(Originally posted on July 16, 2007)
12 steps to recovery acceptance
Hi, my name is Mark, and I'm a technoholic. Wow, it feels good just writing it down. You see, I MUST have the latest and greatest technology. I can justify (to myself, at least) the necessity of membership in high-tech websites to provide extraordinary service to my clients. Once you start to work with me, you'll see the ways this benefits you. Immediacy is the key. Getting notified of price reductions is certainly right at the top of the list, when I'm working with buyers.
I have had a PDA with email service way before it was the "in" thing to do. I pride myself in having a response rate in under an hour (sometimes within 5 minutes!) of getting an email.
I knew the Internet was the future many years ago (having a degree in Computer Programming since 1983), so I've probably appreciated every little advance more than the average Joe or Jane.
Now with Web 2.0, we truly have a worldwide presence, and who can appreciate that reach more than a Las Vegas homeowner? People travel from all over the world to own a piece of Las Vegas, so we know they're starting to shop before they ever get here.
As seen on TV
The newest service I offer is a national TV commercial of my new listings. Not only does it play on DISH Network, DirecTV and cable TV, but it's on every video outlet from YouTube to Google to Yahoo and AOL. Is it cheap? I should say not, but must I have it? Yes! Why? For YOU! It's all about YOU! Worldwide coverage of YOUR home. Tremendous. In a few years, this will be the norm, but by then I'll have added many more value-added features.
Is technology the answer?
There's lots to be said for bells and whistles. It's a more efficient way to do business, but it cannot stand on its own. I would never be so smug as to think, or say, that automation sells homes. It doesn't by a long shot, and certainly not in this market. So what sells homes? Hard work. Hitting the pavement, talking to the neighbors, going to local businesses and seeing if they have employees who need to live close to work, in YOUR home for sale. That's SELLING real estate. Getting out there in 110 degrees and being eye-to-eye with potential buyers of my listings.
It's all about balance. I love every aspect of my marketing, and I add to it all the time, but it doesn't take away from the human touch. As a Realtor -- compassion, listening skills and understanding can never be mechanized, and that is what will keep us in business, far after we turn into a "Jetsons" society.
So when you go to Zillow.com and get an "appraisal value" that is $60,000 over what your Realtor proves to you, with statistics for your neighborhood, what your home is worth -- put it all in perspective. Trust the human!
Alright, I've got to go, something's vibrating, and I've got to figure which gadget it is!