Does Technology Create Relationships?
Today, one of our clients stopped by the office. I'll call her Mabel. That's not her real name, but she reminded me of a Mabel that I happen to know.
We had listed Mabel's house, it was vacant, and she wanted it taken off the market for the winter. She had already moved to her new home, and "didn't want to be bothered" with showings and upkeep in the dead of winter. I reviewed her file and let her know everything was set. While we were verifying documents, we had a chance to chat.
Mabel told me she was over 80 years old, could text, and felt she did a pretty good job with her computer skills. I agreed--as we had completed quite a bit of her paperwork and updates online, and via electronic signatures. I thought everything had gone well with her transaction, and that she was ok with the technology. However, I may have been incorrect.
Mabel told me that sometimes she wants to meet the people she does business with, and that she puts a lot of stake in a face to face meeting and a handshake. Did we miss out with Mabel? I think we did. We were caught up with "the process" and with "the efficiency" and with the "speed and simplicity." But we didn't develop the relationship. We completed a transaction.
Especially in real estate, it's essential to develop relationships. Purchasing or selling a home is incredibly emotional--something that can be difficult to convey through a text, or even an email. If you aren't building relationships with your clients, you're selling yourself short. You're creating transactions, not developing clients. Moving forward, we'll work on doing better, and work on understanding that sometimes a great relationship starts with a face to face meeting and a handshake. It's vital to be able to "move quickly" but it's also vital to be able to do business in your client's comfort zone.
Thanks for the insight today, Mabel.