I've noticed that the 2 real estate agents I've worked with tend to manage their sales processes extremely manually. Some examples:
(buyer's agent): Tracking potential properties for a buyer client in a spreadsheet.
(seller's agent): Tracking open house leads on a paper sign-in sheet. They never follow up on these leads, since doing so would require manual data entry that they don't have time to do.
(buyer's & seller's agent): Tracking to-do items either in a spreadsheet or by memory as the deal is in escrow. They'll have a checklist written down somewhere, but occasionally things fall through the cracks if the agent isn't 100% on top of every task in every deal that they're involved with.
I've heard plenty of horror stories, especially around the third point, where a lack of clear client-agent communication on escrow to-do items leads to problems and delays in closing. E.g. buyer doesn't realize they need homeowner's insurance, delays closing as a result.
So I have a few questions as I explore opportunities to build software with the mission of giving real estate agents better leverage of their time:
1) Do you see any places in your real estate businesses where there is a lack of proper automation?
2) What's the most error-prone part of your business today?
3) Are there tools that the big brokerages have built in-house that the boutique brokerages are lacking?
I'm new so take this with a huge grain of salt. But for me, there is almost too much automation. Too many apps to use, many with overlapping functions. I track buyer's properties through the MLS (Paragon, using saved searches and the Collab Center). I am perfectly fine using Google Sheets for tracking FSBOs and open house sign ins (I don't use a CRM beyond what's inside my MLS). I do not want a ton of paper just sitting around bc I will never get to it and use it, and data entry takes five minutes. BUT I do find it helpful to have a paper checklist for the escrow period for the reason you stated. I really don't want to automate that bc I might miss something. Part of my problem with apps and automations in general is that they are either not customizable to my needs OR they are overly customizable and overwhelming to me with all the options.