Real estate brokerages and real estate agents are investing in solutions to increase sales by delivering a richer and more effective real estate experience. They are attempting to create the next generation of real estate brokerage. In the process they are learning they are not always getting a positive return on their investments in technology.
There are numerous technology platforms and tools currently available to assist real estate professionals. Tools exist to support the entire lead generation, lead management, and sales process.
Many of these tools are sold using on-demand SaaS(Software As A Service) business models. SaaS business models allow customers to access technology solutions without owning the infrastructure, technology, and people required to develop, deliver, and support them. Providers of these tools for the real estate industry make dramatic performance claims of increasing sales while reducing total cost of ownership.
However, these tools do not seem to be performing as expected. Despite the availability and investment into real estate sales tools, technology, and automation – all indications are that the return on investment from those tools is falling short. Individual performance of real estate professionals has not increased as a result of these tools.
My personal experience in creating technical solutions for over 25 years is that you can give a person a tool, a wonderful software solution, but you can not give them the creativity, drive, and years of first hand experience needed to use it effectively.
As real estate brokerages and real estate agents attempt to effectively use these tools, they are quickly realizing they need help.
They are learning you can’t just purchase a CRM solution like Sales Force, or a marketing automation solution like Marketo. You have to properly integrate it into your business processes. You have to develop marketing strategies that utilize these tools, and create content that interfaces with the tools. You need years of experience to know what works, and what does not.
The challenges real estate brokerages and real estate agents are having generating successful results with tools sold using the SaaS business model has led to the creation of a new business model; Service As A Service.
These companies are taking a traditional SaaS model and turning it into a true ‘Service As A Service’ business model uniquely suited to on-demand and cloud technology solutions. These new Service As A Service companies are characterized by:
- A deep understanding of the needs of customers.
- Comprehensive knowledge of the technology solutions that make sense for each individual customer.
- The ability to bundle or package existing solutions to create custom solution stack.
- An ability to combine technology and best practices in efficient, effective ways to deliver a competitive advantage for their customers.
On-demand SaaS business models were a good first step solution for the vast majority of customers who really should not be owning and operating their own Information Technology. The various solutions can be “pieced together” to create end to end solutions, but it is expensive and frequently not effective or efficient.
Service As A Service real estate solutions will play an important role ensuring that brokerages and agents get maximum advantage from innovations in technology.