Rendezvous: Mapping the Future of Real Estate
On December 6, 2018, real estate industry “explorers” Jeff Turner, Laura Monroe and Jim Walberg rendezvoused for a fireside chat with more than a hundred local REALTORS® to speak about the future of technology, branding/marketing and customer experience. Here are some highlights.
Jeff Turner: There are five things that I believe are going to happen with Technology.
- Virtual Will Become Reality
How many saw the promo video I did for this event? That was shot with an Insta360 ONE X camera. It’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen! They announced that they could actually do HDR video with the same camera. It’s a $399 camera that shoots 5.7K, 360 degree, HDR video. This is the world we live in.
- We’ll Trust Our Computers
We need to understand the potential unintended consequences of trusting our computers more than we should, (but) for real estate, advances in Machine Learning will improve search and AVM.
- We’ll Talk to Our Computers Like Friends
I know what you’re thinking. Half the time, Alexa doesn’t give you the answer you’re looking for…that’s going to change. It’s going to get better. Our children won’t know a world without it.
- Convenience Will Be the New Black
Convenience is the new luxury. We want everything instantly.
These are new real estate companies with models that differ from traditional residential real estate:
- Flyhomes buys the house for you
- Knock buys the house for you and then they sell your house
- Opendoor buys the house from you
- Divi buys the house and rents it back to you
- Point sells part of your house (to) an investor; you don’t move, you don’t pay them any interest.
Educate the consumer on what’s happening. Tell them how you could provide similar services. Instead of rejecting it or being fearful of it, reframe it. Have the conversation.
- The Value of Ownership Will Drop
And as a result, new ways of owning will emerge, powered by powerful new forms of tracking ownership. Companies like Hubhaus, Common, HomeShare, Starcity and Bungalow already make this simple.
Laura Monroe: From a marketing standpoint, everybody’s a technology company. That’s supposed to be the thing that agents look for in brokerages, and brokerages look for in their agents. But unless you know how to leverage that technology with the human side, then those two things don’t matter.
- The Compass Points Toward Trust
Technology is changing the way that we trust. We are learning to trust what technology can provide for us (but) more through our fellow human beings than through the technology itself.
- Do the Work That Touches Someone’s Heart
Resist the temptation to go for eyeballs, instead of hearts. What is it about your service and about your unique value proposition as a person that’s going to make me pick up the phone and call you?
- You Are the Change Agents
How you help people feel and achieve their dreams matters. Start talking about those things with the human beings who are seeking out comfort and education…it will literally change your business.
Three Levels of Customer Service
Jim Walberg: When you’re thinking about the expectations of how the customer wants to be served, there’s going to be three different models. These three models have nothing to do with price point.
- Neiman Marcus
The portfolio of real estate that your clients have aren’t only the properties that you have represented them on. They may have a second home…a third home…a home in Costa Rica! You need to be sending out quarterly reports about values of their property.
The second model is what I call the Walmart model, the service model. It may be Open Door, but it’s a model that the Millennials are going to be very comfortable with. Many of those companies within the Walmart service model are employees, not 1099, like Redfin.
- Farmers Market
The third one is the Farmers’ Market and that’s For Sale By Owners.
Time is the New Luxury
If time is the new luxury, is the transaction that we’re delivering to our clientele efficient?
Storytelling > Statistics
Most of the real estate industry describes a house as three bedrooms, two baths, swimming pool. Stories are compelling, not statistics. We’ve got to understand what the consumer expectations are for buying a house and then figure out how we deliver the experience. Raziel Unger is delivering such a level of service.
Jeff Turner: How do you use the knowledge you gain from technology to create that thing that distinguishes you? Your opportunities to be human can take place in real life, they can take place virtually, but in the end, how you present yourself and meeting those customer expectations are the ultimate goals.
(Portions of this presentation have been edited for clarity.)Tags: customer service, Farmers Market, future of real estate, Jeff Turner, Jim Walberg, Laura Monroe, Neiman Marcus, Rendezvous, storytelling, Walmart