Brokerages have a lot of options when it comes to choosing a Transaction Management solution, but for the most part, what they often end up with is something that is identical to what their competitors have down the street. It’s as if brokerages are trapped in a Henry Ford world: “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black,” Ford used to tease his sales team.
Trouble is, we live in a world where you can go online and customize your car, from the color of your bumpers to the look of your taillights. So why can’t you customize your Transaction Management software so that the look and feel of the software is your brand and not the same one your competition uses?
Well, with Form Simplicity, you can, because that’s what brokerages tell us they want.
Importance of Brand
A survey of top real estate executives nationwide said that among “competitive differentiators,” brand was ranked in the top 3 items along with marketing tools and technology and agent productivity. The Thought Leader Survey from marketing firm Imprev also found that brand outranks the leads a brokerage generates for their agents and the company’s culture as a competitive differentiator.
That’s why Form Simplicity offers a level of customization that we believe is unique among leading real estate transaction and form management choices. Brokers want the look and feel of the tools they provide agents to reflect their brand. Brand consistency is paramount at leading brokerages and Form Simplicity does not believe that consumer-facing products should reflect a brokerage’s brand. That’s because a brokerage has two audiences to serve: consumers and their agents. Providing a brand experience to one’s agents is arguably just as important as providing one to consumers. Brand consistency should be for all, not just some.
Importance of Independence
Real estate as an industry has a legacy of independently-minded businesspeople. It permeates our culture. Brokerages and agents covet independence: it really is the key ingredient that makes our industry so strong and so unique.
Form Simplicity recognizes this by giving brokerages the ability to make the product their own. We worked with one large Midwest real estate brokerage to do just that. We created a customization that not only feels like it’s their product and nobody else’s, we also customized the workflow to fit their scheme. That level of customization of a leading Transaction Management software product is unique to Form Simplicity, and certainly can’t be found in a product that is an off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all solution.
Software as an industry, and not solutions built for the real estate industry, gets it backwards. Instead of building products to fit the workflow of customers, software often requires a company to change its workflow to fit the software.
That’s a major advantage that Form Simplicity has over other options: Form Simplicity was created by Realtors for Realtors. The workflow of the product was designed by and for Realtors, and we continue to make adjustments as our industry changes. For customers that need more customizations, like brokerages, we can work together for the right way to make our product fit, and not expect the customer to do all the heavy lifting.
Transaction Management software has shifted from a “should have” to a “must have” product, but independent brokerages want – and deserve – flexibility. It’s not surprising that brokerages have a thirst for differentiation – their life’s blood relies on recruitment and retention. How can a brokerage compete if every firm in the marketplace provides a Transaction Management software platform for their agents, but they do not?
A prior Thought Leadership Survey illustrates how vital recruiting is to brokerages. When asked what was their “most critical business challenge” that a brokerage faces, the number one response by far was recruiting agents: 86 percent of real estate industry leaders ranked it first.
Recruiting relies on differentiation just as much as a brand does. When brokerages look for ways to distinguish themselves from their competitors, they do not benefit by offering the same thing everyone else does. They get a leg up by offering something different – and something that’s also better. That’s what Form Simplicity can offer a brokerage more than just a cookie-cutter solution.
In the end, reviewing all options is vital for any brokerage when selecting a real estate transaction management software. They all can probably solve many brokerage pain points, but helping with recruiting by offering a customized solution, now that can be an important competitive differentiation.