Complex RE/REI Software Is Like a Prison

IT Prison

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Starting RE agents and investors adore complex IT services. Often such services are designed like prisons. Easy entry and very difficult exit. Your activities are limited to the framework provided by the service developer. Your special wishes are ignored.

Example. A novice real estate agent asks for advice on how to market to him at the forum. In response, he is offered 2 versions of IT prison.

1. IT Prison provided by broker

Shawn Mcenteer wrote:

A website doesn't hurt ... you will probably be given a website depending on the brokerage you join.

Yes, it's a very common practice. The novice agent gets a whole mountain of delightful free stuff from his broker:

  • Free blog on a broker' website
  • Free blog on the broker' website
  • Free account in broker' CRM
  • Free E-mail on broker's domain
  • Free broker's office address
  • The broker may even provide the agent with a free corporate phone number.

A novice real estate agent lists these communication channels everywhere: on his business cards, in his Facebok ads,...

But sooner or later the agent moves on to another broker. The broker keeps all the developed channels of communication with clients.

The agent begins to understand. The only free cheese is in the mousetrap:

Mouse Trap

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Nothing is truly free. Everything comes with conditions, however hidden or unseen.

2. Specialized comprehensive IT solution as a prison

Ridge Tullos wrote:

Either look for a brokerage that provides a CRM to you or pay for one (many come with a website and CRM in one package). ... Personally I choose to do Open Houses, FB Ads, and FSBO's as my lead generation then use as my CRM.

Ridge, your website is based on website engine. Let me use your website to show that out-of-the-box complete solutions cause big problems for users.

A) Low lead retention

When visitors come to your website, it takes too long to load. Google' PageSpeed test shows for your website:

Google PageSpeed Test

Only 35% of visitors are willing to wait for your website to fully load. It lasts long 8 seconds. You spend a lot of effort on lead generation. But 65% of leads leave without seeing your website.

Ask service developers that they accelerate the loading speed of your website to at least 3 seconds. Then 90% of visitors will wait for the end of loading. I have strong doubts that they will comply with your request.

B) No access to website code

Sooner or later, you will want more control over your website and you will leave service. Will you be able to take back your website and host it yourself? It will be impossible. The service developers will tell you that they can't give you the code for your website because theirs is custom development.

C) Impossibility to export data from CRM

The service has a CRM story page. The "Full Feature List" section lists 25 CRM great features. Alas, among them is not the most important feature that any general purpose CRM has. There is no "Export" feature. Sooner or later you will have problems to move all information about your customers to another CRM.

D) Loss of E-mail address

You list your Email at the website as **** . Sooner or later you will leave Keller Williams Realty and move on to another broker. But your old clients will continue to email you at your Email **** . Who will correspond on your behalf at Email **** ? Your former KW broker. He will email your clients that you are no longer an agent and will refer your clients to other KW agents in his agency.

Bottom line

Frequently, an integrated RE/REI IT solution makes the user hostage to the service by design. When choosing an IT solution, always ask yourself the question, "Will I be able to change providers easily?".