In Part I of this article, we explored reasons why agents and office staff may be hesitant to adopt new software in their day-to-day operations. To overcome this resistance, consider some steps to help boost the software adoption rate in your brokerage.
Show the Need for Change & Get Early Adopters
It is crucial that brokers and real estate franchise owners identify and communicate the need for change. If it doesn’t seem like there’s a need for change, office staff and agents are more likely to resist. Help them understand the need for change, but focus on their point of view, not yours. For example, identify and communicate how new software will make agents’ ability to manage accounts easier.
As noted in Six Steps to Drive Social Software Adoption:
Successful implementation is typically driven by a core group of energetic champions committed to the change. Once the need for change is clearly explained, look create a team of early adopters that will help drive the change. Look for individuals that are (1) well connected within the company, (2) enthusiastic about the software and change in general, and (3) well-respected within their areas of expertise and influence. Make sure these individuals can participate in the planning and implementation stages.
With your team, develop a vision that illustrates how the future will differ from the past. What are the goals of this change? What is the strategy to get there? The more you help your office staff and agents understand, the easier the transition will be. The vision should be communicated frequently and through different channels – in meetings, presentations, company emails, and so on. Make it simple, colorful, and repeatable.
Aside from step-by-step, hands-on training, brokers should empower their agents. This means giving them the tools they need to succeed, and it means working the way they work. For instance, most agents use Outlook on a daily basis. Make sure the new software can incorporate that.
Tip: Use the new real estate software in meetings to show office staff and agents how it works in practice. This also serves as proof that management is really using the new program. Consider requiring it as part of agent compensation to boost adoption rates.
Once your sales team is working effectively with the real estate software, it is important to consistently assess their results weighed against the expectations. Invite the sales team to review weekly or monthly reports and share feedback. Doing so will not only build a healthy relationship between the product and the employees, but also between management and agents. Software adoption rates will rapidly improve as the sales team begins seeing and reaping the benefits of this innovative technology.
Businesses all too often neglect to change practices that are sure to provide tangible benefits. With many aspects to consider when running a successful real estate business, innovation often takes a back seat to daily business tasks. However, implementing a quality broker management product is one of the simplest ways to induce dynamic change.