The role of technology in the independent model

Technology has played a big part in how we work now but has it changed WHAT we do?

Topic – Truly independent

Mentor – Paul Davies

  • Keep it in perspective
  • It is still a people business
  • Think about who can help

Property Management Matters with Tara Bradbury – Chase your own version of success


Kevin:   My guest this week is Paul Davies from One Agency, and yesterday we talked about the new breed of agent. Well, it’s, as Paul pointed out yesterday, it’s the same agent doing the same things, but maybe technology has played a big role in shaping how the agent works. I’m interested today to talk to you, Paul, about that. The agent, the buyer, and the seller, how that’s shaping how we work. What’s technology doing to change that environment? Paul, thank you once again for your time.

Paul:   My pleasure, Kevin.

Kevin:   Let’s talk technology. It’s a big issue. We actually devote a full show to that every week called Tech Talk because it’s the thing that I’m learning about it is that as much as we think it’s staying the same, it’s changing. It’s evolving all the time, isn’t it?

Paul:   It is, and it’s hard, I think, to keep up with the changes to be honest.

Kevin:   Do you think we need to, or do we need to embrace certain parts of it?

Paul:   It’s a good question. You can operate a business without technology if you really want to, but as I see it, technology’s there to leverage the opportunities for an agent. It’s about understanding the best way to do that, but don’t let it … I guess don’t let it take over your entire thinking, because my belief is at the end of the day people like to deal with people. You don’t want to be hiding behind a computer screen and e-mails and social media and all the rest of it. You need to get out there and meet people. You get them to know you and identify your ability to help them with their real estate needs. Whilst I do believe technology is essential, if you want to leverage your opportunities, in other words reach more people than you can possibly do walking down the street shaking hands and whatever, then, yes, you have to embrace it.

Paul:   Kevin, probably there’s a lot of agents that go back on a long way like I do, and technology’s hard to grasp. They might not be good at it. My advice to people there is, “Look, you need to understand it, but you don’t have to do it. There are people that you can engage that will help you with all those sorts of services.” Practically every aspect of running a real estate business apart from going out and listing a property you can outsource it. You can find someone to manage that aspect of the business. All of those providers in my experience are economical. We’re very economical. We’re under a thousand a month fixed fee. You’ve got your branding, marketing tools, website, all those sort of expensive and difficult things to build. Right, that’s done. Tick. Now, who am I going to get to do my compliance? Okay, you can find someone to do that. Is it my accountant? Is it whoever?

Paul:   Whatever you need, and technology of course, there’s so many companies now that provide services in the various aspects of technology. An agent need not get themselves overwhelmed and go, “God, I don’t think I can own my own business, because I really don’t understand all this.” You can, because there’s people that can manage it for you.

Kevin:   Distraction is the word that keeps coming back to me. I mean, technology is fantastic and all the latest innovations, but if you’re not careful, you can be pulled away, and you can go chasing lots of bright, shiny toys. I think the question you need to ask is: Is this going to drive my business? Is it going to improve my business? Then, how can I do this without taking away from the core prospecting, presenting to get a listing, and then servicing it to get a sale? They’re the three essential things you need to do to be successful in this business. Nothing else.

Paul:   That’s right. You’re exactly right. Most of the technologies are measurable, Kevin, so you can try something. You can measure it, and if it’s not working, do something else. You’re not wedded to something for the rest of your life.

Kevin:   Exactly. Very good points. Technology, I guess the takeaway for today is embrace it. Just don’t let it dominate what you do, and keep it in perspective, Paul.

Paul:   And remember that this is a people business and that you have to meet people. It’s all about helping people, so don’t hide behind the technology. Use the technology to help you meet people if possible and create more opportunities, but it is a people business. and agents should never forget that.

Kevin:   Well said. Well said. We’re going to talk about how you build a robust business using the models like the one we’re talking about, One Agency. More importantly, what you should know before you jump in. We’ll look at some of the questions you need to ask. My guest is Paul Davies from One Agency. We’ll be back again tomorrow morning. Thanks, Paul. Thanks for your time.

Paul:   My pleasure.


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