In a tech-driven world, where does estate agency fit in?
Technology is not destructive; most of the time it isn’t disruptive. But it does change things.
In the midst of change people have a choice. To try and learn new things and see if they’re worth pursuing. Or keep on keeping on.
Think about when the first car came out. People didn’t even know how to drive, so they kept riding their horses.
Maybe it’s a tenuous analogy but I think it’s the same when it comes to genuine technology and estate agency.
The portals changed this 20 years ago. They meant the average punter could window shop from the comforts of their own home. This wasn’t disruption, it was evolution.
The same thing is happening now.
Technology is enhancing human contact.
Both my parents lived in London in the 1970s. They had to rely on the postal to communicate with home (long distance calls were expensive back then!). Now, I can Facetime my Mum on my way into the office.
More specifically to estate agency, great technology is being leveraged to enhance client contact and relationships.
In agency today, as many have found out through the last few years when portal leads have dried up (for some) and sellers have become more self-educated and market savvy, if you don’t have connection, your value to your client becomes devalued, your relationships dry up and your business suffers.
As estate agents we should be using digital tools at our disposal, on our desk and in our pockets, to make our relationships stronger.
Consumers already conduct digital interviews prior to choosing service providers. They visit our web sites, follow our social media, all for the purpose of assessing us as professionals. You do the same with any business you’re thinking of engaging (perhaps it’s why you’re reading this blog!).
It’s been happening for years and is only increase momentum and become the norm. The generations to come won’t know a high street. Every agent will be (and should be!) seen by the public as an ‘online’ agent, with service levels, not physical locations being the major differentiator; and we’ll need to be increasingly refined in what and how we are represented digitally.
The best of the plethora of tech-driven tools are people-orientated. They need to be elegant, increase productivity, simplify your conversations, streamline your prospecting and allow you to really connect.
The focus on technology, both in the companies like us that are developing it and in the agencies like you that are using it, needs to be at the back-end of our businesses because that is where we and our clients will benefit most.
Good businesses, no matter what industry or why they serve, are always introducing innovations to redefine and evolve their practice for the benefit of their network.
As estate agents you should not fear or avoid technology. You have already recognised that the industry has changed for the better. If you just look at the surface, you may think this change looks bleak and that it’s a race to the bottom in terms of fees and service. But if you look closer, like so many agents are, you will see that this is how agents who are ignoring change best see fit to combat those agents who aren’t.
The agents, leveraging technology to maximise their output and time for their clients and themselves are raising their service, building stronger relationships, raising their fees and having no issues with finding clients more than willing to pay them.
If I can leave you with nothing else but this it’s this; please remove your head from the sand you’ve buried it in, educate yourself on what technology is available to you and learn how it can benefit both your agency and your clients.
Estate agents have never been more important to their clients. With so many opinions out there and available, the public need a confident hand and a calm head to guide them through.
It’s not as disruptive as you think.