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Published on October 28, 2022

Overcome staff resistance to change

How do you get staff to embrace upgrades to your tech stack

There are many factors that make software change hard for brokerages

If you have run a brokerage for any length of time, eventually you need to update your systems to increase efficiency, stay competitive and improve reporting analysis.  While your staff might regularly complain about the software you currently use, most brokers experience extreme resistance from staff when they try to introduce change. Over the years, I have found their are a few reasons that come up again and again.

Fear of redundancy

One time I flew to upstate NY to meet with a large office contemplating back-office software upgrade. I met with the key staff privately, and one of them closed her door and told me this:

 " we are never going to change our current software. I will find a way to make sure it never succeeds because currently, I am the only one who knows how to do bank reconciliations in our system. So this is my job security and I am not going to let anything take that away "  This experience taught me you need to deal with staff's fear for their position. The main reason a brokerage needs to do a software upgrade is because they need the staff to have more time to work on more valuable tasks.  If you can get the staff excited about the new, more interesting jobs they will get to work on ... you may make them ally of change instead an obstacle to change.

Fear of the learning curve

Your office may use some of the older real estate office software programs that are REALLY difficult to learn.  Most of the time, the staff took years to figure out how to get thru their day with your existing programs.  They have found "work-arounds" for everything that needs to get done. So they use excel spreadsheets and they manually send email notices or they manually send direct deposts at the bank websites.  All these work-arounds were hard to figure out, and they took a long time to figure out, and even though these work arounds waste lots of time each day  -  the idea of losing their existing process is scary. 

The whole idea of tech stack updates are to increase efficiency.  Sometimes you need to increase efficiency to reduce costs.  Sometimes you need efficiency so that you can improve the quality of your service you provide to your agents without increasing payroll.  Brokers and their software vendor need to make sure staff has extra support during a transition. And Trainers need lots of flexibility and patience as the team updates their work flow and gets more efficient.

Reports the staff has created

Most staff people wind up creating alot of reports in excel - because their current software can't create the reports that broker wants.  

Overtime, it seems that staff comes to believe that it's the BROKERS that need to get some spreadsheet in an pre-defined format every week.  And it's BROKERS that are resistant to any changes in their reports.  In my experience, this is never the case.  Brokers want the data they need to make decisions.  I've never meet an owner who is stuck on the format of a report. Brokers just want the information they need to run the company. But we are, all of us, creatures of habit. We often get stuck in this rut of thinking that the report we need is the report we have always used.  Maybe a completely different approach like an interactive dashboard analytic would be better than a report.  Maybe a different report format would be better.  Maybe getting reports in your email inbox would be better.  Usually, we don't know what options would be better for our reporting ... because we simply don't see options.

My attempt to ease the anxiety

Because staff are so concerned about change for so many reasons - and because Reporting for the Broker is so important.  We have created an entire section at AccountTECH's website that is dedicated to report samples.  Many of the samples are focused on RE/MAX - where there seems to be a strong attachments to certain reports.  These are a few samples of the reports that we have designed to ease the transition for Broker/Owners.  These reports should look very familiar to you.  Now, this doesn't mean that AccountTECH doesn't have other reports, with this same data that are even better than your long-servering reports.  But take a look.  There reports are designed to be a bridge for your transition.

Report samples from AccountTECH

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