Human connection. It’s something we’re all craving at the moment.
Like with many things, we didn’t necessarily miss it until it was taken from us. Right now, and I think I speak for a lot of us, meeting some friends for dinner, cocktails, etc. or just a proper greeting with a handshake sounds pretty good.
We built Kingston REM to be able to transact completely virtually with the idea that this would be the “new normal” in the not-so-distant future. In the meantime, we’d have some fundamentals built, processes tweaked and by the time it hit, we’d be a streamlined machine. We’ve been forced to get there sooner- and that’s fine, we’re totally ready and we’re crankin’.
The question is, are WE collectively ready for a completely virtual real estate world?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently and, while this situation is still fresh, it’s given us a sample size of a total virtualized transaction based industry. While we’ve all mobilized and provided the public with options, it’s being met with mixed reactions and results.
One of the key reasons is that perception doesn’t equal reality. Hearing that a virtual/video walkthrough for an apartment is available is great until you see the actual video. For comparison, when we list units on market for sale, we invest a lot of time and money into that particular unit getting professional photos and edited videos. Now, with people scrambling to get any content to you as the customer, we (the real estate agents) only have so much time and resources to do this on a large scale which means that quality can be compromised. My point is, if you as the consumer have professionally shot and edited drone footage in mind and get a shaky walkthrough on a non-staged apartment, it’s a reality check and can make you less excited to get involved in the virtual apartment hunt.
Furthermore, it’s my opinion that real estate has always been mostly a customer service business than a sales business. Customer service usually relies on a relationship of sorts- usually human-to-human- in order to faithfully transact. Without the human connection (or an abbreviated one), there’s that feeling of a deficiency in the process.
We’ve all had a lot (A LOT!) of time to think about what’s going on and how it affects us both collectively and individually. I spend my days constantly thinking of ways we can be better. Communicating effectively, being unique in our delivery and overall service. While we can’t be perfect, we can strive for that and challenge ourselves to never settle and be better every day.
A simple way of doing this is breaking it all the way down.
Being able to look at people in the face and say “hi, how can I help you?”. If you can do this and offer genuine interest and response to them, it’s my opinion that you’ll get better results. This isn’t earth shattering or unique by any means but I do think that it’s a lost art form and also something that people are yearning for right now. Looking at someone in the eye and saying “I am interested, how can I help you?” hits differently right now. It’s not necessarily the message- it’s the delivery.
It’s something I’ve been discussing with the team (my beloved #KREMCrew). Don’t be hasty. Less is more right now. Trying to understand the total dynamics of the situation and tweaking our delivery. I’m urging my agents to get some real face time (via FaceTime!) with their clients to build that relationship right off the bat. Establishing a human connection is back in style, baby! We’re slowing down, taking our time and focusing on the customer and client. Over communicating and over delivering. It’s the KREM way.
Experience it for yourself. Contact us if you need anything real estate related.
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Thanks for reading. Be well, healthy and safe.