You don’t think about how incredibly valuable insurance is until something goes terribly wrong. When you tap into your insurance policy, your immediate reaction is probably one of relief: thankfully, you had it in place and you are covered.
But what if you are not covered? How painful is it – both financially and emotionally – when something terrible happens and you don’t have insurance to cover it? It’s hard even thinking about it, right?
Tech support coverage in the real estate industry today is a lot like an insurance policy. You don’t know how lucky you are to have it, unless you don’t. Fully 60 percent of the real estate agents in North America – in the U.S. and Canada – can rest easy. Local, regional and state MLSs, along with some super-savvy brokerages, are providing them tech support coverage through Florida Realtors-owned Tech Helpline.
But what about the other 40 percent?
Stories from the field
Real estate agents live in a tech-assisted world today. Smartphones and laptops enable their mobile-centric career. Moreover, agents typically have access to a plethora of digital tools and software programs they depend on for their livelihood. Technology isn’t an option for agents; today, it is an absolute necessity.
But why are so many brokerages leaving their agents stranded to fend for themselves, or falling far short of what is needed in the field when it comes to tech support? It’s especially perplexing given the remarkably low cost of the member pricing that Florida Realtors offers as an industry provider.
For those that are benefiting from Tech Helpline, the impact in the field is real. Here are just a few examples of the “love letters” real estate agents send to Tech Helpline analysts after receiving assistance:
Debbie Huff, an Arizona real estate agent, put it bluntly: “You simplified my life on many occasions,” and called the tech support analyst who helped her, “my hero.” Commercial real estate agent Larry Kramer, also based in Arizona, said his tech support analyst should put “Doctor” in front of his name because “he surgically brought my computer back to life and saved me untold hours of ineffectiveness in handling my business.”
Untold hours: how much in lost productivity does that cost a brokerage if they don’t have tech support coverage? And that’s just one agent.
Florida broker Lesley Dolby called in on a Saturday because her Outlook email program was “messed up.” Has that ever happened to you? That’s not an easy fix, right? And on a weekend when you have an open house the next day and are trying to get a bunch of emails out, it can be crippling.
How much potentially lost income could that cost a brokerage? Times how many agents? Times how many incidents? It could add up fast, couldn’t it?
Fortunately, Lesley was covered. Her tech analyst was “fast, extremely knowledgeable, courteous” and from beginning to end, she “felt that I was in excellent hands,” adding, “I had forgotten how very valuable this excellent service is.”
Exactly: you forget how incredibly valuable something like Tech Helpline is, until you need it. And if you don’t have it, the pain can be excruciating, especially if you have to deal with non-real estate related tech support alternatives.
Friendly, expert care makes it even more valuable
Don’t take it from me, take it from Brett Slattery, a broker-owner in Florida who was a software engineer and programmer for 20 years. He wrote that his network upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 didn’t go very well.
He was determined, because of his background, to resolve it himself, admitting, “I was reluctant to pay the local techs $160/hour.” So, Brett became a first-time caller to Tech Helpline and 20 minutes later, his network was running flawlessly.
“I can’t tell you how impressed we are with your service. It’s amazing. We will spread the world your techs are top-notch!” Brett wrote. Phenomenal praise considering the source, except when you learn that the tech analysts at Tech Helpline have almost 300 years of combined IT experience.
For Brian McMahon, an Arizona associate broker, it’s the people that makes Tech Helpline special. He wrote in to praise “how great a person” his analyst is, adding, “so professional, extremely patient, knowledgeable, and always courteous, as are the other people at TechHelpLine.com with whom I spoke.”
Brian added that his biggest takeaway is what many MLS customer surveys reveal every year: “It’s one of the greatest perks an agent can have.”
Why doesn’t every brokerage offer Tech Helpline?
The bottom line is why doesn’t every brokerage offer Tech Helpline? Clearly, the amount of lost productivity, potential lost income, and the frustration and personal unhappiness agents experience when they can’t get help can all be avoided by providing tech support as an agent benefit.
Most importantly, the cost to a brokerage for Tech Helpline must pale in comparison to the opportunity costs for lost business when agents are helplessly stuck with a technical problem they cannot fix.
Just like a good insurance policy to protect you just in case something goes wrong, that’s what Tech Helpline can do for agents. It’s why brokerages serving the 40 percent without tech coverage needs to help make sure 100 percent of real estate agents are covered in our now tech-dependent industry.