Few brokers have bested the challenge of motivating agents to adopt technology—and with a revolving door of new tools, overcoming that challenge appears a fool’s errand. But as attendees of RISMedia’s recent Broker Best Practices Webinar learned, there are solutions that impart a positive effect on agent adoption outcomes, and they start with one question: Why?
“It’s not the product,” said Jodi Dines, featured speaker on the DocuSign-sponsored webinar, entitled “Stop Wasting Tech Dollars and Start Getting Agents on Board!” and chief information officer of the Real Estate One Family of Companies.
“We try to sell the ‘why’, not the ‘what,’” Dines explained, citing her own experience implementing DocuSign. “It’s not that you can now do electronic signatures—it’s that now it makes it easier for your customers to transact with you no matter where they are. It eases the pain on [the agent].”
Tailoring that ‘why’ is critical, added Sean McNamara, strategic account executive with DocuSign.
“Personalizing the value of a solution is absolutely key to getting that buy-in,” McNamara said. “And when that personalized ‘why’ is realized, it is a huge asset in your downstream recruiting and retention efforts.”
For Tom Skiffington, featured speaker on the webinar and broker/partner of RE/MAX 440 and RE/MAX Central, communicating the ‘why’ is best done in bite-sized sessions.
“You need to address the agents how they want to learn, and I believe you really need to do that in smaller groups, not in large classroom settings,” said Skiffington. “You can do it periodically and be creative.”
Skiffington, for instance, organizes sessions with 20 agents at a time, each of whom brings brown-bagged lunches. Skiffington also requires agents who voluntarily submit to an eight-week training course to see the program through to completion.
“If you commit them up front, it helps with accountability. I think agents appreciate that,” noted Skiffington. “Ones that struggled the most, once they got it, they were the most appreciative. They needed that little nudge.”
Dines takes a similar, somewhat concierge-style approach to training, offering unwavering support that meets the agents on their terms.
“Because everyone has a different way they prefer to learn, we find we have to offer it all and then some,” said Dines. “Webinars, recorded tutorials, in-office training, on-demand training for whatever group will take us whenever, even getting down to one-on-one with our trainer. If they adopt it, it’s worth it in the end.”
To learn more from the webinar, including recommendations for transaction management platforms and steps to solicit agent feedback, view the recording below.
To read more from Dines and Skiffington, see this month’s issue of Real Estate magazine.