Written by Bob Bill, REAL Trends vice president and managing consultant
One of the most difficult challenges you may face is to launch a new technology solution or marketing strategy within your company. Adoption rates for real estate professionals are typically low and trying to create ROI is difficult. One way to increase your success is to determine which agents are most likely to adopt your new technology, then build on that.
There has been extensive research done on consumer adoption rates, so I’ve attempted to bridge some of this thinking so that it makes sense for your brokerage company. You can break down your agents using Rogers Bell curve. Approximately 16 percent of all of your agents will fall into the Innovators and Early Adopters categories. This should be your initial target when developing and launching a new technology solution.
Innovators & Early Adopters
You can deal with the rest of the sales assoicates after you get off the ground, but you’ll never get there unless you understand and satisfy (or better yet, thrill) your early adopters. You need to find the agents with your problem or issue who feel it so deeply that they are willing to try your imperfect solution. They will help you see where the system can be improved. These early adopter agents are worth their weight in gold once you find them. They will be your greatest source of insight into why a solution isn’t working, the most supportive when it seems like you’ll never get it right, and your loudest evangelists when you finally nail it.
How to identify an Early Adopter agent:
1. Your agent has a problem
2. Your agent knows they have the problem
3. Your agent has already bought a solution on his or her own
4. OR your agent has hacked his or her own solution together
5. AND he or she is still unsatisfied
Characteristics of Each Group
Innovators: Educated, prosperous and risk oriented
Early Adopters: Younger, educated, leaders, less prosperous than innovators
Early Majority: More conservative but open to new ideas, influencers
Late Majority: Older, fairly conservative, not very socially active
Laggards: Oldest and most conservative
Once you get your Innovators and Early Adopters on board you should see a cascade of adoption with your other agents.