Recently, I got the amazing opportunity to take part in the 2018 Zillow Premier Agent Forum in Las Vegas!!! My mind was a sponge looking to soak up all the droplets of information the they were willing to present. As a result, I took down roughly EIGHT PAGES of notes. Here are some of the major points I was able to bring back home and to this blog. I’ve also attached all EIGHT PAGES of notes that I took. Feel free to download and grow!!!
We are on the brink of a transitioning market. This new market will increase the utilization of technology in order to make information more accessible to the public. Agents will be be able to differentiate themselves. They’ll have to invest more into exceeding clients’ expectations of servicing and building more genuine relationships. To do this successfully agents must begin leveraging the technology to maximize their value position. These real estate tips are pure GOLD!!!
Exceeding Clients Expectation
The Real Estate Agent must not only understand public service expectations but, meet and exceed them. The current expectation is for “On Demand” service. The days of responding to client request when it works with your schedule are gone. It is no longer acceptable for a response to be provided outside of a 24 hour window. We are in a NOW generation. The days of the Post Office, Dial Up, Encyclopedias, and Taxi Services are gone. Those services have been replaced. In their place are providers that can provide instantaneous access to anything the consumer wants within minutes, if not seconds. Real Estate Agents must meet this same expectation as Real Estate is truly a service based industry.
At this point, technology development allows any potential buyer or seller to gain 80% of the information they are looking for without the help of an agent. The moment people have a hint of a consideration that they might want to buy or sell a home, they are investigating online. They are not looking for a referral of a new realtor they can call. They search online from the comfort of their bed, wearing their pajamas. Not to mention, they’ll probably be doing this while they binge watch a TV series on Netflix (no commercials). No feelings of stress or pressure. An agent isn’t a necessary piece of the equation until much further down the road. When that Real Estate Agent is required, they must offer the same responsiveness that the search engine provided with superior information and expertise. That is why a new realtor MUST invest in those developing real estate resources.
The Buyer’s or Seller’s introduction into the home buying or selling process has become so user friendly and intuitive (and FREE) that the expectation of the agent representative has been increased exponentially. The bar has been set at this level for a significant amount of time. Now the bar is rising and will continue to rise. In order for agents to stay in the game they must continually be adding to their understanding systems technology in order to maximize client experiences. If they don’t, there are an increasing amount of options that the consumer can turn to as opposed to an agent representative.
Building a More Genuine Relationship
One way that Real Estate Agents can maximize the client experience is through continually engaging in the humanity of the process. We all need human connections. Your engagement and heart felt reactions to the experience that clients are having are not possible with technology alone. Technology can improve the ease and speed of a process but it cannot read body language or relate the stress and fears that a buyer or seller might be having. A computer certainly cannot reassure and talk someone through the greatest transaction of most peoples lives. You must be able to provide the very best real estate education out there.
Real Estate agents go through the same processes of a transaction over and over. The client does NOT. It’s critically important that Real Estate Agents remind themselves of that fact throughout every transaction to ensure the integrity of the client’s experience. More importantly, move the client to refer you and come back to you the next time. A quote from the movie, “Field of Dreams” states that “people will come with all the innocence of children.” This is the thought that reverberates in my mind throughout each step of each transaction.
Define your Role
Looking at my clients through the “innocence of children” lenses has no intention of disrespect. Those words simply give me a focal point of which to serve them more genuinely and more effectively. Think of the emotions felt by a child on the first day of school or the emotions of a child right before their baseball game or dance recital. Those emotions of fear and excitement, and everything in between, must be consuming their every thought. Now imagine the teacher that puts a gentle hand on their shoulder to reassure that child that they are in the right place or that coach who gives those subtle words of encouragement that gives you the confidence to step up to the plate for the first time. That is the role of the Real Estate Agent, along with a dozen more; advisor, negotiator, resource provider, phycologist, mentor, friend… you get the idea.
Invest yourself in developing ALL of these roles with your client as they engage in the home buying/selling process. This is how you will excel in the shifting market and this is your uncompromising value proposition.
Is technology your enemy or your advocate? When I’m talking about technology, I’m not just talking about your smart phone, your laptop, your CRM. I’m talking about Zillow, Facebook, Google and all the other avenues that are developing to reach our consumer base. Don’t be mistaken, the Real Estate Industry is going through massive transformations. The Real Estate Agent is no longer going to be the gate keeper of information, but rather the facilitator and care taker of the clients and transaction.
As the Gate Keeper, the traditional Real Estate Agent is going to be hard pressed to earn clients with the eruption of technology. Like I said earlier, the general public can get 80% of the information with the ease of a few internet searches. Having trust in the information that they are viewing or understanding each step in the process is the difficult piece for technology to get a hold of. In other words, the humanity of the transaction.
This is where the Real Estate Agent must find a way to give that personal attention and all those personal touches throughout the process. How exactly is an agent going to effectively do that while also generating new business? The answer is… TECHNOLOGY!!!
How to survive the Shifting Market of 2019???
The key real estate tips that Zillow rolled out was more of a shift in mindset. Moving forward into the 2019 Real Estate Market it is essential that Real Estate professionals realize that there will be TWO key components of every transaction; Humanity and Technology.
The technology will be vital in meeting the increasingly demanding expectation of today’s consumer. Whether it be a CRM that gives perspective buyers instant reliable information or automated responses to general inquiries, individual agents will have a hard time keeping up without leveraging those real estate resources…technology.
However, exceptional agents will use that free time created by technology to grow more genuine personal relationships with their clients! This will be the true separator in the industry. As ibuyers and flat fee listings gain further market share the individual agents must adopt technology and commit to building long term relationships to continue to thrive!!!
…ALL yours…for FREE!!!Yes, please!!!