Homebuyers and sellers – especially Millennials – are demanding more online and data-driven experiences than ever before. In an increasingly tech-focused and automated world, REALTORS® must find ways to provide their clients with online tools, while continuing to offer the personalized and local service home buyers and sellers expect. If you’re an agent considering exploring new technology offerings, here are few things to consider:

1. Identify the best tools for you and your company’s needs: What tools or services have your clients inquired about or requested? What is the cost of the tool you’re considering and what will be the return on investment? These are questions you’ll want to ask when considering purchasing and implementing new online tools. When F.C. Tucker Company committed to implementing G suite and Buyside technology, with a full suite of cloud-based applications, it was the result of months of research into what agents and their clients would find most useful. And, because F.C. Tucker is a locally owned company, we can provide our agents with online tools that allow them to anticipate and react to the local market in a way that best meets their clients’ needs.

2.Leadership buy-in and support is crucial: It’s critical for company leadership to buy into the idea of not only purchasing but fully implementing and supporting the new online technology and tools. It’s easy for a company to write a check, but it’s a greater investment of time to be sure the proper communication, training, and support is implemented to ensure the new tools and technology are successful. We had great collaboration with F.C. Tucker leadership, who fully supported the technology we wanted to implement. Then, we partnered with F.C. Tucker’s internal communications team to spread the word about the new technology and its capabilities to agents.

3.Look to the cloud: An agent’s office is his or her car, home office and office-based space, so having access to information on-demand from all these locations is critical. Cloud-based tools are secure, allow for convenient access from any location, and are better equipped for communicating and collaborating with clients.

4. Technology adoption is a long-term commitment: REALTORS®’ lives are incredibly busy, so any change to processes or tools is a disruption. It takes time to fully incorporate new technology into an agent’s daily routines and processes. Strong and long-term technical and training support is critical, so take that into consideration when purchasing a new tool. If no one is comfortable using the technology, it won’t be used at all. At F.C. Tucker, we focused on providing detailed information to our agents about how each tool will directly benefit them and their business and then went through step-by-step and showed them exactly how to use each tool. My team also participated in one-on-one training with agents, when needed, to provide additional support and education.

New technology and online tools are changing the residential real estate market forever. Taking a strategic, comprehensive and long-term approach to adding new technology to you and your team’s toolbox will ensure the technology makes the transaction process more collaborative and seamless – for agents and clients.