5 ways to match up your real-estate business to the current technological revolution by being high-tech and high-touch.
Real-Estate, more than any other industry or professional field is on its journey of technological revolution faster than it has ever been. Since dealing B2C i.e. Business to Customer is the shaping and founding principle of this industry, it has become imperative that real-estate adopts to the best of those technological changes in the market out there. Be it the agents, the brokers, sales agents, consultants etc, whoever it is, they have to deal directly with the customers and therefore, there needs to be more than one channel based on the convenience and ease sought out by the customer as well as the agent in this correspondence. Owing to personal and professional commitments, neither the agent, broker or consultant nor the client can always make it to a face to face meeting with both the parties present at the venue having all the time in the world with all the resources they may require. Thus, this is what has given rise and boom to the need for the inclusion of appropriate technological channels to such real-estate companies’ operating systems. There needs to be a number of channels that can be used for correspondence by such businesses with their customers so that they don’t lose them just because they could not establish a continuous line of communication and correspondence with them.
As an employee of a real estate company and a member of this bustling real-estate industry, I’m well aware of the fact that real-estate companies are perpetually bombarded with requests from different technological solution provision companies to adopt their new technology, purportedly the next “it” factor that will help agents work less and earn more i.e. both time and money. Well, to be honest about it, it’s tempting to buy into these promises. After all, the proliferation of smartphones, social media, and instant messaging apps have given us the ability to connect instantaneously with anyone, anywhere, anytime. However, the very same technology meant to bring us closer together can also have the opposite effect. As is the case with any tool, how you use it makes all the difference and the same stands true with its use in the real estate industry.
Many companies think adopting the latest technology is the best way to deliver value to customers, but the most valuable and increasingly precious resource we can offer our clients is an authentic, relationship-based connection. As humans, the feeling of belonging is one of our most basic needs. And as individuals increasingly report feelings of isolation, it’s even more imperative that we strive to connect with our clients on a personal level. We are in the people business. Technology can only support our relationships it can never replace them and that is what we need to keep in our minds as a priority when incorporating technology to business within the real-estate industry. We must not go all out with lobotomizing and robotizing the business. Because it is then that it loses all its essence and trueness. Real-Estate, no doubt, is a people’s business and therefore, it must not lose the people touch to it as agents, brokers and consultants need to be in continuous touch with their customers while using this technology. Thus, both of these things should act as interdependent rather than acting as independent of each other to ensure efficiency within the business.
Mobile phones are omnipresent, with around 62% of the world population owning mobile phones, according to statisa.com. They accompany us everywhere: meals, workplaces, social gatherings, as well as bedtime. But negative consequences occur when we become more focused on our phones than the people around us.
It’s common to interact with others through screens rather than face-to-face. But studies show that when someone pulls out their phone in the midst of a face-to-face meeting, it causes a universally negative reaction, the scrawling feeling of being undervalued and unimportant. While our digital connectedness can have a negative toll on our real-life interactions, it’s not practical to suggest that we ditch our phones and shun the internet, especially when it comes to real estate. Our clients want the ability to research their options, explore listings online, and when they’re ready, easily contact an agent, a broker or a consultant for that matter. And these very agents, brokers or consultants need access to useful tools for promoting their business and servicing their customers.
However, the tiff arises when we are faced with certain contradictory questions that come with the very adoption of these revolutionary technological methods in our businesses. And these questions are equally pivotal and important too. They hold the very same significance that the very incorporation of these advancements entails. In our current digital climate, how do we also maintain meaningful connections with real estate clients? How does providing white-glove service fit in? And how does the client define premium service? Is it the ability to never see an agent until the house search has been narrowed to three options? Or is it having an agent who will take them around to see the maybes and what-ifs three weekends in a row in their family car?
Sherry Turkle, a clinical psychologist and sociologist at MIT, has spent more than three decades studying the effect of digital communication tools on society. In her latest book, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, Sherry Turkle points out that speaking with people offers a myriad of benefits, including increased empathy and feelings of connection.
In the real estate industry, this is especially salient. Building and maintaining relationships is a critical component of success. The best real estate agents sit down and have in-depth conversations with their clients. They get to know them (and their families), so they have a clear picture of what they’re looking for in a home and neighborhood, what’s most important to them, and what will be a good fit. They then combine all these factors and hand make the best possible set of customized property choices for them. Members of the Forbes Real Estate Council, a group of successful real estate executives, gave similar advice too when it comes to sales i.e. To be successful, you must know your client, understand their needs, and function as a trusted advisor. In another survey, consumers named the following characteristics as the most important qualities they looked for in a real estate agent: honesty and integrity, knowledge, responsiveness, and communication skills. Thus, this very much proves our point and what we proposed. The intricacy of relationships, the value of human connection, the thin line one needs to be careful of when incorporating and implementing too much technology with their business practices. Be it the real-estate industry or any other for that matter, the key is finding the correct balance between the two.
To build truly long-lasting partnerships, the kind that are relational versus simply transactional, today’s high-performing real estate professionals must be high-tech and high-touch. Here we present you with those five tips to help your agents, brokers or consultants achieve that balance.
Start a call or letter-writing campaign to clients
The best agents seek out ways to show their clients how much they value them. This comes in as the key player in winning the trust of the clients and make them feel special. Real- Estate companies and agencies should organize campaigns or initiatives, encouraging agents, brokers or consultants to call or send handwritten notes to clients with whom they might typically communicate electronically. This technique has a way to demonstrate to clients that their agent cared enough to devote extra time and attention especially to them. In this way, clients do not feel that they are being given the same uniform patronized treatment. Instead, they feel quite exclusive and think that this customized treatment is solely for them making them trust their respective agents and their offerings more. This is what, at the end of the day, plays a very vital role in a client’s decision-making process where they feel they hold some personal and emotional responsibility towards that one particular agent or broker since he gave them such a special and customized treatment throughout.
Create a social media challenge
As we have stressed over and over, Social Media can be a very effective marketing tool for agents, allowing them to broaden their networks, advertise their listings, and showcase their personalities. But the most successful agents recognize that their online presence represents only a fraction of their real-life presence. Challenge your agents to use social media to invite past or current clients to do something in person. This tactic combines both high-tech and high-touch methods of engagement. In today’s world, most people are connected with your life through social media platforms more than reality. Everything that is happening in your life, they are aware of it through such channels. Therefore, it is high time that you use such a strong and interactive platform to communicate with your clients in an informal and a rather personal setting. Be it through the posts you share or statuses that you put, your social media followers attain a sense of your tonality and values through it and therefore, it makes them feel rather more aware and knowing of you as an individual. This is what can work big benefits for real-estate agents, brokers or consultants. However, having said that, through social media is an effective tool to make and maintain contact with others, but to strengthen those bonds, it’s essential to connect offline too.
Take advantage of both big data and “small data”
Knowing the demographics of your desired client audience and using targeted marketing to reach them can be an effective way to generate prospects. After those prospects become clients, don’t neglect the importance of “small data.” Encourage your agents to take note of clients’ birthdays, home purchase anniversaries, and other milestones or interests so they can send cards or notes on those dates. These personal touches will strengthen the relationship and increase the likelihood that one-time prospects will become repeat clients and referral sources. After all, who does not like receiving a personalized gift card or a wish out of the blue at their important events? Imagine receiving something endearing on your special occasion from your agent or broker, that would definitely strike a chord and will make you think that this person will surely be of kind help to you.
Get personal with technology updates
If you are implementing new technology to better serve your clients or make their lives a bit easier, don’t just roll it out without offering guidance on how to use it. Make the launch personal. Invite agents (or clients) to meet in person to learn about the new technology, including how it will benefit them and help you serve clients better. Consider having a catered lunch and holding a “launch and learn” event. After all, climbing into something heads down is never a good idea. One must first educate themselves on the usage of any new technology or practice introduced within their professional setup. So that, once you are completely aware of its usage, its capacity to facilitate you, the personalized specifications it brings for you and all the potential ways this technology can be of utmost use to you and benefit you to connect with your customers largely, you can then start making use of it with utmost confidence that you will certainly not go wrong with it.
Don’t use technology as a shortcut
Cutting-edge technology trends, such as 360-degree photos and virtual reality tours, are prominent in the real estate industry. Hundreds and thousands of master developers and successful development and real-estate companies are nowadays, making use of such technological advancements and are gaining huge amounts of engagement and acceptability from the clients where they are able of view a certain property and all its meticulous intricacies within the comfort of their homes and just a click away. However, you should know that these are great tools for clients but should not be used as a substitute for interaction. Your agents can offer more insight into the flow, feel, and condition of a home than any digital version can provide. Use this to your advantage. Leverage technology as a value-add, not a substitution, and you’ll help your agent secure their role as a trusted advisor.
High-touch methods, such as engaging in substantial conversation, adding personal touches, and employing a customer-first mindset of service, are highly effective ways to add value to our real estate business interactions. How we handle the high-tech tools available to us determines whether their effects will be beneficial or harmful to our business. The secret to harnessing the positive power of technology? Treat it as a way to supplement meaningful connection, not replace it.
Hence, these detailed and elaborated uses of technology and ways to engage with your customers and clients prove with utmost certainty how the Real-Estate industry can reap and bring long-term benefits for the investors and believers. Opposite to the popular opinion where Real-Estate industry is often referred to as more of an erratic one with its own fair share of roadblocks along the way, this in-depth and thorough account proves that it is not entirely the case and thus, real estate industry, as a product of technology can also prove very useful and fruitful. If a real-estate technological revolution is done and brought about in the right way with a right and solid perspective towards all the meticulous details involved right from the first step to the very last decision making step of it, there is certainly nothing that can go wrong or in vain and therefore, your hard-earned investment and money into bringing this technological revolution in the business then go to the right place. Thus, all these evidences further affirm our faith in the scope of real-estate as an industry, as a profession, as a career and as a life leading choice to be a stable, smart and successful one too, without the much talked upon loopholes or pitfalls that it may entail and bring with it while destabilizing a career, investment or a life for any individual deciding to pursue it.
Thus, for this and many more of such informative, detailed and elaborate accounts on what real-estate is, the understanding of the real-estate sector, the significance of the inclusion of technology and latest practices into it, the do’s and dont’s of this industry, the path one can take while choosing the real-estate industry and the opportunities it entails as an investment choice, you can find it all and much more in thorough detail on our website at www.zooma.ae. So head to it now and explore this one-stop property portal for all things property in the UAE from elaborate accounts on hundreds of desirable properties, the masterminds behind them and all the superior facilities and amenities they offer their investors all at this one-stop portal.