Residential real estate is a large industry which generates billions of dollars in revenue per year. Last year, there were approximately 210,000 companies operating in the residential brokerage field, which generated $200 billion in revenue. Not bad for an industry that was teetering on the brink of disaster just ten years ago.
For Konica Minolta, because of the way real estate offices operate, there is a diverse set of services and technology we can provide to help them become more productive. These small businesses are in almost every town and facing similar challenges – creating opportunity for us to work with them and help solve their problems.
How Real Estate Brokerages Operate
We all know the goal of every real estate broker is to connect buyers with sellers in efforts to earn a commission on property sales and leases.
While real estate commissions can be significant, it can be difficult for brokerages to turn a profit.
With office expenses to cover, it’s not uncommon for a broker to receive a few pennies in net profit for every dollar earned. This means they are looking for ways to improve their business operations to save money in the process. Updating technology or embracing outsourced services can provide real estate brokers with much needed improvements that enable them to save in the long term.
Konica Minolta’s Opportunity
Consider the challenges that real estate brokers face:
Loss in profitability due to the high cost of running a business
Volatile economic spikes and dips impacting their operations
Increases in virtual competitors taking their customer base
A paper-intensive environment heightening the chance for lost or stolen documents and data
Lack of IT infrastructure support resources to manage, patch and upgrade systems proactively
Significant security threats with malware/ransomware, phishing schemes and wire transfer scams
Physical security threat of stolen laptops/tablets with client personal identification information (PII)
In fact, real estate is considered the number two target for business email compromise (BEC). Mortgage closing wire scams have ballooned over the past few years, with financial losses totaling more than $56 million.
With a quick assessment of real estate offices, we can easily define their operation and see where we have an opportunity to help.
A Day in the Life of a Real Estate Office: Profile
Brokers are typically an SMB with 5 to 50 employees.
Image plays a very important part in their business, particularly in their printed materials. Color matching and quality is important, as is dependability.
Often a broker will not have a state-of-the-art IT infrastructure, resulting in a reactive security posture.
Typically a broker will not employ an IT person to manage their network.
Due to the lack of IT resources, they often ignore updates or patching processes for their applications.
The goal is to utilize IT hardware for as long as possible and they often have a reactive approach to hardware upgrades, usually after a failure.
They are a paper-intensive business and suffer from lack of document management, which intensifies their security threat, as well as hinders their ability to be efficient in their work.
They often lack an information governance practice, which opens them up to liability.
Their employees are BYOD, rarely in the office and depend on their ability to access documents and information remotely.
Sales associates are prime candidates for phishing schemes, as most of their clients’ information is kept on a personal laptop or tablet.
How Can We Help?
With so many solutions, we can help in just about every category. We have made great strides to create a program to benefit real estate office operations, and deliver the innovations every office needs. We offer:
Best-in-class hardware technology to ensure outstanding image quality.
Software solutions that track output, measure costs, improve workflow and drive efficiency improvements.
Security protocols that hold the document until it’s requested at the device, minimizing document theft or loss.
Real-time virus scanning of the MFD’s incoming and outgoing data to prevent malware from being distributed throughout the network.
A print management program combined with assessments to offer right sizing of devices and optimization of volumes.
Service and support systems designed to offer multiple levels of resources for hardware, software and IT.
IT infrastructure solutions with Workplace Hub, which fits the real estate office profile.
Vendor consolidation with 24/7 support, a single agreement, invoice, support number and point of contact. Fixed monthly/annual pricing agreement, and best-in-class security.
Content management programs to organize electronic information, improve searchability, provide secure storage and facilitate a retention policy.
IT Services management with All Covered can augment or outsource their current IT support system.
The result is an efficient real estate office and an SMB that has elevated its operation to the 21st Century. We can show these businesses the value of working towards being Future Ready with Konica Minolta. We can provide tangible results, from beautiful images to simplified IT to a secure, paperless environment that agents in the field can access remotely. We can give SMBs the opportunity to embrace the innovative technology we provide and start their digital transformation. Learn more!
Mike Cardwell is experienced in developing enterprise wide, business transformation strategies for corporations by targeting inefficiencies in the current process and engineering a solution that focuses on all aspects of the information management process. Mike has taken his 20+ years of experience in Global, consultative sales of Enterprise Content Management, Business Intelligence, Business Process Management, and Managed IT Services and has applied it to developing a strategic approach to designing and implementing comprehensive information management solutions for our customers.