I was the epitome of a tech-savvy real estate agent, expertly equipped with a Palm Pilot, flip phone, laptop computer, and a fax machine. The amount of time I spent around that fax machine was staggering.
Back then, the only website option for most agents was to hire a web developer. Because I could, I coded my own real estate website from scratch, downloading IDX listing data and showing updates at the breakneck speed of 2-3 times per day. Check out the image above of my old website! The most tangible benefit I got from technology came from using a CRM to manage my prospecting and escrow activities.
After four years of selling as an agent, I transitioned to an Operations Director role at ERA Sellers & Buyers Real Estate in Albuquerque, NM. Here, I brought my deep appreciation of embedding technology into the core business of broker operations.
Systems are a key differentiator in helping agents to manage and scale a sales career, so I advocated heavily for using technology to systematize their business. That meant upgrading our back office and accounting systems and upgrading our real estate website. These changes positioned my brokerage as one of the most tech-forward companies in our city. As the primary driver of change at my brokerage, I was also leveraged for recruiting—helping prospective agents see the promise and successful future of the tech-enabled agent.
“The next wave of evolution for real estate technology is going to be consolidation and interoperability”
Throughout my time as an agent and broker, I learned the value of systematizing my business operations. I consciously brought tech into a world where it wasn’t prevalent—and made it a part of my business—because I knew the advantage it gave my business.
As innovative technologies continues to reshape the daily work habits and operations of agents and brokerages, it’s my belief that the next wave of evolution for real estate technology is going to be consolidation and interoperability. A centralized platform that enables agents to pick and choose the tools that are the best for their business will no longer be a nice-to-have, but an imperative.
In my current role as Solution Architect at ZapLabs, I have the unique opportunity to meet with agents and brokers all over the nation who are on the front lines of technological change. In my upcoming posts, I’ll be sharing my field notes so that you too can have a close look at how our most innovative real estate professionals are using technology as a competitive differentiator. I hope you’ll join me on this journey!
An accomplished real estate professional with over 15 years of experience, Jonathan is responsible for driving product engagement with large brokers as ZapLabs’ Solution Architect. Through close partnership with customers, he aims to scope, design and deliver scalable solutions as well as recommend best practices that align with business needs.