Help ButtonAgents need help. I guess that I did not truly understand how much until a series of events collided this week.

The first lob was the announcement that Century 21 is launching a new program that allows agents to subscribe to a “Marketing Assistant” program for $300 per year. The marketing assistant will be fully trained on all of the services offered on the brand’s Century21Online portal.

In launching the portal, Century 21 CMO made a prophetic statement: “The last thing that agents need today is another tool.” She is right. Outside of core technology solutions, agents can be heavily distracted by technology. Based upon the data we collect, by the time they learn it, they cancel the subscription. The idea of the marketing assistant is brilliant. It was the buzz of the annual convention and every voice said, “I am going to sign up for that.” Congratulations to Century 21 for delivering on a heavily desired service. What Thorne made clear is that the Marketing Assistants are not a Help Desk.

The second lob colliding into my week was a reminder about TechHelpline from the Florida Association of REALTORS®. They fill the technical support gap by helping with computer repairs, virus removal, virus protection, email set up and problems, software applications and software repair, printer help, data recovery, network problems, spyware removal, and more.

I was sitting next to a REALTOR® at dinner when the table topic turned to the acknowledgement that my table mate was the “help desk” for a number of agents in the office. Everyone joked and laughed about how “nice” he was to help. In my mind, it triggered the reality that this agent is having his productivity undermined by this distraction. This agent needs to tell the other agents to go away and spend $200 per year for TechHelpline.

This leads me to the last lob, which came from Alex Perriello, head of the REALOGY Franchise Group. “The best way to succeed in real estate is door knocking!” He’s right. All of the technology in the world will not come close to the overwhelming success that agents find from door knocking.

The top producer for a broker I work with joined the real estate industry four years ago. For the past four years, she has been working with the company coach and she has dedicated herself to knocking on 100 doors a week. Her business is overwhelming, and she is not alone.

Brokers who supply agents with “set it and forget it” automated online marketing solutions, marketing support for flyers and postcards, tech support for computer issues, and a trainer that focuses on selling will be well positioned for growth and success this year.

If you want to be a “full service” brokerage, start by thinking about how you can provide the best possible service to your agents so they can focus on selling.