In the real estate industry, there is much talk about the evolution of the brokerage and the agent. Technology has been heralded as the future, full-service brick and mortar brokerages will die a slow death and the agent of future will be virtual, homes will show themselves and customers will be able to buy or sell their home from an app. I had better start looking for a new job…..or NOT!
I marvel at how fast some in our industry jump to the sky is falling mantra. One major player says they are no longer a real estate company, but a technology company. Another has a plan where, if you recruit enough agents, you will have so much residual income that you wont even need to sell real estate. WOW! What will happen to the scripts we have learned, “So all you have to do is sign the contract, so I can help you get what you want, in the time you want, won’t that be great? Now sign the contract!”
I am far from saying that our industry is not changing; and rapidly. We have the flash of venture capital flowing into real estate ibuyer and iseller companies who hope to make everyone’s life perfect by buying their homes, put lipstick on the pig and sell them for big money. Of course, the market is always going up and appreciating at a breakneck clip, so the investors will never lose money……The one thing that you can count on is that what goes up must eventually come down. Yet with all of the new innovations, what has remained the same since the first real estate transaction? People.
I believe that people are always going to be handling real estate. Technology cannot calculate human emotion, fear, sense of loss and ego. All of these elements are a part of every real estate transaction that occurs.
“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
Stop, Look and Listen. These 3 words are, simple put, the words of success for agents today. In the high tech, email, text world we live in, the huge void that is being created is Stop, Look and Listen.
Stop and observe. Stop and evaluate. Stop talking about ourselves. Clients today do not need raw data, they need guidance, counsel and wisdom. No app for that.
Look and see. Body language speaks louder than the spoken word. Thoughtfully consider how we posture ourselves. Look at how our clients are either open or closed in their stance. When someone is closed, more questions need to be asked. Understanding what has caused them to close up. What might we have said that played a part in their posture.
Listen. The most important. While Siri can listen and crank out an answer, we have the tools and gifts to listen to what is said and what is between the lines. So much of our business is counsel. It is not just trial close after trial close. It is truly taking interest and concern in our clients dreams, goals, fears and vision of success. The same is true with the agents we work with on the other side of the transaction. When we listen, ask questions, listen again to the point of silence, the other side will give us the clues we are seeking to formulate a plan of attack to bring success to our clients.
We must keep up with the technology changes. But, they will not replace the emotional component of people.
No one cares about how many millions of dollars of real estate we have sold, or how many homes, what awards we have earned or how heavy the card stock is on our postcards. That is vanity. People are dying of thirst for authentic people that will Stop, Look and Listen. I will take Old School interaction over virtual interaction any day of the week.