If you own a brokerage or would like to start a brokerage and manage all your tasks right from the web then this blog will provide you the necessary tools to get started. It was six years ago when Google first leaked out that cloud computing was going to be the next generation of the technology push. When I found out about this from that leak, I somehow knew they were right. At the same time I was sitting on a program that I wrote in Excel using Visual Basic to manage my whole real estate software but in order to eventually start a brokerage of my own and grow, I needed to cut the tether to my PC. So the quest was on.
Forward to today and after much determination countless hours and a very large bank roll, Realty Pilot was created to serve the very thing that many brokers are looking for in a software with Concourse360. I started my real estate brokerage in Arizona in 2007 as the beta brokerage for C360 and today due to the use of the Realty Pilot software it was listed as the 17th most successful real estate company in Arizona by the Phoenix Business Journal. My focus wasn't to create a great brokerage but to test and improve the software so others could do the same. Years ago when I became a licensed agent the lack of technology was very apparent and I had the skills to make a difference. With a background in aerospace engineering and many years in the semiconductor industry, I became an expert in technology and material resource planning (MRP) systems. I was exposed to all the tools needed to make such a back office platform and how it could revolutionize the industry. Starting from scratch and a little program that I wrote it took five long years to develop what Concourse360 is today. So I won't bore you with anymore background and get to the meat of the matter on how to accomplish just what I did.
Your first step in setting up a virtual brokerage would be to understand your working model of a brokerage. Like putting together a model plane there are certain steps that must be done first prior to moving forward. If some of these steps are not completed in order then the result could mean doubling your workload. I am going to assume everyone has a company name and is licensed with the state.
1. Establish a business model and create a work-flow chart. This work-flow chart will give you a road map of all your steps and once you have this model test it out. There are normally three starting points: 1. Client introductions 2. receiving a property as an asset. 3. Marketing to potential clients. From these three points there are some slight differences in progression. Here are the basics to the work-flow:
- Marketing, Lead Management, Listing/Purchase Management, CMA or BPO Valuation, Document Management, Tasking (signage, preservation, client follow-ups), Photo Management with Mobile Interface, Inspections, Expense Management (bid/work order to invoice), Offer Management, Transactions, Messaging and Notation, Broker Required Signatures, Reporting and lastly Commissions or Accounting.
2. Research: Once you have all of your information in front of you there are still many other things to consider. How large do you want your brokerage to grow? How do you stay compliant with the state regulations and finally how do you recruit agents? Can all this be built into a software? Yes and it is with a few exceptions. Those exceptions are being tested as we speak such as digital signatures built into the software, drip email marketing and agent recruiting.
3. Converting to a digital system is a tough process but it can be much smoother with the right software. Bulk upload is an important part of this process because you want to have access to all information when ever and where ever you are. The bulk uploads would include importing all listings or a CSV (comma separated value) file of all properties, all documents, notes, photos and client information.
4. Training and maintaining knowledge of how to use the software to your benefit. The software must have rules built-in so auto reminders can be setup and made to adhere to the state regulations or act to replicate their guidelines. Let's face it we do more today than we would have ever imagined and most of it is busy work. Work that does not make us money.
This is a simple overview of what a virtual brokerage must look like but obviously there is much more than just these few steps. If anyone would like to know more about the process or test drive the software mentioned Concourse360 beta please visit Realty Pilot's website and sign up for the beta system.