New virtual alternatives are drawing attention and business away from professional services in all sorts of industries—from travel and marketing agencies to wealth management and banking. Yet, they haven’t made much of an impact on real estate professionals or their fees.
In fact, most technological innovations and real estate apps have benefited you as much as your clients, such as those products that make finding homes and detailed information on neighborhoods even easier. What keeps online and robo-solutions from making inroads into your territory?
The answer: the person-to-person powers of Real Estate Agents.
Power #1: Leg Work Matters
Buying a home can be a full-time job. Fortunately for your clients, it’s your job. Homebuyers, especially younger homebuyers, are willing to do the initial homework themselves. They’ll go online, take video tours, and talk to friends, but they still need you to interpret what they learned into a list of homes to walk through that won’t waste their time.
Power #2: Knowing What’s Fair
After the qualitative help, homebuyers and sellers need assistance determining if the offering price is fair. Again, it’s your feet on the pavement, and neighborhood knowledge regarding amenities, school quality, and economic health—factors that impact market value—that adds context to what clients read on the Internet.
Power #3: The Ability to Reach an Agreement
The thing you bring to the table that no technological solution can is that you are able to listen, evaluate, support, and advise. Whether you step in to handle negotiations regarding the offer, help address issues arising after an appraisal or inspection, or review closing documents to minimize errors, you’ve got your client’s back throughout the transaction.
Power #4: Human Nature
What is different in this industry is the nature of the transaction itself. Buying a home is complicated and involves a very high-ticket item. Homes take years to pay off, which can make any mistakes at purchase…or when selling…expensive.
More importantly, clients are also buying more than a piece of real estate, a tangible thing. They are buying a home, a place where memories are made and their lives are lived. Essentially, a home is a very human purchase, which makes the process of buying one harder to delegate to a do-it-yourself or virtual solution.
Making Your Case
When you present yourself to potential homebuyers and sellers, it helps to remind them that the service you offer is multidimensional, as well as practical, financial and emotional in nature. Home buying is not like purchasing a piece of equipment that will be used until it needs to be replaced—like a refrigerator or a car. It’s an ongoing experience that often lasts a lifetime.
As their guide, you help your clients enjoy their home owning adventures for years to come, and the human factor is irreplaceable.