Is the romance in real estate all over?
I’ve been thinking of building a new app or website called Tinder for real estate. I reckon it’d be a massive hit in the real estate community. Not so much for ‘hook ups’ inside the industry, (although that’s a massive market all on its own), but for the casual ‘wham bam, thank you Ma’am’ romps that seem to go on every day with too many real estate agents and their clients/customers.
I’m being sarcastic of course, but I hope you’ll soon get my point.
What is it with people in our industry these days? It seems that almost everyone wants to move straight to the ‘horizontal fox trot’ instead of being prepared to steady waltz a little first. It’s all about the ‘swipe right romp’ rather than taking our time, with sensual seduction and choccies and roses.
I think we all truly know which actions get the longer term rewards…
Seemingly, though, no one is prepared to take the slow dance and enjoy those rewards that follow.
Is no one willing to invest in relationships that will bring you a lifetime supply of willing dance partners, and even trusted friends, eager to commit to forever?
What has happened to the old business ethos, ‘Make a friend today-do a deal later?’, courting before, during AND after the first, second and fiftieth dates?
Look, I reckon we all have had that Mate that boasts he uses all the smooth pickup lines at bars at midnight.
You know ‘that’ guy.
The one with wordsmith-crafted gems like, ‘Wanna Root?’, or the even more persuasive, ‘Nice cans, Wanna Root?’
Now, our old friend Romeo above often claims a pretty impressive strike rate with those smooth lines, and he may well have had more feeds than famines, but I’ll bet he’s chewed his own arm off a few times or got some less than impressive reviews on Yelp at times too, if you get my drift. And I seriously doubt he’s got past Sunday breakfast with most of those ‘wins’ and I’d even hazard a guess that less than 5% came again for seconds. (No pun intended.)
Where am I going with this?
I’ve written previously about the atrocious stat that was floating around our industry a couple of years back: ‘41% of emails to Agents via a major real estate portal go unanswered.’
That’s a whopping FORTY-ONE out of every incoming 100 enquiries that were paid for by those companies were never responded to.
I gasp every time I type those words. Is business THAT good and THAT easy? Having been on the cheque-signing end of buying advertising to make the phone ring in all sorts of advertising mediums for over 30 years, I go cold and clammy when I think of the money and business credibility we may have burned if the 41% stat is even remotely true.
Here’s another stat that should leave you cold and clammy too:
‘90% of sellers when asked at settlement if they’d use the same real estate agent again said ‘Yes’… But 90% ultimately didn’t.’
Feeling a little ill yet?
What the hell is going on in business (and life) these days? Are we all so desperate for the instantly gratifying ‘right swipe’ that we’ve forgotten (or given up on) all the basics that give a good relationship its substance?
I was chatting to a very close friend recently.
Let’s call him ‘Nigel.’
Nigel has been the source of around $60,000 in real estate commissions as a seller and $60,000 as a buyer in the last 3 years. Not a bad guy to know if you were a real estate agent, I suspect! Nigel is pretty influential in his field. People know him. He knows people. He talks a lot. People ask him his opinion a lot and he’s willing to give it.
Nigel recently shared with me that in the last three years in the 3 sales that he’s been involved in as a seller and a buyer that the total sum of communication he’d received from the 2 real estate people he’s done business with equated to 6 settlement letters, 4 text messages, 4 phone calls, 4 emails, and 2 bottles of wine.
That’s the sum of it.
Total communication: 18 ‘touch’ points and two bottles of booze.
Let’s analyse them a bit deeper.
The 6 settlement letters were legally required, so they don’t count as relationship-building activities.
The 4 text messages were ‘feedback texts’ that came midweek after the Saturday Open Homes on Nigel’s houses. *Note: They came midweek. Not immediately after. Another irritant..
The 4 emails were actually Buyer offers being submitted, and the 4 phone calls were actually made by Nigel calling to find out what was happening on his sale!
C’Mon! Is that it? Is that the best we can do in this industry?
I mean seriously. I reckon that the Agent/s in Nigel’s case are almost no different to smooth-talking ‘Romeo’ in the bar I mentioned above.
I reckon they’re running the Real Estate equivalent of ‘Wanna Root?’ or swiping right on Tinder and hoping they ‘get lucky.’
Where is the relationship building in those 3 transactions? Where is the follow-up? Where is the appreciation?
Now, before I get totally slammed by the good real estate agents out there, I want to acknowledge that we do have some amazing Agents and Agencies who still recognize the relevance of ‘romance.’
They’re combining current technology with good business sense to develop great relationships with their Clients and Customers.
They’re the ones building content libraries and relevant campaigns that mix snail mail, electronic mail, phone calls, drop-bys, and a range of other relevant communication methods that are of value to the Client/Consumer, rather than just adding them as ‘leads’ in a database.
Seriously. What BS words to use to make human beings feel appreciated. ‘Leads in a database.’
What BS terms to use for the people who pay us very handsomely for our work. ‘Hey baby, I’ve added you to my database. You’re now record number ‘AQ2467blz’ in my mail-out of irrelevant crap.‘
Soon, you’ll be sending them the same crap you send everyone else, regardless of who they are, what they want or how you met. You’ll have forgotten the romance and they’ll just be another number.
If that’s the best you’ve got then you may as well just be swiping right.
I’m sensing a pretty significant changing of the guard in our industry. I’m seeing new salespeople embracing technology and using it effectively in conjunction with quality relationship-building activities.
I’m now seeing long-term Agents who haven’t dedicated any proper time to building good relationships with Clients/Customers over their careers starting to lose opportunities they would normally have fallen into.
I’m seeing agents spend too much time playing Real Estate Tinder, swiping right furiously, instead of spending time focused on creating relationships that last.
So, which are you? Are you a Tinder agent or are you building relationships that last?
(Peter Brewer is a real estate coach working with real estate agents in Australia, New Zealand and North America. He specialises in assisting real estate agents and agencies to combine the very best of old world real estate with the tools and consumer behaviours of the new world. You won’t find him on Tinder) But he can be contacted using the form below.