If you know me, you know that I am a Huge Fan of Real Estate Technology. (and all the gadgets & gizmos that go with it!) Not only do I love the new toys & what they can do to make life better, but in fact, its my job to stay on the cutting edge of the technologies used by Real Estate Professionals. Over the past 24 months, I’ve become increasingly concerned with what I see taking place in our Industry across the country.
Everyone seems to be looking for the Magic Pill. The Easy Fix. The Miracle Maker. While its true that we can use technology to be more productive, generate leads, and market our business & our listings better – more often than not, I’m seeing folks regard technology as the “Silver Bullet”. Many think that staying ahead of the curve is going to change their whole paradigm and their business will simply go on autopilot and the leads will just pour in while they sit behind a computer. But the fact is, what worked 20 years ago – still works today.
I have been a Real Estate Professional for over 22 years. I began my career when interest rates were sky high and when the MLS was a book. It was a world without cell phones, faxes, or (gasp!) the internet. If you wanted to buy a house you, NEEDED an agent because they controlled the information.
Technology has become the great equalizer in this business. In some ways, its made our jobs as Real Estate Professionals more difficult. Not only are we contending with the economical difficulties as a result of the worst depression in history, but now we live in a world where the consumer believes that they are more knowledgable than the professional. They have access to nearly all of the same information as an agent, and when they are ready to pull the trigger, all they need to do is pick an agent. They think they know exactly what they want to buy and what to expect – they think they only need you to open the door.
But…Gadgets, gizmos, widgets & websites cannot & will never replace what it is that we do as Real Estate Professionals.
And that is…we are CONNECTORS !
Our job is to talk to & connect with people. We take listings and work with buyers. We connect with people & guide them through the home sale process. The more people we talk to, the more opportunities we have to do business.
Many of us complain we don’t have enough clients or leads. Its time to get back to basics. Here’s the thing, last time I checked, nearly everyone we see, walk by, drive by, talk to, shop with, and work with on a daily basis – nearly all of them live in a home. Some rent, some own, and some live with others who either rent or own. They are all potential prospects, customers, or referrals. What would happen if we talked to even just some of them? If we made an introduction and handed them a business card? What if you just talked to one new person a day and let them know that you could help them find the home of their dreams? Or, in todays new world, get them out of the home of their dreams and into one they can afford. Do you think that make might a difference in your business? My goal and challenge for you is to talk to ten new people a day and share with them what you do. Ten new people a day times 260 work days is 2600 new people to put into your database. Try that for a year and then tell me how your Real Estate Business looks.
People are still people. Yes, they are more savvy and more educated, but they still are all about liking and trusting the agent they do business with. While researching homes online, the average consumer admittedly doesn’t care about the brand or the agency. They certainly don’t care about you. They want what they want, and they want it NOW. But when they are ready to buy, they want someone that knows the market, works in the business, & is willing to work hard for them. Someone they LIKE and TRUST. Someone that they can CONNECT with.
Except, a consumer can’t really connect with you until they like and trust you. They can’t like and trust you until they get to know you. And they really can’t get to know you if your only contact with them involves a computer screen or a mobile device. Texting or tweeting does not replace wishing someone a happy birthday, acknowledging an accomplishment, or sharing in someone’s grief. It doesn’t show that you really care. Taking the time to handwrite a note or making a phone call to reach out to someone means more to people in this day and age of texting, tweeting, & blogging because it means that you took the time to care.
While Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and other Social Media outlets are a great way for us to stay in touch & be better connected than we ever have been before – they do not replace good old fashioned PROSPECTING. They can’t replace the basics. If you want more business, simply talk to more people.
Lets face it. The basics still work. Farming, Newsletters, Branding & Networking still work. Knocking on doors still works. We may not like to do it, but it works. We should be using the technology & tools – the shiny, magical toys to maximize our time, enhance our business with more data and productivity, differentiate ourselves from the rest of the agents so that we can do more of what we signed up to do…Sell Real Estate and Close More Deals.
There are alot of folks out there teaching social media and Technology Gurus selling their products and teaching and coaching agents who have NEVER walked in our shoes. They’ve NEVER sold a house. Who don’t do what we do….Sell Real Estate and Close Deals. Its a bold message, but with the proper use of the right technology and tools…you can Sell MORE Real Estate, More Efficiently and provide a better level of service to the client. But Please don’t forget that Technology has dramatically changed the business of Real Estate, but the Core Business of Real Estate has NOT Changed. It is, and will ALWAYS be, about PEOPLE !…..More People, More Real Estate. And that my friend…is how real estate gets done.. (my old real estate slogan)
Just my thoughts……..
Connect with me …my social media biz card www.jlobb.com