Associations can be managed better, and AgentBook can help them do it: Tech Review

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AgentBook is software that can help real estate associations modernize agent and broker member information, conduct board elections, promote events and handle finances.

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AgentBook is management software for real estate associations

Platforms: Browser

Ideal for: Real estate associations

Top selling points

  • Front-end web design
  • Agent-member information management
  • Event management
  • Billing, accounting features
  • Campaign communications
  • Election promotion, voting

Top concern

AgentBook should consider including lists and content on its MLS’s technology vendors or preferred partnerships. I was surprised to not see a way for users to manage this.

What You Should Know

AgentBook is software that can help real estate associations modernize agent and broker member information, conduct board elections, promote events and handle finances. Clients can benefit from a refreshed website that serves as the primary portal for member interactions, application submission and other critical business content. The backend, administrative functionality is rather basic in execution as a result of a well-designed user experience and demonstrates the ability to consolidate a wide-ranging stack of disconnected software and manual business processes. Users can collect applications and their associated fees, assign and monitor penalties, conduct event promotion with built-in QR code marketing and digital network tools, and monitor member brokerage status and activity.

AgentBook is one of the first — if not the only — association-focused software solution I’ve reviewed. And it’s a great start to what I can’t help but think will become a new proptech category. It kind of has to happen, right?

If the multiple listing service (universally speaking) wants to do more than merely exist, especially in the wake of much smarter search and consumer-facing home shopping experiences, those above them need to do more. Associations need to be proactive, technologically proficient and strategic. Implementing technology to support brokerages and their agents, and perhaps educate consumers, can create a solid foundation from which to launch such larger initiatives.

There are a few solid association websites out there. My local one, Tahoe Sierra Board of Realtors, is pretty well executed up front, but I don’t know what’s happening under the hood. Houston Association of Realtors, HAR.com, is clearly the standard bearer when it comes to what an association can do for agents and the public, and its colleagues should emulate what HAR’s leaders have accomplished. Solutions like AgentBook can help.

Starting with a website redesign using contemporary design themes, calls-to-action, SEO integrations, media embed functionality, etc. AgentBook offers a top-down approach to elevating how its clients can improve internal operations. The website is the top of the funnel, serving as a collection point for applications, event messaging and general engagement content. Know that while what I looked at was a very solid backend collection of tools to manage, contact and financially manage members, the execution of the website is almost as critical for clients of AgentBook. If considering this software, don’t sleep on the time required to create an effective web presence, especially if the intent is to grow your presence within your consumer market. Again, see HAR.com.

I like how AgentBook integrates a newsletter, or campaign outreach component. While most associations may already be using something like ActivePipe or Mailchimp, this directly integrated capability can be more effective, as it holds contacts and the content being sent closer to the vest. It can reduce the tech stack by one notable layer. Good to have.

Related to that piece is the event marketing module, which enables users to create and market things like continuing education classes or annual conferences. It includes a QR code creator that can automatically generate one for every invitee, which can then link to a digital business card. I wouldn’t have expected to see this kind of tool in an association management solution, but it’s a nice value add. You can build out a ticket sales interface, track responses and drop event times on members’ calendars.

The financial tools are worth noting, as they offer a good deal of control and customization, as is the application publishing and management function, which offers status tracking and reporting for both agents and brokerages.

AgentBook will have to replace a number of longstanding legacy practices for it to be most effective, which is what should happen, but implementation may present challenges from overworked association executives unable to wrap their arms around what’s needed for that to happen. In turn, I suspect AgentBook will need to deploy a dedicated onboarding effort with a number of clients. This could require more staff.

There’s a lot to like here, and the opportunity for feature growth and added value is apparent. AgentBook can change the way an association works with its agents, and that’s where change needs to start.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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