- What does technology have that human connection does not?
- Why do we crave it so much?
- Why is technology so important?
These are the questions I ask myself all the time. As a mother of two young girls, technology scares me. It also makes me excited to see how it will forever change their lives and opportunity ahead of them. I see young adults who cannot spell, teenagers who do not have fundamental research abilities, parents who use iPads as babysitters rather than teaching their child to behave at a restaurant and couples who sit through an entire meal without talking to each other. We have evolved into a society of sharing everything, but knowing no one. We are somehow all connected with no interactions. We have hundreds of friends, but know no one. At what point do we stop and truly begin to connect with our family, friends and clients?
Technology gives us information at our fingertips that before would take you hours upon hours to find. Technology makes us more productive. Technology makes places that are far away seem closer. It allows us to communicate more rapidly and easily in many ways. It has brought about medical miracles. It has provided a new way to learn and interact in our classrooms. Technology has changed the way we live today and will continue to do so in the future. We need technology to live… I mean how would life be if we didn’t have light, radio, TV, telephone, cars, trains, planes or even the MLS? For some reason the real estate industry has been slower to adopt technology than other industries. I assume fear is the biggest reason why, but what do we have to fear? Every statistic out there shows that even with all this technology there are more consumers using an agent today for their transaction than every before, like 92% verses less than 65% back in 2004.
One thing I find even more fascinating is how technology has seemed to have little impact on the leading source of an agent’s business. Referrals are still 42% of an agent’s business! (National Association of REALTORS 2014 Member Profile.) It baffles me that with all this technology, access to data, apps and online resources, the simple word of mouth tops everything by a LONG SHOT! Why does this matter? In my opinion, it shows that technology is great for speed, convenience, information gathering, but when it comes to making the biggest decision in your life you want to do it with someone you trust. Who better to trust than someone you either have done business with before OR someone else you know who has had a great experience.
So as you go about your day remember that as an agent there are few things you can control, but the one thing you have ultimate control over is how you choose to connect with people. I don’t mean connect on some social media site or mobile app, but truly connect with them in a way that has a lasting and meaningful impact. This impact should make them remember you when they are ready to buy or sell. They will remember you cared more about them than a like, a tweet, a vine, a share or a pin. Don’t be afraid of technology, embrace it. But at the end of the day people will refer you because they trusted you and you do a good job not because you have the latest phone, tablet or app!