Implementing New Software For Your Agents While Working From Home

Kate Reinarz, Jr. Marketing Manager

Kate Reinarz, Jr. Marketing Manager About The Author

April 30, 2020

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Implementing a new piece of software in an office is a struggle on its own, but it can feel like even more of a burden when your workforce is working remotely. When you're not able to get everyone in a room together, it may feel like your only option is to hold your agent's hands through every step via constant emails and frantic phone calls. But we're here to dispel that myth: it may be something you're not used to yet, but implementing software while the office is at home is completely doable.

The first step is to set a plan. This task can seem daunting at best, but our recommended starting point is figuring out key contacts, resources and dates. Your key contact will most likely be your account manager, but it's just as important to figure out more generalized support contacts so your agents know exactly where to go with any questions. Similarly, locate key resources like a knowledge base or resource center and encourage your agents (and anyone else who may use the new software) to have these links bookmarked. Once you've identified your main point of contact, they should be able to help you with the following details: understanding program objectives and scheduling a communication cadence. Weekly or biweekly calls with your account manager during implementation will be imperative to make sure you're up to date and up to speed. You have an expert at your fingertips - use this resource to your advantage! Understanding program objectives will help you to use the software to the best of its abilities, so you can be absolutely sure you're getting the most out of the system.

When planning how to roll out a new system to your agents, it will behoove you to take into account the different ways and speeds in which they learn. Some agents will be able to pick it up and run with it, while others may require a little more hands on help. This is why it's important to be flexible when it comes to your training. If you go into it expecting a standard result from every agent, you'll be sorely disappointed - give those that need it a little extra time, or offer training alternatives if what you're doing doesn't seem to be working. This doesn't necessarily have to mean more work on your part - if you've been doing training videos but an agent tends to learn better by reading, you can peruse the software's resources for a relevant article or two. Practice patience with yourself and your agents to create an environment where they feel comfortable to ask questions and get the help they need.

Because learning a whole new piece of software is an intimidating challenge to dive into, it's helpful to break up the learning into bite-size chunks. Before you set your agents loose to peruse these bite-size chunks, however, make sure you have content in the system ready to use. For example, in the case of the rezora system, starting your agents with templates and rows is essential for a couple reasons: it keeps your agents excited, and it gives them something to play with as they learn the system. Whatever the system may be, making sure it's fully built out first is the best route you can take.

Once the system is ready to go, form your plan of attack in as simple terms as possible. Modularizing the learning will not only help you feel less overwhelmed, but will allow agents to digest new information in doable chunks instead of trying to figure it out all at once. Webinar-style training sessions are great for this - if you're able, use a video chat software (our recommendations for those here) that allows you to share your screen so you can include visual aids as you share information. Additionally, a presentation with screenshots and written out instructions can be distributed prior to training for your agents to follow along and refer back to later.

Now that you have your plan in place, a system that's ready to go, and all of your resources in order, it's time to train! At this point, it's helpful to be intentional about who is receiving training and when. An example hierarchy in which training happens may look like this: VP Marketing -> Marketing coordinators -> Support staff -> Trainers -> Agents. Once the higher-ups are fully prepared to use the system and support their agents, then it's time for the agents to (finally!) start their implementation. To encourage excitement from your agents, try building up the hype around the new system. Set a launch date and send out internal communications with things like the pros of the new software, reminders for training dates and resource links. You can also try training incentives. These are a great way to keep agents engaged and motivated, and can sometimes be as simple as verbal recognition. It's up to you to decide what will get your specific agents excited, but a couple examples include a half day on the upcoming Friday or a $10 Amazon gift card.

As working from home becomes the new normal, there will be a series of challenges to face, including learning new software, especially as brokerages are in the position to cut costs. But there's no need for overwhelm or panic - with a few steps and some organization, your agents will be pros in no time.

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