Strategic Success for Brokerages Adopting Open Technology Platforms
(Image source: RealScout) Case study originally appeared on RealScout.com.*
Long & Foster Real Estate and Intero Real Estate Services’ decision to work with open-architecture tech MoxiWorks and RealScout pays dividends.
Technology is too often a headache for real estate brokerages, rife with buyer’s remorse, implementation disasters, and chronic low agent and consumer adoption. This directly contradicts the purpose of introducing new technology platforms to a business, yet it’s a story that’s far too common.
Two brokerages, Long & Foster Real Estate, a dominant brokerage in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, and Intero Real Estate Services, a similarly market-leading brokerage in the San Francisco Bay Area, avoided these issues, in part, by partnering with technology companies committed to an open ecosystem.
An open tech platform is one that champions the idea that relevant software platforms should work seamlessly with one another, and data should move freely as the customer wants. A closed tech platform, either in the name of an “all-inclusive” approach or even competitive considerations, creates barriers that prevent seamless feature integrations and data transportability.
Strategically, both Long & Foster and Intero Real Estate Services recognized the value of open ecosystems, and they have made technology procurement decisions accordingly. No two tech companies better represent the success of this strategy than MoxiWorks, the leading real estate technology system with the first and only true open network platform, and RealScout, the leading solution for brokerages and agents to generate more business from their “sphere of influence.”
Both MoxiWorks and RealScout have designed their platforms from the bottom-up to enable integrations with 3rd party technologies and transportability of customer-owned data. Customers that adopt either MoxiWorks or RealScout, and especially those who have adopted both solutions, have reaped the benefits of partnering with open platforms.
- Simple, minimally disruptive implementation
Although some heavy-lifting is inevitable, open platforms like MoxiWorks and RealScout are best equipped to provide a seamless transition for both admins and users alike. When Long & Foster adopted MoxiWorks, MoxiWorks’ dedicated account management team developed a customized plan for implementation and training, leading to a smooth and successful onboarding process. Later, when Long & Foster adopted RealScout, thanks to the open 2-way integration between the 2 vendors, implementation was as simple as setting up a roster sync between MoxiWorks and RealScout, which automatically provisioned accounts, set-up basic profiles, and provided for automated maintenance of the accounts.
The positive effects of an easy implementation can be seen in overall cost reductions, higher adoption, and better user account management through integrated tools.
- Increased user value from feature interoperability
Like most markets, agents at Intero generate a vast majority of their business via their “sphere of influence.” Engaging this audience is a multi-faceted effort that requires both CRM functionality as well as client collaboration functionality. Although all-inclusive solutions exist, MoxiWorks and RealScout are best-in-class solutions in their respective category. Thanks to their open platforms, instead of compromising on a particular solution, Intero could simply use both.
With MoxiEngage as the central source of client records, agents can easily SSO into RealScout to collaborate and convert their agents, knowing that incremental data is synced back into MoxiEngage. This seamless experience not only increases productivity for agents, it means clients receive more consistent and attentive customer service.
- Opportunities created by data transportability
It’s no secret that every agent, team, and even office have their own operational playbook, and especially for a brokerage as large and diverse as Long & Foster, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. One of the core benefits of an open-platform approach is the ability for it to accommodate a variety of lead-sources, marketing tools, and reporting outputs.
For Long & Foster, this means that MoxiWorks and RealScout, either directly or by pass-through, are connected with systems as diverse as: Zillow Connect, Realtor.com, Spacio, Buyside, ActivePipe, and more. This ability to accommodate a diversity of tools allows brokerages to empower their agents without reducing flexibility.
- Inherent future-proofing
One of the key concerns many brokerages have about technology procurement is the speed with which technology becomes outdated. Even the most cutting-edge systems, without constant iterations, can get left behind by more innovative companies.
The benefit of partnering with open platforms is that by integrating with innovative 3rd parties, brokerages can ensure that they aren’t getting left behind. Users, data, and workflows can be adapted to work with the latest tools, without completely abandoning legacy systems. Furthermore, since open platform companies can’t rely on high switching costs for customer loyalty, they continue to compete on innovation and value-delivery, as evidenced by both MoxiWorks’ and RealScout’s rapidly evolving offerings.
“Being an all-inclusive solution is never going to truly give a brokerage everything they need,” said York Baur, CEO of MoxiWorks. “This is why we decided early on that having a platform that lets our customers plugin the best solutions would be the ultimate route to success for each brokerage’s unique needs. RealScout is a great example of a great long-term partner that continues to help us fulfill the promise of this open platform strategy.”
RealScout Co-Founder and President Andrew Flachner added, “We share a strong conviction with MoxiWorks that brokerages should have meaningful control over their tech tools and data. While a walled-garden architecture might offer control, only when users and data can move freely between various platforms of choice, does control generate value. Our partnership with MoxiWorks exemplifies how brokerages are empowering their agents, clients, and themselves by building strategic value around their sphere of influence and data.”
The benefits discussed above are some of the most basic ones that brokerages, agents, and clients experience by partnering with open tech platforms. By rejecting the notion that software generates long-term value by locking-in their customers, open platforms empower their customers by embracing a diverse set of tools, users, and the opportunities they create.
For these reasons, Long & Foster and Intero’s decision to build their technology offering around MoxiWorks and RealScout was not only a tactical win driven by the immediate benefits of the two solutions but a strategic one that will continue to pay dividends in the future as the platforms continue to integrate and innovate, through open, transparent partnerships.