Good technology should save your agency time, money or dramatically improve your customers’ experience - or better yet, do all three at the same time. But, with agencies being inundated with offers of new technology on a seemingly daily basis, it can be difficult to identify which technology will actually help your agency - either in terms of improving your bottom line or your reputation - from that which will end up being a cost in the long run.
Identify your pain points
Look for technology that will either improve or eliminate existing pain points. If you haven’t already, examine your existing processes to identify your business’s pain points before you start looking at new technology. Your staff can help you to validate whether new technology will be a solution to these pain points. Jonathan Werth of LiFE Residential always asks the staff who would be using the new technology involved in demonstrations. “They know best and can see where it would cut costs or save time or boost the landlord’s offering,” says Jonathan. “When I see their eyes light up, you know you’re onto something good.”
Good technology providers place a premium on user experience, which means that any new software should be easy and straightforward for your staff to use and, ultimately, an improvement on the way you operate now. There’s no point in investing in technology that makes your team slow down. It’s even more important technology is intuitive if it is going to be landlord or tenant-facing - you shouldn’t have to spend any time explaining to your customers how to use it. In an increasingly mobile-first age, you should also consider accessibility - will you be able to access this technology whenever you need to, wherever you are?
Find out whether it will grow with your agency
Does this technology help acquire more customers? Reduce costs? Grow your portfolio? Knowing what you want the technology to achieve before purchasing is key. Make sure that any new software you invest in will help you achieve both your agency’s short and long term goals - for example, will it be able to handle a higher volume of lettings? Manage more properties? Be easy to train new members of staff in as your agency expands?
Technology that moves with the times.
Technology shouldn’t be a case of “set and forget”. The best technology providers are constantly iterating and improving their software, based on feedback from their customers. This means they should have processes in place for you to provide feedback and also keep you informed of updates to their systems.
Get the most out of your investment
Adopting new technology is an investment - but like any good investment, it should be one that pays off in the long run. Choose a provider who can quantify how their technology will help your agency reach its goals.