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A era in the past, few might have imagined how a lot expertise would change actual property.
Brokers may need spent a lot of their advertising and marketing budgets on newspaper advertisements. A giant a part of their job was merely making purchasers conscious of which houses have been obtainable. Door-knocking was a ceremony of passage.
Quick ahead to at the moment and most consumers are comfy discovering listings through a significant portal. Many brokers work nearly fully from their telephones. And simply this yr synthetic intelligence has exploded into the general public consciousness, promising to radically rework work.
In that mild, Intel not too long ago debuted its first-ever expertise survey to get a learn on how business members really feel about tech. Almost 300 folks responded to the survey, and an fascinating image emerged from the responses.
Although current years have seen a rising curiosity in an all-in-one or end-to-end expertise 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 a wide range 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 expertise
One of many first questions within the survey requested respondents the place they get their expertise. The query was partly a nod to big-name companies, similar to Compass and Keller Williams, which in recent times have made an enormous deal of their willingness to construct proprietary tech.
Nevertheless, solely 7.6 % of respondents indicated they’ve developed or would contemplate creating their very own tech. However, 45.5 % of respondents mentioned they purchase off-the-shelf merchandise. And simply as curiously, 47 % indicated they really use some mixture of the 2 choices.
The responses have been an early indication from the survey that business members choose piecing collectively individualized expertise options, and the responses to later questions solely additional bolstered that thesis.
For instance, one other query requested respondents who work at corporations affiliated with main manufacturers in the event that they use that model’s complete tech stack. However solely 12.5 % of the individuals who responded to the survey mentioned that they do.
In the meantime, 42.3 % of respondents who have been affiliated with a significant model indicated that they use “some” of their agency’s tech. (One other 36 % of respondents labored at corporations that aren’t affiliated with a significant model.)
The excellent news for corporations providing complete tech stacks is that solely about 8 % of respondents are fully ignoring these choices.
In an analogous vein, one other query discovered that many corporations 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 expertise.
Nevertheless, about 35 % of respondents indicated that they offer brokers “each” choices — indicating as soon as once more that it’s frequent for business members to select and select which items of their corporations’ expertise they wish to use.
However, when requested about company-provided CRM adoption charges, a plurality of respondents, or 33 %, mentioned 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. Almost half of the survey’s respondents indicated that they go for the tech stack.
Fewer than a 3rd, or about 32 %, mentioned they’ve an end-to-end platform.
General, the survey’s findings counsel that regardless of an enormous quantity of consideration and years of growth, end-to-end platforms stay considerably uncommon. Furthermore, even in environments the place corporations are offering complete (to various levels) tech, the folks within the trenches are nonetheless choosing 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 relating to discovering tech options. In different phrases, many brokers might not truly need or want the form of all-in-one platform that has lengthy been the said aim of many distinguished figures within the business.
However these findings could also be much less reassuring to some business leaders who’re deeply invested in constructing their very own platforms. Relying on the place brokers work, these options might exist already, however both means, brokers are nonetheless doing no matter they please.
Spending on expertise is proscribed
The survey additionally requested respondents about their spending on tech and located that an amazing majority, or about 75 %, contemplate expertise an “funding” quite than an “expense.”
Nevertheless, extra questions discovered that per-agent spending on expertise is considerably restricted. As an illustration, requested how a lot leaders are spending on productiveness options, a plurality, or about 40 %, indicated it’s lower than $500. Almost 30 % of respondents indicated that they’re spending between $500 and $1,000.
The survey elicited nearly similar 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 might point out that business professionals have a wide range of choices and that they’re able to discover reasonably priced options. A crowded and aggressive actual property expertise panorama ought to result in choices that don’t break the financial institution.
However, these findings counsel that tech spending hasn’t spiraled ever upward. Business leaders are throwing cash at expertise, however to date at the least the sum of money is proscribed.
Nevertheless and apparently in mild of those findings, the survey additionally requested about leaders’ largest issues when buying expertise. A majority of respondents, or 53 %, mentioned that their largest concern is “supporting brokers.” The second hottest response, at about 30 %, was offering brokers with a “aggressive benefit.”
Alternatively, the “value” of expertise was solely an important consideration for about 6.8 % of respondents.
Considerably curiously, the least common response to the query was “recruiting draw.”
That’s a shocking outcome on condition that some corporations similar to Compass have made their expertise a significant a part of their pitch to brokers. Certainly, simply this week a number of brokers advised Inman that they returned to Compass, after beforehand leaving, due to the tech. Compass additionally advised Inman that it polls so-called boomerang brokers and has discovered expertise to be the primary promoting level for them.
The survey outcomes, nevertheless, counsel that companies similar to Compass could also be outliers within the business; 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 expertise on actual property. Issues actually are totally different at the moment in comparison with 20 or 30 years in the past.
Nevertheless it’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 after all 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 instrument. Most individuals aren’t even utilizing the entire expertise that’s obtainable to them.
Actual property may look very totally different in 2023 in comparison with 1993, however it could not have modified fairly so drastically since, say, 2013. Observers have usually described actual property as a slow-to-change business, and the outcomes of this survey counsel that’s true for at the least some folks.
Whether or not that’s good or unhealthy is determined by the place you stand. Brokers and brokerages have doubtless preserved the power to create piecemeal options to present them entry to extra choices. Put one other means, actual property tech exists in a Darwinian surroundings and it’s nonetheless unclear the place evolution will lead.
Nevertheless, the survey does reveal that many business members are at the least keen on the way forward for actual property expertise. In a free-response query, Inman requested respondents what expertise they’re most enthusiastic about going ahead.
The query elicited an array of solutions, however one of the vital frequent was additionally probably the most cutting-edge: Synthetic intelligence. Certainly, responses talked about curiosity within the integration of AI with current instruments, how platforms similar to ChatGPT may change actual property labor, and one individual even mentioned that AI “scares me to demise.”
What’s clear, then, is that the actual property business is seeking to the longer term.
“It should,” one individual wrote of AI, “finally change our complete business for the higher.”
E-mail Jim Dalrymple II