In a tech-connected, digital world that serves up information on demand (and on the go), real estate professionals are tasked with staying relevant and providing value to the consumer — who can Google everything — now more than ever.

  • Hyper-local, human insights beat an algorithm every time.
  • Humans crave other human experiences and prefer working with people over tech.
  • Learning from experience and empathy are human-specific attributes that allow you to give great advice to your clients.

In a tech-connected, digital world that serves up information on demand (and on the go), real estate professionals are tasked with staying relevant and providing value to the consumer — who can Google everything — now more than ever.

The Internet became the great information equalizer — creating an empowered consumer and changing buying behavior. Living in an on-demand world, consumers are now pre-shopping homes, researching neighborhood reviews and polling social media connections before they even pick up the phone to call you or send you an email.

With employee costs continuing to rise and technology costs continuing to decline, it’s no surprise that machine automation has surged.

Research shows that up to 45 percent of activities that humans are paid to perform can be automated. Today, law firms use software instead of associates to review millions of case documents and comb through data during the discovery process.

Surgeries can be performed with precision by robotic devices, and since 2001, the economy has experienced a steady decrease in bank teller, check-out clerk and production jobs as they continue to be replaced by computers.

Yeamake / Shutterstock.com

Yeamake / Shutterstock.com

How do you stay valuable in a digital world? The answer is simple — stay human. Humans maintain a unique competitive advantage over technology because we are experts at adapting, innovating through group collaboration and creating relationships with empathy.

From birth, human interaction is essential to survival, and social media is proof that we crave connection with a tribe. Human-to-human experiences are what matter most to the consumer.

Hyper-local insights beat Google every time

What Google can never know is that the owner of the local coffee shop in your buyers’ target area bakes homemade cookies from grandma’s recipe every Friday that your kids love to eat.

Google doesn’t know that a particular floorplan might not accommodate your buyers growing family because it’s two stories and the nursery is upstairs while the master downstairs. But you do.

Humans have the capacity for empathy, which means that we can identify what other people are feeling and thinking, and that allows us to give great advice.

Giving expert advice doesn’t mean you have a crystal ball or can guarantee outcomes, but what it does mean is that you have enough knowledge to explain options and anticipate possible pitfalls that will help the client make an informed decision.

Once clients make a decision, you can help them navigate the process and make adjustments along the way. Your empathy and experience inspire confidence and trust, not only in your abilities but also in the client’s judgment. You are collaborating to help them choose, not just offering choices.

A search engine or algorithm can never beat your wisdom and ability to create relationships. Your value lies in your ability to apply your human experience to collaborate with a consumer who needs an expert to interpret and curate high volumes of data all around.

The question isn’t asking what computers can’t do; it’s asking what activities humans will want other humans to do even if computers can.

Chelsea Peitz is the AVP, director of marketing of Fidelity National Title. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

Email Chelsea Peitz.

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