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How Can Brokers Meet Agents’ Tech Needs?

What would you do if you lost access to your smartphone for a day? A week? What happens when you try to print out a copy of a CMA, and the printer stops and you can’t find the problem? What recourse do you have if you accidentally went to the wrong website and your laptop got infected with malware and has been slowing down ever since? Or what if you just can’t connect to wireless when you are on the move?

Keeping agents connected and their basic technology working is one of the most important things a brokerage can do to support their agents’ tech needs. Too often, it seems that brokers focus on solely their own technology solutions: how to get agents to adopt the various tech tools and software in which they’ve invested so much to provide.

But providing basic tech support – making sure real estate agents have a lifeline if they get stuck using their go-to technology, that their smartphone is getting email properly, that their laptops are optimized and virus-free, that if their printer doesn’t print there is someone to help fix it now, and not later – is of paramount importance as well.

For more than 60 percent of real estate agents and brokers in North America (U.S. and Canada), we’ve got you covered, as the majority of real estate pros have access to technical support provided by the real estate industry’s #1 tech support team. It’s a service that is provided at no extra cost as a subscriber or member benefit from your local MLS, your state or local Realtor® association, or your brokerage.

It’s called Tech Helpline – has been dubbed “the Genius Bar for real estate” – and is created, owned and operated by the Florida Realtors®, the second largest state Realtor association in the U.S. Tech Helpline provides technical support services for a wide range of software and hardware, from smartphones and tablets to desktops, laptops, email problems, virus issues and more.

The push for universal tech support

Tech Helpline certainly has proven to be a genius idea. First started some fifteen years ago solely as a service for the members of Florida Realtors®, it fast became, and continues to be, one of the most valued benefits that real estate agents now say they receive from their MLS, brokerage or association. With the introduction of Form Simplicity six years ago – the transaction management system also from the Florida Realtors created by Realtors for Realtors – Tech Helpline began to support organizations beyond the borders of the Sunshine State.

In the last few years, Tech Helpline’s popularity has exploded. It makes sense, as it’s almost impossible for real estate agents and brokers to do their jobs successfully without technology. Technology is now ubiquitous in real estate and there is a case that Tech Helpline is demonstrating: that so, too, should be universal tech support for agents and brokers.

The customer service difference

But we all know that tech support is only as good as the people on the other side of the connection, whether it be by phone, chat or email. That’s where Tech Helpline excels and what fuels its continued growth. Users know Tech Helpline for its no-nonsense technical advice and warm, friendly, customer service. Headquartered in Orlando, which houses its entire U.S.-based staff, our professional tech analysts have a combined IT experience of nearly 300 years!

The key to great customer service, when it comes to providing tech support, is to be a chameleon. Some agents are highly tech savvy, and others are on the other side of the spectrum; the Tech Helpline staff is able to discern the difference and adjust their help to the level that best helps the agent or broker solve their technical challenge. They remove the “fear” some people have of calling tech support because the Tech Helpline analysts know not to talk down to someone, or over their head. That’s a welcome breath of fresh air among tech support experiences, as most agents would agree.

The “I want my Tech Helpline” movement

Still, 2 out of every 5 real estate agents and brokers may very well be on their own when it comes to basic tech support. That puts the real estate industry at a conundrum. Brokers want their agents to embrace technology – especially the technology provided by the broker – and that is often where tech support is focused and confined.

But if you look at the usage of Tech Helpline across the United States and throughout Canada, you can see there is an acute need for basic, every day, seemingly simple (yet complicated for many) tech support needs. What most agents really need in terms of tech needs, as our experience with Tech Helpline for the last decade-and-a-half tells us, is some really basic stuff.

The case for universal tech support in the digital age of real estate is clear. The fact is the vast majority of brokerages in America have less than 5 people, which means they can’t afford a dedicated in-house tech person, let alone a tech staff. The onus then goes to the local MLS or association to provide a great subscriber or member benefit by adding Tech Helpline.

So, if you don’t have Tech Helpline available through your brokerage, association or local MLS, contact them and tell them, “I want my Tech Helpline” just like most of the agents and brokers across the nation who already have it.