Technology continues to transform the way we do everything from how we communicate to how we buy and sell real estate and everything in between. At its most extreme, technology is even being offered as a replacement for a real estate agent. One has to sometimes wonder whether tech is really working for or against the industry. Digital technology is cool and shiny and the next new thing is always so tempting to try. But it should not distract or replace the personal activities needed to succeed in this business. It will never replace a handshake or the trust built through conversation and making eye contact. A real estate transaction is typically a complex, expensive, and highly personal transaction. Your challenge as a broker is to strike that critical balance between using technology to find your clients and the personal touch to win over and keep them. This approach is the right one, for both buyers and sellers, and for you.
Leveraging Tech Is Good
There is no denying that many of the tools and resources available to real estate agents and brokers have helped make doing business easier. There’s also nothing wrong with utilizing tools like a real estate CRM or lead generation software to help drum up business and manage it more efficiently. However, certain pieces of technology that we often rely upon today, like email and text messaging are routinely keeping agents, brokers, and clients at more of a distance than they once were. For example, if you have a quick question for your client that only requires a simple answer, you’re probably more likely to shoot them a speedy text or email. While this might seem easier, it cuts out the chance to casually chat about their day and build that friendly rapport that instills trust and garners future business.
But Building Real Relationships Is Better
Although people can move to technology, technology fails to move people in the way human-to-human contact does. Unlike some businesses where you can get away with keeping clients at an arm’s length, real estate is a contact business and requires you to develop your relationships beyond a superficial business exchange. Consumers are driven by emotions and loyalty; two things that can’t be found in an app or a website. Don’t be tempted to wait for the business to be delivered to your doorstep from that slick new lead gen program you just invested in. Seize every opportunity to nurture your relationships with personal contact.
Easy Ways To Foster A More Personal Relationship With Clients
The more that you invest into nurturing your relationships with your clients, the more loyal they will be to you in the years to come with their transactions and with referrals. Here are easy ways to help you take your relationships to the next level:
- Call or stop-by without needing a reason – Remember birthdays, anniversaries and other significant milestones. Consider keeping a box of small gifts or treats like a bottle of wine in the car that you can give to clients if you happen to be in the neighborhood.
- Bond over activities – Do your prospects or clients have a hobby that they’re passionate about like golf? Send them a link to an article they may have interest in or offer to take them out for a fun and relaxing day on the links but keep the conversation casual and fun.
- Break some bread – Sharing a meal is one of the oldest forms of human bonding and most original signs of trust. Meet up for a cup of coffee or take them out to celebrate the anniversary of their closing, rather than sending a generic card, text, or email.
- Make a routine – Regularly call your entire database just to chat and see how things are going. The conversations don’t need to be long. However, if they happen to share something special like a referral, personal preference, or special event in their life you can input that into your real estate CRM for future use. It’s best to block this time off on your calendar every month to hold yourself accountable to maintaining the routine.
In a world where technology drives functionality, it can be all too easy to rely entirely upon it. However, one must remember that the business of buying and selling real estate was built on the value of real relationships and real people. Although technology can certainly drive us forward and help reduce busy work or trivial tasks, there is nothing that can replace the value of shaking someone’s hand, looking them in the eye, or laughing over a meal together. It is important to find a healthy balance between leveraging technology and taking every opportunity for valuable personal contact.
A Brokerage Built By Real People For Real Relationships
Since Jim Weichert began his real estate career in 1969, he inherently understood the value of a handshake. He knew that people wanted to buy from people and made it a priority. As he built the Weichert brokerage one handshake at a time, he made sure to empower his team with the tools and technology they needed to work smarter. Yet, he always made sure they understood the power of that personal touch; a core value of the Weichert brand.
If you believe in the value of building lasting relationships, Weichert may be a great fit for your business. To learn more about how you can plug in and be a part of a franchise that will provide you with systems that balance technology with personal touch points, go to https://www.weichertfranchise.com.