From iBuying to proptech, technology has changed the way Americans buy and sell properties. But even in an increasingly digital age, buyers still value personal connection when it comes to real estate transactions. According to the National Association of Realtors generational survey, millennials — who make up the largest share of home buyers in 2019 — were the most likely to use both the internet and real estate agents when buying a home. These statistics prove that even though millennials are using technology to search for their dream homes, they still value the personalized attention of an agent to guide them through the process.
Though they can be helpful tools, proptech developments may create one-sided transactions because they aren’t able to take all of a consumer’s needs and wants into account. They can show a would-be buyer what is available, but they cannot gauge their emotional desires or reactions to a specific property like a real estate agent or broker can. People of all ages want to connect on a deeper level and feel connected to a community, especially when they’re transacting on the most expensive asset of their life.
The proptech nation will continue, but it will still require a human touch so that buyers know that they are in a safe place when spending huge sums of money on their homes. That’s why I predict that we will see big brokerages give way to smaller boutique brokerages with loyal followings before long.
Brokers across the United States are incredibly passionate about the real estate industry and knowledgeable about their respective communities, and this ensures that the buyers who work with you will be in good hands when looking for a property. Every single day, you’re out there connecting with other brokers and buyers to find your clients the listings of their dreams and to ensure that the transaction goes smoothly from start to finish. Buyers could hire a transaction coordinator for a fraction of the cost to transact a deal, but there’s no way to put a monetary value on the expert advice of an agent who actually lives and breathes real estate in the neighborhood their business is focused on.
Digital platforms can show a house hunter what types of listings are on the market, but they can’t replace the inside knowledge of a broker in New York City or Los Angeles who is connected to all the apartment landlords and knows what hot new home deals are coming up. That inside knowledge has yet to be scaled in a social and dynamic way so that real estate agents, buyers, sellers and renters can coexist, connect and make deals happen.
Many buyers love browsing the internet to get a feel for what’s on the market, but when it comes to actually purchasing a home, they want the guidance of an expert. Although they may search real estate sites for their dream home, millennials in particular rely on agents to find the home that’s right for them. As agents at boutique brokerages, you likely have more time to spend with each individual client and create a highly tailored experience that will resonate with the buyer.
How To Build A Meaningful Connection With Your Clients
When talking with a prospective client, start by getting a list of their must-haves and deal-breakers so you can recommend listings that fit within their parameters. Once you understand what a client really wants, you can show them homes they will connect with on an emotional level. Think of yourself as a filtering system: By scanning through potential homes on the market in their price range and desired neighborhood, you can recommend only the ones that meet their criteria. That saves the client valuable time and makes it easier for them to find a home they want to make an offer on.
In addition to understanding what a client really wants and how to find that for them, it’s also important to make sure you are readily available to them when they have questions or need guidance. The ability to call or text a live person with questions about the home-buying process is an invaluable resource that automated services and digital technology simply cannot replicate. By making yourself available to your client, you will establish trust and rapport as you work together.
At the end of the day, being an effective real estate agent is all about connecting with clients in a meaningful way. Doing so brings the kind of word-of-mouth recommendations that digital technology simply cannot match.