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The Swanepoel T3 Tech Guide – Software Edition

T3 Tech GuideIt’s perplexing how often real estate industry questions are referred to social media for answers.  Some of the most basic questions of brokerage model, pay structure, technology tools, and marketing systems lack a unified research database where brokers and agents can begin their searches on an objective playing field.

In lieu of a go-to guide, we use personal references, anecdotes, and one-line Facebook comments and hope that the general consensus is the right answer for our businesses.

That’s the gaping hole that the T3 Tech Guide is hoping to fill.  I received a copy of the Software Edition this past week, and it immediately made me realize that it’s the kind of tool I needed years ago.

It’s an understatement to say that the review process of real estate vendors’ products is scattered.  There doesn’t seem to be an even remotely balanced platform for comparing lead generation websites, real estate portal advertising, etc.  If you have personally borne the scourge of the CRM research and purchase process, I apologize for reminding you of the pain.

The T3 Tech Guide is a huge leap forward in this regard.  It doesn’t include every one of my favorite products, nor does it cover every product type, but it does an intensive job of educating the end user on many of the top products in each software category.  It identifies the criteria and functionality that the user should be comparing, and analyzes each one in-depth.

In short, it’s a fast-paced primer on software products that allows brokers and agents to understand the technologies they’re evaluating in a way that would have taken enormously longer in the past.  It’s a huge time-saver for an industry which never has enough.

The software products analyzed include:

  • Home Valuation Websites
  • Lead Generation Websites
  • Agent Websites
  • Portals
  • Prospecting Systems
  • Lead Management Systems
  • Real Estate CRMs
  • Software Forms
  • Digital Signatures
  • Transaction and Document Management

Having researched, purchased, and/or subscribed to virtually all of these categories in the past (and sometimes more than one of each), this would have been a godsend for my business as a starting point.  Readers will inevitably ask for more products in the next edition.  There are some really valuable products that didn’t make the cut, probably because of their lack of longevity or market exposure.  Still, most of the big names we see repeatedly batted about in online forums receive a structured, thorough analysis and are laid out comparatively in grid form at the end of each chapter.

Kudos to the Swanepoel T3 Group for this initiative.  To build a knowledge base like this and take on the costs of producing it without asking the vendors to pay for product placement is a big effort.  I wouldn’t be suprised to see it become the industry standard.  I’ll certainly be checking in for updates next year.  If you’re looking for some quick bites of the content, they’re doing webinars on each section and following up with digital copies of the chapters here.

If you’re researching CRMs, congratulations.  You just moved up from microfiche to broadband search.

 

About Sam DeBord

Sam DeBord is a former management consultant and web developer who writes for for Inman News and REALTOR® Magazine. He is Managing Broker for Seattle Homes Group with Coldwell Banker Danforth, and 2016 President-Elect of Seattle King County REALTORS®. His team sells Seattle homes, condos, and Bellevue homes.

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  • Jack Miller

    Thanks Sam! Appreciate the write up, and glad you have found the T3 Tech Guide up to your standards.

    • If it makes my job easier, Jack, it’s a good thing.

  • Sam, what was the top 1 or 2 things you are going to do from reading this guide? Another words, was there something that stood out where you said I need that now, and you are trying it or will be soon?

    • Bryn, I’m keeping up on competitive options. I’ve used lots of CRMs and not loved any of them. Lead generation website and CRM matrices are the best part for us–seeing which product functions are being picked up by different vendors. We use RealGeeks, which isn’t included, but its main competitors are. RG covers much of what a CRM should do. We’re always in the transaction management market, looking to see what the next step forward is.

  • I guess Real Geeks remains the best kept secret and value for real estate lead generation. We’ll just quietly keep helping agents produce more business!

    • LOL, Jeff, when we buy our 5th site from you, maybe you’ll cross that “broad coverage” hurdle. Next year.

      • I’d rather get feed back from real users and agents/teams that are really producing so we can help them get even more productive.

        • Exactly. If you have a great product, these kind of guides don’t matter. Customers will find you, and the word will spread. Just focus on that! 🙂

          • They really don’t get it anyway. They make assumptions based on their feelings or what others are doing… not real analytics and data.

            Hard to take guides seriously when they don’t use real user data to make assumptions. They assume that having a free type search is better since Google uses it. They actually don’t realize those increase bounce rates since it makes the user think and doesn’t give them options. Higher bounce rates decrease conversion rates.

            I’m actually kind of glad we weren’t included 😉 after seeing some of their assessments.

  • LOL at Reesio being left off the list of transaction management products in favor of DocuSign and Transaction Desk. DocuSign just does document management — they’re nowhere close to a full transaction management product like Reesio, Dotloop, and Skyslope are. And Transaction Desk? What is this, 1990? How about something built in the last 10 years please.

    Sorry Jack — I like you. But it’s tough to take a guide like this seriously when there are lots of products left off the list that are either growing much faster than what you have or are significantly more modern than what you listed. And if you truly wanted to include some of those old-school or incomplete products for comparison sake, then you should review ALL of the products out there. It’s almost as if you wanted to pick some old/bad ones just to purposely compare the good to the bad. Disappointing.

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