Over the New Year weekend, I picked up a copy of USA TODAY. The headline article caught my eye: "2010 The Year We Stopped Talking." I think about that article quite often maybe because I am in sales and because I am a Mom. I should elaborate. I am the mother of two male children.
I read the article and agreed with quite a bit of it. Found some of it amusing. Just before Christmas, I purchased a Droid. Over the Christmas holiday my California son arrived with his lovely girlfriend. They both have Droids. They uploaded Wordfeud for me and all three of us had our heads down for hours at a time, sitting side by side challenging each other. Were we communicating? Were we connecting? There is very little that Droid of mine can't do. I check my email, the weather, my appointments. I learn a new word everyday and see what new homes have come on the market. I check my bank account and set the DVR on my TV. I text my sons, my brothers in CA and my clients. I do everything without talking!!!
When I open my email, I will often find a message from a possible new buyer. He or she may have a question about my listing or about real estate in general. That email is a form of communication yet am I really connecting to this person? I email them back because 90% of the time, they do not leave their cell phone number. I try to build a connection with this person but unless they want to make an appointment, it is difficult.
For quite awhile I worked with a technology coach. He taught me something that I will never forget and often tell new agents: Technology is great but at the end of the day, the most important thing is a relationship. I wonder if we can have a relationship if we don't talk.
So many gadgets are communicating for us or are they really? The digital camera and the virtual tour takes photos of homes so the buyer does not even have to attend an Open House anymore. Agents post these tours on Youtube and attract buyers. For awhile, agents were fearful that buyers would purchase homes "sight unseen" and not really need us. I knew as an experienced agent that maybe an investor would purchase "sight unseen" but that most buyers would want a "connection" to the agent and the house. Pictures lie or maybe I should say: We don't really see the whole picture. Those virtual tours do not show you that the lot drops off. They don't show you the condition of the home next door or the Northway noise or the rooms that have not been updated.
Emails and textes are often misunderstood. They really don't express a person's mood, feelings or intentions. Once the send button is pressed, it's gone. Can't take it back. Did you really mean to wish your brother a "Happy Birthday" via a text? Do you really want an agent to let you know that you didn't get the home of your dreams via an email?
I like FB, my Droid, my Flip camera, my GPS, my Toshiba laptop and every other bit of technology that helps me do my job better. I like it if I can assist my clients and speed the process with which we communicate. Nothing will every replace for me though the sound of my boy's voices. As a salesperson, I find no greater pleasure than hearing the words , "Yay, we got the house" or "Great, our house is sold." I will end this blog now and respond back to my CA son. He must be up because it's my turn on Wordfeud. I feel good knowing that even though we aren't talking just now, we are communicating!
Dede Olds, Associate Broker
Coldwell Banker Prime Properties
Clifton Park, New York
Textes save time