Being at #ICNY last week reminded me a little bit of my high school days — one day in particular. It was an unusually hot spring in early May 2000 when I strode into my high school government class. My teacher, Mr. Mason, had drawn two doors on the chalkboard.
Many desks were empty, as a few of my peers had chosen to skip class and enjoy the perfect weather. Door No. 1 offered sunshine, magic and flowers. Door No. 2 was ominous and dark.
Mr. Mason had taken the time to remind pending graduates that they needed to pull their acts together if they wanted to walk for their diplomas in June. The message was clear.
You either show up to class and open door No. 1, or it would be closed to you in the future. This is where our industry is at right now. Those who show up, work hard and innovate will find success in 2016 and beyond, and those who do not will find themselves behind door No. 2. The following are three areas in which real estate professionals need to expand or get left behind.
1. Technology will replace you — if you let it
Consumers are smarter and more tech-savvy than ever before. If your brokerage is not willing to raise the bar with the quality of agents who work there and the level of customer service offered, your current business model might not survive against the tidal wave of new technology that is about to wash over our already tech-saturated landscape.
Brokerages and agents who are overwhelmed, trapped or frankly ignoring technology will not be able to compete with teams who adapt and have made it a priority to improve customer service.
Why are you not dating your prospects?
2. Aim for less ego and more customer service
Stop promoting the diamond, magic, platinum, circle, trophy achievement awards on your marketing, and start focusing on customer service. Some franchises give out more ribbons and awards to their agents than coaches at a peewee parks and rec soccer league.
Honestly. Think of the agents in your market. Should all of them get a ribbon for the work that they are doing?
Look at every part of the transaction and ask yourself how you and your team can do more including returning calls, providing education, how your crew handles problem-solving major issues on files. Worry less about promoting the team’s ego and more about helping your clients find their way home.
Be the Sherpa. Reduce risk. Carry the load. Comforting the client means you sell confidence!
3. We need to give back more
Our industry has a serious image problem. We will have to work harder than ever to show the public that we do not just care about making sales, we care about the human condition. We care about humanity and the dream of homeownership.
What’s next is looking at your current business model and looking for more ways you can volunteer for your community, your state, our country and on a global scale.
This business is filled with kind, caring and the most dedicated people, and we need to showcase this in any way possible. Do more, give more. Be a better human. If you see another agent acting in a way that is less than this — call them out on it.
Stop it. Just be honest. If you see an agent lowering the bar — call them out on it.
The “new normal” is going into each day looking not only to build and grow your business but also to find ways to challenge your perspective so that you are open to new ideas.
Our industry is evolving into a landscape with a rapidly changing climate and terrain that only the most skillful and utilitarian agents and brokerages are going to survive.
To get ahead of “what’s next,” make room in your life to prioritize learning. I challenge those who did not attend the event to watch the videos, read the tweets and consume the media created furiously by inspired attendees.
I am incredibly thankful and humbled to have worked along side with the incredible team of ambassadors who were at this event.
There is magic embedded in each tweet crafted by these experts, so embrace the #ICNY and #ICNY16 hashtags and mine out a revised business plan for 2016. Raise the bar, listen more and give back. Door No. 1 is waiting.
By day, Rachael Hite helps agents develop their business. By night, she’s tweeting for listingdepot.com.