Expert Interview Series: Brian Knight of ListTrue Inc. on How Technology is Transforming Real EstatePDH Staff
Brian Knight is the co-Founder and president of ListTrue, where he oversees technology development, marketing, realtor relations and growth strategies. We recently checked in with Brian to get his thoughts on how technology is transforming the real estate industry. Here’s what he had to say:
Tell us about ListTrue. What services do you offer?
ListTrue is all about the client. We offer more options for people selling their home than any other company, making it an easy choice for any potential client to choose us to sell their home. Ranging from limited service listings to full service and every option in between.
How real estate evolved since you started your career?
Lots of things have changed in the past four years. New hybrid brokerages are starting up, the merger of Trulia and Zillow, homeowners can now list their home on a lot of high traffic sites for free, and new marketing tools like 3D tours and drones. Facebook Live launched allowing clients to view homes, parts of town and ask questions right there with their agent while being in another state. New regulations for lenders and title companies are making closing longer than ever. Lots of changes, lots of challenges and lots of opportunity for growth and change.
What impact has technology had on the real estate industry?
Real Estate has seen an explosion of new technology. From industry changing sites like Zillow, apps, transaction systems, automated processes … I see a lot of agents struggle, all wanting the next best app, a shortcut, while never mastering the basics.
Take, for instance, a service that sends out printed “Hand written” cards that mimic your handwriting. Great right? Saves time and is automated, too! But if you can send out a real card to a real client then you’re missing the basics.
ListTrue has created the backend of our site to automate everything you and your client needs without cutting corners like the “hand written” card above. Our system tells you when to send it out, print it … But you still have to write it out! Sorry!
What real estate trends or innovations are you most excited about right now?
I think the biggest changes coming soon are some advanced virtual tours for clients, where they can walk though the home any time of day or night. It’s here now, but will becoming more mainstream soon.
How can realtors incorporate technology into their business?
It’s hard to say, loving technology and being a developer for many years, I think most agents should focus on the fundamentals. I have seen hundreds of agents buy a domain name, set up a website, spend hundreds or thousands of dollars and it does nothing for them.
Stick with the basic items such as a CRM, email newsletters and placing clients into a system that sends them new listings. But that is my two cents. Work on the basics, then move to the next thing. Otherwise you end up spending a lot of money on technology that you don’t utilize.
What advice do you have on using technology to improve your real estate business? What are the Dos and Don’ts?
You should use technology to help better service your clients and gain more business. Like above though, the biggest issue is the lack of persistence. I had worked with one company with thousands of “leads” in their system and when I asked them about email campaigns, they said, “I think we did one three years ago”. You need to be consistent, don’t just do things once. That why I say, until you master what you currently have, don’t even worry about the next best thing because you still haven’t completed the basic 101 class.
What sort of training do you think is essential for real estate agents today?
Being a pilot, I love checklist so you never forget a thing! Our agents have checklist for almost every scenario; purchases, full listings, and other types of listings. Ranging from before a listing takes place, to what happens every step of the way, to five years down the road. All automated, and notifying all appropriate parties when things are due. Another thing we do is to have the broker check each transaction at certain parts of the deal. Ongoing training is needed, too. I’ve seen far too many agents not know about what types of loans are available for a certain client. An agent really has to know every single option available for the home, that area, that client, in order to provide the best service.