As part of the Future of Real Estate series at Union Street Media YouTube channelRachel Allard, senior vice president of strategy, sat down with Rich Millentree – or Big Rich, as he is affectionately known, the chief technology officer of PMZ real estate in California’s Central Valley. PMZ is a family owned and operated independent real estate company ranked the number one real estate company in its market and the 38th largest real estate company in the United States. You can watch the full interview by clicking the play button above.
Like many of us, Millentree’s path to real estate was not a straight one. It was the determination of his friend who worked at PMZ that eventually convinced him over the course of two years to meet with the team. Although it may have taken some persuasion, Millentree says now, “I love what I do, I love the environment I am in, I love the way I can help people and make a difference in that particular space, like that how it was just fantastic. “
Millentree says he takes a different technical approach and doesn’t want IT to be an impersonal experience, and believes technology shouldn’t be a barrier to getting help and moving your business forward. His main goal at PMZ is to ensure that the company moves forward and that the technology they use moves us forward and our agents, or the people who use our tools, are one step ahead of the competition. That they will get things done and work on their terms, not the terms of the technology, and that they will be able to do business. “While much of the technology PMZ uses is manufactured in-house, Millentree also points out the importance of working with strategic partners – partners who share the same values as PMZ in addition to exceptional products.
When asked what he thinks has been the biggest success factor since the success of COVID, he credits the work they did in late 2019 to really prepare them for success in 2020, such as a 95% cloud-based one Business to become and technology to support agents that are 100% removed. Once COVID hit, it was as simple as making sure agents and staff had laptops and could log into their desktops remotely. “If we hadn’t made these changes in 2019, we would not have been where we are now and continue to thrive,” says Millentree.
When asked which technology he thinks will be most important in the future, he mentions collaborative software like Slack or Microsoft Teams that users can easily connect to no matter where they are. He notes that IT has been talking about these tools for so long that it feels like an old conversation, but that it’s still fresh for the agents and employees who will actually use the tools. Rachel Allard notes that although “efficiency is not as sexy as innovation” it may not be about finding new technology, but rather doubling down on what is already available. Millentree adds that we’re not seeing the latest technology that we had with mobile devices about 10 years ago. Now may be the best time to familiarize yourself with the technology we already have so we can be ready when the next one comes.
It is absolutely important that we have a good workout.
– Rich Millentree
Millentree notes that at PMZ there are two drivers that make them so successful – the training and the technique. PMZ has internal training courses that are held regularly so that agents are always up to date. Millentree also notes that PMZ offers so many learning opportunities and helps team members track knowledge – regardless of what department they work in. This is also anchored in the culture of PMZ, which Millentree says is derived from top to bottom.
For more information on PMZ and how they use technology, please visit their website at pmz.com.
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