While technology is rapidly changing the world of property, there are still plenty of elements of ‘old school’ real estate that will likely remain relevant well into the future of the real estate industry.
Technology is certainly making life a lot easier and more efficient for all those involved in the real estate industry, however, there are a number of areas that are unlikely to change any time soon.
The vast majority of people who work in the real estate industry have especially well-developed people skills.
Typically, the real estate industry lends itself to those who are outgoing, friendly, and effective communicators. While technology might change or even enhance some of the forms of communication, the ability connect with people is an essential part of successful real estate.
If anything, the rise of technology puts more focus on agents with the very best people skills. Now that automation is the standard across real estate agencies, it's the human touch that separates good real estate agents from the mediocre and the bad.
The implementation of such technology is likely to create a division between agents with interpersonal skills, and those without. Most technology is easily accessible and quite intuitive, in comparison to communication skills which are acquired and developed over a period of time. If you’re an old school agent with great interpersonal skills, you could be very valuable in the years ahead.
One element of real estate which has not changed throughout the years is the need to build and maintain relationships. Relationships have always been an integral part of the industry, and continue to do so despite all the other changes the industry has seen in recent years.
While the implementation of technology and the ability to automate processes has changed, the essential essence of real estate has not. By going out and building a good network of business connections and referral partners, then you will be setting yourself up for success. The same is true when it comes to dealing with vendors and buyers.
Much of an agent’s business comes through the ability to sit down with a person and build a genuine connection. Building a connection often comes from a place of understanding. Listening to the problems of buyers, vendors, or business partners, and trying to offer advice or solve a problem is foundational in building relationships.
Your ability to build a relationship is a skill that will never go out of fashion, nor be replaced by new technology.
In recent years, there have been many new technology platforms that have become available to assist with the selling process.
However, most of the country still sells through an offer and acceptance process, or through auctions. Whilst technology has assisted in the administration process for auctions, the fundamental elements of the auction are very much human. An important part of an agent hosting an auction is engaging with the crowd and getting them excited by building an exciting atmosphere and environment.
As an agent, part of your job is to extract the very best price for your vendor. In a hot market, it’s quite likely that you will have people competing for a property. In a slower market, or when dealing with a less desirable property, you will need to be able to use those interpersonal communication skills in order to negotiate successfully to get the best deal you possibly can for your client.
Effective negotiation is a skill that the agents of yesteryear needed, and are still a predominant skill amongst agents now, despite the influx of new technology.
An often-overlooked job of a successful agent is understanding the best approach to take to market and sell a property.
There’s no point trying to sell a property at auction if there is only one interested buyer. Similarly, there’s no point selling a property off-market, if a vendor wants the best price and their property is in-demand.
Knowing the best approach to take is a classic skill of a real estate agent. Good agents will know the state of the market and then tailor a strategy for the vendor to extract the best value.
While there are tools that can help along the way, ultimately, the skill, understanding and knowledge of the agent is what will get the vendor the best possible result.
This can also apply to the marketing side as well. A good agent knows how to market a property based on who the likely buyer is and then goes about generating interest. While it’s easy to sell a property in a strong market, it takes a lot more skill, persistence, and know-how to be successful in softer markets.