We love brokers. Everything we do, everything we build, is around the philosophy that brokers and agents are busy and need as much help as they can get. While there have been a lot of advancements in brokerage tech over the last few years, we have noticed that the cost and complexity of having at times a dozen different subscriptions has started to weigh on brokers but we wanted to find out exactly how much.
So, we decided to go out and interview them. We tapped our network of brokers on our platform to find some useful examples of what kind of tech brokers are using and how much they are paying for them. From there we pulled out a couple of examples to illustrate what the industry is likely working with, and on, right now.
The first example that stood out was an institutional broker who has been doing large deals for over 20 years. He had a relatively light tech toolbox. His main resources were CoStar and LoopNet, plus Docusign, CAR (California Association of Realtors) forms and Matterport for imaging. He still did most of his analysis in Excel and had a team that would build most of his reports. Interestingly, even though he had one of the lowest annual costs, around $12,300, he also relied on his firm a lot to support him. This shows the value of working for a large brokerage, something that many brokers don’t have the luxury to do. It should be said, though, that these large brokerages also take more for their split’s than smaller, independent ones so the extra support doesn’t come without a cost.
Next, we found a broker with a rather impressive tech stack. This middle market principle has been working for over ten years and currently uses all of the usual suspects plus Crexi, Buildout, Brandcast, and a CRM. He also has a virtual assistant and a social media manager to help him eliminate a few peripheral tasks. This agent spends a whopping $45,000 a year on all of his services. When we asked him he was even honest enough to tell us about a common problem, phantom subscriptions. “I don’t even cancel when I am not using it because of the hassle,” he said. We all have this in our daily lives. The magazine subscription that auto-renews, the movie channel we never watch. Well, this seems to be even more prevalent when it comes to overworked brokers and agents. Having ghost subscriptions can drag down your bottom line and is something that we hope to fix.
The third broker that really jumped out to us as an important representation of the population was a “resi-mercial” broker (love that term!) with just under five years of experience. She paid just over $22,000 per year on memberships and also used sites like Fiverr and Upwork to outsource a lot of her design work. This is a good technique for those without the dedicated team of our first example. But, using freelance work can be tricky. If you have never worked with them than the quality of their work is not guaranteed. Plus, when people only make a small portion of their income on a certain task they often don’t prioritize it. This can leave brokers and agents in a bad spot when their work can’t wait (can it ever?). Consistency and dependability are important aspects of what we are building and is something that we think technology solutions are best at providing.
Talking to our clients about their tech stack really helped us realize the importance of what we are building. Hopefully it can help you understand your own tech stack as well. If you want to learn more about our growing portfolio of services, check them out here.