Faster than a speeding bullet.
More powerful than a locomotive.
Look up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, no … it’s just a simple twist on an old idea.
The Golden Age of Superman
During the Golden Age, the supermen and superwomen of real estate performed feats of marvel. Super strength protected consumers from bad deals. Leaping ability allowed them to comb through piles of paperwork in a single bound. Super speed enabled them to handle issues the second they arose. Super vision allowed them to funnel through thousands of listings to locate the perfect home. Super stamina enabled them to work into the wee hours while we, the customer, slept soundly, protected from the devilish details.
And all the while, durability prevented slings and arrows from piercing their value.
Ten years ago, it found its way into real estate’s pocket. It took the form of an online listing. Soon, it shape-shifted into hundreds of new online applications and features — a protean force that made Superman weak in the knees.
Kryptonite IDX stole his listings mojo. Kryptonite Web portals with data mashups drained her superhuman feats of market knowledge of value. E-mail updates sapped super vision of its power. A phalanx of Kryptonite templates overran his brand magic.
Many tools and systems sold to real estate people over the past decade bound them to cumbersome work-flow processes. And they produced no more business, despite the earnest promises of the Kryptonite peddlers who spoke of the moon but delivered craters.
Kryptonite ultimately is a product of the limitations we place on ourselves: age-old habits, tired traditions that worked in the past, and a belief that they will therefore work forever.
It’s time to inoculate Superman.
It’s what real state used to be. Many still live here despite the massive consumer migration to Metropolis driven by a sense of empowerment in the flattened, global, information-ready, instantaneous world.
In Metropolis, consumers are in charge. They want to be involved in the process. They see their homes sitting on the market for months and want to know why. They are frustrated. They are no longer interested in being blissfully unaware. They think they know how to price, how to market.
They look to their agents to be their Superman and all they see is Clark Kent fumbling about in his everyman’s disguise, doing the same things he’s always done, the same things every other Clark Kent does.
Superman needs new powers.
Ones that build on the old.
And creates anew.
How Superman gets his groove back
Here’s one idea:
It used to be that home buyers and sellers were kept apart during the transaction. The emotional currents flowing through a deal were often thought of as deadly. Does that thinking apply today?
Suppose buyers and sellers were brought together on a blog allowing them to interact in the new social environment that offers a fine balance of intimacy and distance. Imagine creating a listing blog. Using any one of several powerful blog tools, an agent can upload pictures galore, video and post endless content about the neighborhood. Granted, you can do that with a Web site, but what a listing blog offers is the voluntary participation of the sellers to comment, post and take part in the entire experience.
When you can invite the client into the experience — the experience of your technology, communication and process, answering questions, dialoguing with buyers, checking traffic stats, reading feedback — you will slay many of the villains that plague upon your Lois Lane consumers. The antipathy. The frustration. The sense that you are not doing your job.
This is your chance to land on her roof, pick her up in your arms and fly her through your world.
Supermen do the unexpected.
They leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Take that leap.
And … long live Superman.
What’s your opinion? Send your Letter to the Editor to email@example.com.