Two weeks ago we exhibited at the Florida Association of Realtors Conference & Expo in Orlando FL. This was the first time we ever attended the show and presented our real estate software solutions, and it was an eye-opening experience. Below are a few takeaways from the expo and how they relate to the general state of residential real estate software vendors.
1. The Florida real estate market is booming. This observation is based solely on the number of attendees, and the enthusiasm felt at the show. We typically attend the National Association of Realtors conference and other random shows, and you usually experience some serious downtime during the trade expo. The show in Florida was the exact opposite. We had a steady stream of Realtors, Brokers, and other vendors who visited our booth to stop and chat. While not all of these visitors were prospects for our solutions, it was great to see so many people stopping to learn more. There was a sense of overall optimism by most who came by and a real desire to improve business by working with vendors.
2. Integration is key for brokers. We spent a lot of time fielding questions from potential brokers on how we could reduce data entry and share data with other software solutions. This is a trend that we've been seeing the last few years as brokers are realizing that to get the best software tools, they need to use best-in-class vendors that are are open to sharing data and accepting data from complimentary software solutions.
3. Simplicity in a software solution is also a key need for real estate brokers. With integration, manual processes are minimized, and overall processing of data is simplified. Smaller brokers who don't have the resources to work through a long software implementation process need easy to understand software backed by an experienced team. The training needs to be structured and the time from purchase to go-live needs to be weeks and not months. Most importantly, support for small brokers needs to be hands-on, easily reachable, and patient.
We're delighted with our decision to exhibit the Florida Association of Realtors Expo. We made new contacts, caught up with clients and partners, and learned a lot. It is great to see that the real estate market is strong in Florida and it is great to meet face to face with the professionals that are making it happen. There are opportunities abound for software vendors who are open to working with their industry colleagues. There is immense value in learning from a wide variety of brokers on what their challenges are and what they need in their real estate back office management software.