I often attend conferences and meetings where “technology” is still discussed as some sort of obstacle or challenge to understand in the real estate industry. Every time I see or hear the topic of technology I cringe, because it reminds me how much of our industry is still living in 1990s paradigms.
Our clients under the age of 35 don’t understand our confusion about it.But they didn’t live through the transition from snail mail to email to Instant Messenger, I always find it interesting when REALTORS reference technology as something all encompassing. That’s a paradigm shift that I think is essential for the modern agents to operate in the modern world. Technology was a “thing” 15-20 years ago, now that has passed.
When I got my first cell phone in 1997 that was the technology age.Computers, cell phones, and the things that completely changed the devices we use in our everyday lives was the 90s. That’s long gone now, and as our industry continues to struggle to deal with the changing world, we need to first change the paradigm we have conversations. We are often trying to learn how to operate in a world that no longer exists. This is the “Age of Way-Too-Much-Information”. I don’t believe it’s either good or bad, we as agents just need to understand it and make it work for us.
- We are in the age of way-too-much-information. So much information comes at us so fast, that the things we used to trust are hard to trust anymore. Anyone with the right message can post a video or tweet and have it go viral, sometimes reaching millions of people with no expense at all. Is this “technology” or just the new ways of political expression, artistic expression and yes, even propaganda.
- Because so little can be trusted, we are in the age where people look to people they trust for recommendations. That’s why reviews have gotten so powerfully important, Instagram is driving restaurant business and referrals are exchanged on Facebook, and Linked in. This isn’t “technology” - it’s just the natural evolution in the way we communicate, replacing magazine ads, newspaper ads (including classified ads), direct mail and the yellow pages.
- Because we are more distracted and bombarded than ever before by the Age of Way-Too-Much-Information, clients don’t really want to talk on the phone as much. Hey, I still like to send hand-written notes, but they work only because they are personal, unobtrusive to the client’s time and unexpected. While I am a believer in hand-written notes, mainly because they are unexpected, they only work because they are personal. The vast majority of my clients reach out to me via Facebook instant messenger, text messages, Instagram Direct Messages and then phone calls. Clients don’t want to call us. Why? Because it takes too long and is inefficient. It doesn’t mean they want less touch, just less fluff and an easier impact on their time.
So how do we succeed in this new age?Some tips in the next blog….