I recently received the following email:
“I don’t know…….I’m feeling dated by the speed of technology and how it is influencing the up and coming generation of home buyers. I’m working with a young, recent MBA, looking for her 1st house and for lack of a better description, she’s completely WIRED! I feel like I’m working with half human, half machine. It clouds my vision of the future. Not just our industry, but how this generation will live, work and play. I guess I’m getting old.”
Ed, in his mid 40’s, is one of my managers who has always encouraged our company to push toward new levels of technological development. But even Ed is concerned about where it is all going and how technology will ultimately affect our work as REALTORS®.
There’s no question that technology has changed our business. But what do we, as REALTORS®, have to do to keep up? Just register on another social networking site? Buy the latest, fastest computer? I think the answer may be yes. And this puts a tremendous burden on each of us to be able to conduct business in the world ahead.
But I have to say that I am not as scared about all of this as I was a year ago because I have had the opportunity to get to know NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Technology (CRT). I have found this group of techno-geeks is as far-thinking, progressive, and futuristic as they come. Additionally, Todd Carpenter, NAR’s manager of social media has given great insight into how to effectively use social media in my business. All of this help and advice has been priceless. And this service is not just for me, but it’s what they all do for REALTORS® all over the country
So, we needn’t be afraid—REALTORS® can be as wired as any of the people we serve.
But if we rely on just on being wired, we risk losing what the REALTORS® have known, nurtured, and prospered by for the last 100 years. Our business success is built on relationships.
Granted, we get into relationships differently today. We used to jot a note of thanks to someone who referred us. Or called someone up to discuss the properties they wanted to see.
Now we email, video, text, tweet, make friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, and the list goes on and on.
Although ways of communicating and doing business may change, the human need to have a relationship remains timeless. As Maya Angelou observed, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
We needn’t be worried about working with future generations, for we can meet their real estate needs on whatever platform they favor. But we can never forget that the most important tool we can offer is a relationship—one that brings knowledge, insight, advice, care, and kindness. Steve Brown, 2009 NAR Vice President and Liaison to Committees