So anyone who knows me, even just a little, knows that I am a huge believer in Social Media, and I’m a total tech nerd. I have so much technology in my car that I could land the space shuttle from it if I needed to. So this may come as a surprise to you when I say it…. Ready? STOP OVER RELYING ON TECHNOLOGY TO DO YOUR JOB! Yep, I just said that and I meant it. Let me explain. I jumped on the band wagon early on. Before Facebook was a big thing I was on there with a handful of friends. I had Foursquare when that was big and was the “Mayor” of any and every business I frequented, and, well, I hate to admit this but I was a MySpace master back in the early 2000’s. If it’s new and has anything to do with technology, I’ll probably buy into it. I spent $2400 on a GPS in car aftermarket navigation system in 1999 when people were still using Thomas Guides and the DVD/CD’s were out of date the day they arrived. I even bought the first Bluetooth headset before cellphones had Bluetooth in them and required a wired adapter and holster. So why the anti-tech blog post? It’s pretty simple. At this point everyone on the planet is using technology. Its not really that impressive anymore. Everyone has their version of the hottest and coolest tech and in the Real Estate business they all think it’s “revolutionary”, “modernizing”, and/or the answer to all of the woes of the average agent. “There’s an app for that” has gone to the furthest extreme. They even make an app now called Slydial that enables you to make sure you don’t have to talk to the person your calling and get their voicemail. Seriously?!
What I see is missing more and more nowadays is the Personal Touch. When it’s someones birthday now, we wish them Happy Bday on Facebook or text message. I’m guilty of this too! It’s like we’ll do anything to avoid actually having a live two way conversation with people anymore. In this world of super impersonal and flippant interactions, I can’t help but to see a HUGE opportunity that will actually yield some pretty great results when it comes to business growth.
Just think, in a world full of distant communication strategies, text messaging, instant messenger, emails, fancy CRM programs, etc. what do you think would happen to your business if you just picked up the phone and called to wish someone a happy birthday or just ask them how they are doing? What about the good old fashioned “pop-by” on the weekend? Or a kindly handwritten personal note? Think of the look on an expired listing homeowners face if you showed up to their door. Remember when we used to send a get well soon card to someone who was sick? Here’s a crazy one. Remember when we used to ask people “how have you been?” and we actually wanted to know how they’ve been?
In this short post, I just simply want to maybe spark some thought about how overplayed technology is becoming. Yes, I’ll still use it and I’ll still leverage it’s benefits and I do see value in it so let’s not go overboard. But with every agent in the world buying into every new hot tech thing that’ll “transform their business”, I’d just propose that you may stand out in a really good way if you just picked up the phone, wrote a personal note, or stopped by someones house more often. One thing will never change no matter how many cool devices exist. People like to connect offline as much if not more than they do online, and relationships, trust, and confidence can all be built faster and better when we make that effort. And please don’t tell me that “millennials don’t want to communicate by phone or in person”. Baloney! Just because someone was born at a different time doesn’t mean that they are aliens from another planet. Despite their hot pink hair, or permanently implanted Beats headphones, they will still be impressed, likely even more impressed, when you go out of your way to treat them like human beings and just talk to them. And in this day and age, it’s almost becoming a “revolutionary” idea again to actually talk to people outside of text, email, and social media. What a crazy concept. Talking to people, writing notes, and just sitting down and actually listening to people is on the verge of becoming the greatest secret business strategy out there.
So, in closing, feel free to call me a “revolutionary” for proposing these crazy ideas. 🙂 No need to abandon all of your technology, that’d be just stupid as there are a lot of good things that come out of it still. But take the crazy out of the box step to make things much more personal with your sphere of influence, past clients, and new prospects. It’s OK to like a post about someones kid who got honor roll, but imagine the impact when you call them to congratulate and esteem them for being great role models and parents.
Now I’ve got to go check my Facebook notifications, emails, and then order my groceries on Amazon so I don’t have to go into the store. 🙂
Thanks for reading!
I’m sure you’ve gotten the chain e-mails, read the websites, or had your clients, friends, or family ask you about the 3.8% tax under the “Obamacare” plan. Needless to say, I’ve had many of our agents forward them to me from their clients asking if I “knew about this”. Every time, I simply forward the truth from NAR’s website. These chain e-mails have ridiculous examples like “if you sell a $100,000 home after Jan. 1, 2013, you will have to pay $3,800 in tax”. This couldn’t be further from the truth! I’m a devout Republican, so putting politics aside, these emails are complete fear tactics created to detract from the Obama Administration and Obama’s Health Care initiative. They’re not true and end up getting believed by people who don’t know how to use Google to verify facts before panicking. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t like the tax, I don’t agree with it, but it’s not AS bad as it’s being made out to be and I simply don’t want us to get caught up in spreading incorrect information received in chain e-mails.
Of course as Realtors, we can NEVER give out TAX advice, and should always refer TAX questions to the appropriate professionals, but we can simply forward the correct information as published by a reliable 3rd party.
Below I have attached a link to download the National Association of Realtors PDF booklet that very clearly and simply explains the new law. It has simple scenarios as well as examples to make it easy to understand who this tax would apply to.