Commentary: Can you find me a house?

The views reflected here are my own and do not represent the organization I work for. That being said, this post is Real Estate related; therefore, if you don’t care about real estate, you can skip right by.

Recently there was a big Whoop-Ti-Do about a new blog that was being created. This blog is being written by some pretty great people in the Real Estate Industry, some heavy hitters. This blog will focus on agents who are Mac compatible.

What I find in the industry—and someone please correct me if I am wrong—is that as a consumer, I don’t care what kind of computer you’re using, I just care that you can find me a house. Your showing me a house on your iPhone/iPad is not going to make a greater difference to me than you emailing me a print out.

As a trainer in the industry, I find that a great deal of agents are still struggling to figure out email, yet there is a push in this industry to have the “Latest, Shiniest, Greatest” thing.  I guess if you’re an agent who has all that figured out, then great. This makes you a technology star in this industry. The question really boils down to: What are your clients looking for?

I’m a Gen-X’er who owns two computers (a desktop and a laptop), who teaches real estate technology and basic computer skills, who carries two separate phones, neither of which is an iPhone. Who thinks it would be great if people could use spell check.

As a consumer, what do I care what type of computer/technology you’re using? The real question is: Can you find me a house?

All the technology in the world isn’t going to make your consumers feel better. If it makes your life better, that’s great. I’m all for it. If it doesn’t help you understand inspections, contracts, or basic people skills, you’re going to sink in this industry and sink fast.

It seems to me, the only people who care about what type of technology an agent is using is the agent themselves. A cooperating agent doesn’t seem to care, a broker doesn’t seem to care and your clients probably don’t care. This all boils back down to the “Real Estate” image. Does driving that BMW make you seem more successful? Wearing that Armani Blazer? All the gold jewelery? Carrying the iPad. None of these things actually make you more successful, it’s hard work that makes you more successful.

Just my opinion.

10 responses to “Commentary: Can you find me a house?”

  1. If I hire you to find me a house, that’s what I expect from you. I want you to put forth effort to listen to what I want and help me to the best of your abilities to find that. I don’t care what you drive, what you wear, or what latest and greatest gadget you tote around. I tend to look at Realtors that dress expensive, drive expensive,or flash around their fancy computers/jewelry/phone as pretentious a-holes. It seems to me you are compensating for something. LOL!

  2. I TOTALLY agree w/ you Nick!

    The person buying my house came w/ a substitute realtor (hers was at the ER w/ her sick child), who was NOT dressed to show a house (running suit, no bra etc), driving her non-work vehicle …. now granted, it was NOT a great impression on me as far as the Agent was concerned, but bottom line, she’s taken over the client and is working her butt off to make the sale happen. Those that showed up in the fancy dancy cars w/ the tech … and their nose in the air, honestly, I wasn’t impressed w/ them and their attitudes. I’m glad my house wasn’t good enough for them, because the clients they brought through, weren’t good enough for my house and neighbors.

  3. love this post Nick. my thoughts:

    – tech is great if it helps you achieve greater productivity, which is an intangible that you can sell to consumers

    – certain tools can make the clients’ lives easier, if they are into tech. we still deal w/ clients who DON’T HAVE EMAIL. all the tech in the world doesn’t improve the experience for those people.

    again, love your post. focus on the basics of customer service & communication. get those right first!

  4. I think your consumer-centric sentiments are spot on, but I doubt anyone is leaning on their use of Macs, iPads, Androids, Windows 7 or Ubuntu to differentiate themselves as agents.

    I agree with Mike, the blog is targeted at Apple OS users in what is a notoriously Mac-unfriendly industry.

    I use a Mac, not for status or flash, but because it is a much more stable and productive platform, in my experience. In 6 years, I’ve had exactly zero days of downtime, which makes me (and access to information) more available to my clients. (Your mileage may vary.)

    Noted, as more apps migrate to the mighty cloud, this may become less important, unless of course, they’re only compatible with IE8 🙂

  5. Great post Nick. You are absolutely right, providing amazing value and service to our clients is first priority!

    As one of the “writers” on MacSavvyAgent it really is (as Mike pointed out) a Realtor resource. It is not designed for the buyer and seller. It is intended to be a resource to help us understand how these tools can help us provide better service to our clients. As you know, I’m still functioning in the PC world except for my iPhone. In my opinion, me having this tool I’m able to provide a better service to my clients. That will be my focus on writing at this site.

    Again, great post and it’s good for us all to remember! Clients first!

  6. Ron, I had no idea that RE was a Mac-unfriendly industry. I would say that half the Realtors I know use Mac, or at least iPhones/iPads. I must be running in fancy circles 😉 The other half of agents I know aren’t tech-savvy in the slightest, on any platform. Is that the fact that I know a lot of Realtors using Apple products a function of the market I’m in (PDX-Vancouver)? And what percentage of agents you know are completely out of the tech arms race? Just curious…

  7. I don’t view it as an arms race or a mark of sophistication. PCs do the job just fine, but they’re not my personal cup of tea. To clarify, it’s not that the RE industry is hostile to Mac users, but rather that across the nation, MLS software platforms are almost exclusively compatible with only Windows & IE . The advent of virtual machine software (Parallels or VMWare Fusion) now allow Mac users to access the MLS running Windows, IE, and Office 2003-7. But that requires some tech-knowledge and an additional expense, so it’s not on most agents’ radars.

  8. i had no idea that MLS was windows only! seems silly.

    btw, the “arms race” comment was tongue-in-cheek. i apologize, but my humor doesn’t always relate well to type. what i meant was what percentage of agents out there aren’t tech savvy…

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