What exactly is it that we as real estate professionals provide that keeps us relevant? For many, nothing that can’t be replaced by technology, is the answer. Those agents, unfortunately, will be the agents replaced by the current set of disruptors in our business. If you believe your responsibility to a client is to simply help locate a property they find acceptable, write up a “standard” contract for its purchase, and then be available to help them qualify for the loan and close on the property you are at risk of being disintermediated (being irrelevant and out of business). Why? Because a machine can do all of that more efficiently than you. What keeps us relevant is what we add to each stage of the process. For almost every person buying or selling real estate the primary elements of a transaction actual revolve around the person’s emotions. Computers aren’t yet very proficient at understanding and navigating the tide of emotions in buying or selling a home. This is where the “true professional” agent becomes not only relevant but irreplaceable. How? By providing wisdom into every level of a transaction!
Wisdom is defined as “the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment.” In other words, we don’t help make decisions for clients logically, we guide decisions by applying our experience, knowledge, and good judgement to the client’s emotional goals. They then can use our input to shape their decisions and the soundness or lack thereof is theirs- not laid at the feet of their agent. For example, did your buyer consider the neighborhood only because of the price of the home? Should we not have advised them to consider the resale value of the neighborhood in the coming years? How about the schools, the safety, or the density of the neighborhood? Was the financing merely the most for which they could qualify? Did they consider the number of years they might be in the property and what that might do to their ability to resell? These represent items the professional agent is aware of through experience and knowledge and by asking the right questions can help impart good judgement into the process.
To be relevant and of value to the buying or selling public you need to be selling “wisdom”! The public isn’t generally aware for example that the purchase or sale of a home could have three complete and distinct set of negotiations, each of which will require them to make an emotional decision. Those decisions could have consequences they aren’t aware of, but you should be. You have the obligation to inform them of consequences your experience and knowledge tell you could affect their “judgement” and thus their decision!
Want to remain relevant and never be replaced by an I or E broker? Stop thinking of your commission and provide your wisdom to your clients at every stage of the process. They will become your raving fans and tell others. It could cost you a sale now and then but that seems a small price for remaining relevant and continuing in business with a sales force of raving fans!