A great, long time client recently asked “do agents still need websites“?

While thinking about this question, let’s consider the world that buyers and sellers live in today, and tomorrow.

i. We know:

A. 86% of smartphone time is spent in apps.

B. 75% of Americans have smartphones.

C. 51% of an American’s Day is spent on mobile, 42% on desktop/laptop computers.

D. AirBnB and Uber are creating new, much simpler digital experiences.

E. Notifications are growing rapidly and becoming interactive.

F. Millennials love their smartphones. 87% say it never leaves their side. 44% use their smartphone’s camera daily.

G. The fact that this question is being asked today, in 2015, indicates that things have changed.

ii. Recruiting & Coaching Opportunities.

Let’s consider the tools necessary for most agent jobs to be done:

1. Prospecting

I have 30 seconds when I meet someone to be credible” – an agent at a recent app sales training session. With one tap, agents can immediately discuss and share the latest market information, trends and charts. Sharing is simple via text, email and social networks.

These techniques are far more effective at building relationships than handing out a printed brochure, or asking for two hours to return to the office and use the PC based MLS.

Sharing information electronically creates CRM profiles for your agent and brokerage.

In addition, that shared information contains – for our clients – a branded link back to the agent website, supplied by your brokerage.

These techniques are ideal for open houses as well.

Messaging apps have exploded in popularity. Many message apps support QR codes. Your agents can quickly generate and share QR codes for their websites, listings and reports.

2. Sphere of Influence

Buyers and sellers are flooded with data today. A great agent turns that data into useful, actionable information.

The agent, after meeting and discussing market trends with a prospect, can tap to save a search for the new or existing prospect. The prospect and agent will begin to receive automatic notification and/or email updates including the latest properties for sale along with status and price changes.

Notification and email messages include agent and broker branding along with links to the agent’s website. Again, this information auto-populates the cloud CRM for future market trends, documents, transactions, newsletters, survey and mortgage opportunities.

3. Buyers

Create buyer presentations and tours. Create and share favorites (note that favorite listings sync from between your agent/broker websites along with the public and agent apps and our cloud CRM). Create saved searches for your buyers.

Auto-fill and complete buyer agency and purchase documents. Sign “in person” with the agent app or via e-signature apps & services.

Keep buyers in your orbit with simple CRM plans, including market trends, tips, newsletters and mortgage information.

4. Sellers

interactive CMA immediately shares current market conditions with sellers. Agents swipe to add or delete comparables. One tap to save and another to share via text, email and social networks.

The new Listing Activity Report shares agent and brokerage marketing efforts with sellers in real time.

Everything is visible in the cloud and agent app CRM.

Auto-fill and share listing documents. Sign “in person” with the agent app or via e-signature apps & services.

5. Closings

Documents are auto-filled from listing, personnel and CRM data. Quickly, email, print or share via other apps.

Documents auto-populate downstream agent and brokerage transaction and customer for life processes – saving everyone time and hassle.

6. 360 degree CRM view.

All activity is visible within the single entry Agent App and cloud CRM system.

iii. Conclusion

– Do agents need websites, in 2015?

I’d say yes, as part of a larger, single entry broker and agent tool strategy. Remember, 41% of America’s digital time is spent on laptop and desktop computers while 51% (and growing) on mobile devices.

The examples noted above cover agents’ jobs to be done today and tomorrow across all client devices.

This list is an ideal checklist for manager recruiting and retention discussions.

Unfortunately, few brokers have the leadership and staff to pull this off. Those that do create significant separation from the competition.

Contact Jim Zellmer jim@vp.io or 1 608 468 6013 for a more detailed presentation.