Better technology fuels consumer interest in new real estate brands. Here’s how local real estate brokers can compete.

Who are they

Redfin and Compass are new brokerage companies coming to your town. They are fueled by hundreds of millions of dollars in cash. Redfin recently went public. Compass has raised over $750 million.

Redfin resonates with mainstream consumers via their easy to navigate web and mobile systems. They streamline the home selling and buying process similar to how Amazon made e-commerce easy for buyers and sellers. In contrast, Compass entices premier agents to leave their existing firms with healthy incentives and the promise of better agent technology. In Chicago alone, 50 agents who sold over $400 million moved to Compass.

What they say about themselves

It’s interesting how Redfin and Compass market themselves as technology focused companies. They are the “TANG” of real estate marketing.

For past 30 years most mainstream advertising has been about a creating feeling, so this is a new tact by Redfin and others. Take a look at the taglines on the Redfin and Compass websites. They promote their technology will help consumers find homes. They also let agents know they can expect innovative tools to make their jobs better if they work for them.

“Full-Service Agents, Modern Technology” – from the Redfin homepage.

“We’re a passionate team of engineers, real estate professionals and business people…” – from the Compass homepage.

Compare this to how Apple never makes a technology sale pitch. Instead they show people doing cool things like dancing down the street or promoting individualism – think different – and by the way they, we have a product that helps you do that.

So how do local real estate brokerages like yours compete?

Double down on your brand and your technology!

We live in an age where technology is changing everything – and everyone feels it. 

We already use Amazon instead of traditional retailers to find and buy products. We get news curated by Google and Facebook rather than traditional sources. We love streaming Netflix instead of traditional TV networks. We see how technology makes our life better.

Here’s a high level thought process to help you compete:

First, focus on what makes you unique, superior and successful – your brand. Your brand is your existing reputation. Your brand is powered by your local market knowledge and your community leadership. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, calls your brand – “what people say about you when you are not in the room”.

Second, as a brokerage owner, don’t skimp on giving both consumers and agents what they want and need – easy to use technology. For example, at Smarter Agent we know from our own research consumers want to be on mobile. Redfin leads with its mobile product as a key engagement tool. You should have your own app too – as only the top firms can have one! In addition to mobile technology, make sure your website matches your brand and your internal systems are making you more efficient.

Finally, training is critical. Make sure your office manager fully understands the technology you bought and can work with your partners to train every agent on how to use and market it. 

Can you compete?

Of course you can!

Promote the benefits and ease of working with you – via your brand and technology. 

Embrace new technologies, your customers do – and they forgive the hiccups! For example, even the fast growing HQ Trivia app, crashes all the time, but thousands of new people join every day to try it.

This technology driven future is what is powering the thinking of Redfin and Compass. Consumers crave easy access to strong brands that give them better experiences. Agents want the same thing, give it to them to stay competitive.

You can win with solid technology tools mixed with your core weapon, your local brand!

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