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A era in the past, few may have imagined how a lot know-how would change actual property.
Brokers might need spent a lot of their advertising budgets on newspaper advertisements. An enormous a part of their job was merely making purchasers conscious of which houses had been out there. Door-knocking was a ceremony of passage.
Quick ahead to at present and most consumers are snug discovering listings by way of a significant portal. Many brokers work nearly totally from their telephones. And simply this 12 months synthetic intelligence has exploded into the general public consciousness, promising to radically remodel work.
In that mild, Intel lately debuted its first-ever know-how survey to get a learn on how trade members really feel about tech. Practically 300 folks responded to the survey, and an attention-grabbing image emerged from the responses.
Although current years have seen a rising curiosity in an all-in-one or end-to-end know-how platform that handles all of brokers’ wants, most respondents indicated that they aren’t utilizing something near that. In reality, the survey outcomes counsel that many brokers and brokers are cobbling collectively options from quite a lot of sources, and that people have a big diploma of autonomy over what tech they really use.
What this implies is that even three years after Inman described an end-to-end platform as actual property’s “holy grail,” the precise quest for that resolution stays unresolved.
A piecemeal method to know-how
One of many first questions within the survey requested respondents the place they get their know-how. The query was partly a nod to big-name corporations, resembling Compass and Keller Williams, which lately have made a giant deal of their willingness to construct proprietary tech.
Nonetheless, solely 7.6 % of respondents indicated they’ve developed or would think about creating their very own tech. Alternatively, 45.5 % of respondents stated they purchase off-the-shelf merchandise. And simply as curiously, 47 % indicated they really use some mixture of the 2 choices.
The responses had been an early indication from the survey that trade members choose piecing collectively individualized know-how options, and the responses to later questions solely additional bolstered that thesis.
For instance, one other query requested respondents who work at firms affiliated with main manufacturers in the event that they use that model’s whole tech stack. However solely 12.5 % of the individuals who responded to the survey stated that they do.
In the meantime, 42.3 % of respondents who had been affiliated with a significant model indicated that they use “some” of their agency’s tech. (One other 36 % of respondents labored at firms that aren’t affiliated with a significant model.)
The excellent news for firms providing complete tech stacks is that solely about 8 % of respondents are utterly ignoring these choices.
In the same vein, one other query discovered that many firms give brokers choices. The query particularly requested leaders if they supply a buyer relationship supervisor (CRM) or in the event that they ask brokers to buy such instruments on their very own. A plurality of respondents, or about 46 %, present a CRM to their brokers. Solely 19 % ask brokers to buy such know-how.
Nonetheless, about 35 % of respondents indicated that they provide brokers “each” choices — indicating as soon as once more that it’s frequent for trade members to choose and select which items of their firms’ know-how they wish to use.
Alternatively, when requested about company-provided CRM adoption charges, a plurality of respondents, or 33 %, stated adoption is “good.” One other 26 % described adoption as “okay” and 18 % described it as “wonderful.”
Solely about 11 % of respondents described company-provided CRM adoption as “poor.”
Lastly, the survey explicitly requested respondents if they’ve an end-to-end platform or in the event that they as an alternative have a tech stack of particular person merchandise. Practically half of the survey’s respondents indicated that they go for the tech stack.
Fewer than a 3rd, or about 32 %, stated they’ve an end-to-end platform.
Total, the survey’s findings counsel that regardless of an enormous quantity of consideration and years of improvement, end-to-end platforms stay considerably uncommon. Furthermore, even in environments the place firms are offering complete (to various levels) tech, the folks within the trenches are nonetheless selecting and selecting what they wish to use.
That is doubtless excellent news for a lot of brokers who clearly have a excessive diploma of self-determination in the case of discovering tech options. In different phrases, many brokers could not really need or want the sort of all-in-one platform that has lengthy been the acknowledged objective of many outstanding figures within the trade.
However these findings could also be much less reassuring to some trade leaders who’re deeply invested in constructing their very own platforms. Relying on the place brokers work, these options could exist already, however both approach, brokers are nonetheless doing no matter they please.
Spending on know-how is proscribed
The survey additionally requested respondents about their spending on tech and located that an amazing majority, or about 75 %, think about know-how an “funding” slightly than an “expense.”
Nonetheless, further questions discovered that per-agent spending on know-how is considerably restricted. For example, requested how a lot leaders are spending on productiveness options, a plurality, or about 40 %, indicated it’s lower than $500. Practically 30 % of respondents indicated that they’re spending between $500 and $1,000.
The survey elicited nearly equivalent outcomes when it requested about per-agent spending on CRMs, with about 45 % of respondents indicating that they spend lower than $500. One other 26 % of respondents spend between $500 and $1,000 per agent on their CRM.
Such findings could point out that trade professionals have quite a lot of choices and that they can discover reasonably priced options. A crowded and aggressive actual property know-how panorama ought to result in choices that don’t break the financial institution.
Alternatively, these findings counsel that tech spending hasn’t spiraled ever upward. Business leaders are throwing cash at know-how, however to date at the very least the sum of money is proscribed.
Nonetheless and curiously in mild of those findings, the survey additionally requested about leaders’ largest considerations when buying know-how. A majority of respondents, or 53 %, stated that their largest concern is “supporting brokers.” The second hottest response, at about 30 %, was offering brokers with a “aggressive benefit.”
Alternatively, the “worth” of know-how was solely an important consideration for about 6.8 % of respondents.
Considerably curiously, the least fashionable response to the query was “recruiting draw.”
That’s a stunning outcome provided that some firms resembling Compass have made their know-how a significant a part of their pitch to brokers. Certainly, simply this week a number of brokers informed Inman that they returned to Compass, after beforehand leaving, due to the tech. Compass additionally informed Inman that it polls so-called boomerang brokers and has discovered know-how to be the primary promoting level for them.
The survey outcomes, nonetheless, counsel that corporations resembling Compass could also be outliers within the trade; although Compass has clearly made tech a part of its recruiting pitch, few different leaders appear to be making the identical calculus.
Is tech not as large a deal as we thought?
Inman started this story by briefly highlighting the transformative energy of know-how on actual property. Issues actually are completely different at present in comparison with 20 or 30 years in the past.
But it surely’s additionally clear that a number of the extra high-flying takes on actual property tech haven’t come to cross. The survey outcomes (which in fact will not be scientific and are available from a self-selecting group of Inman readers) counsel end-to-end platforms aren’t widespread. Few are utilizing tech as a recruiting device. Most individuals aren’t even utilizing all the know-how that’s out there to them.
Actual property would possibly look very completely different in 2023 in comparison with 1993, however it might not have modified fairly so drastically since, say, 2013. Observers have typically described actual property as a slow-to-change trade, and the outcomes of this survey counsel that’s true for at the very least some folks.
Whether or not that’s good or unhealthy is dependent upon the place you stand. Brokers and brokerages have doubtless preserved the flexibility to create piecemeal options to offer them entry to extra choices. Put one other approach, actual property tech exists in a Darwinian surroundings and it’s nonetheless unclear the place evolution will lead.
Nonetheless, the survey does reveal that many trade members are at the very least all in favour of the way forward for actual property know-how. In a free-response query, Inman requested respondents what know-how they’re most enthusiastic about going ahead.
The query elicited an array of solutions, however some of the frequent was additionally essentially the most cutting-edge: Synthetic intelligence. Certainly, responses talked about curiosity within the integration of AI with current instruments, how platforms resembling ChatGPT would possibly change actual property labor, and one particular person even stated that AI “scares me to dying.”
What’s clear, then, is that the true property trade is seeking to the long run.
“It would,” one particular person wrote of AI, “ultimately change our whole trade for the higher.”
E mail Jim Dalrymple II