I wasn't in New York last weekend, however I did just watch this 40 minute session from Real Estate Connect New York City (Inman) and frankly I was just a little bit insulted. For me the very idea that a smooth process that all agents can follow to make flawless real estate transactions is absurd. And while individual agents can always learn and grow and better their own process... it's not uniform from state to state, city to city, town to town, firm to firm and even agent to agent or buyer to buyer. Frankly I have a buyer right now that doesn't have either a computer or a smart phone, but he'd still like to buy a new lake home. Will there be a big stack of paper? Yes. But he has cash and wants to buy a home...
After the 40 minutes of being told I need to deliver a "Starbucks type experience" I find myself steadfast in my belief that real estate is local and people are individuals. Each of us as different as each grain of sand on the beach. From the outside we ( buyers, sellers, brokers, agents) may, like those grains of sand looking the same to the industry vendors (you know who they are), but like the grains of sand on the beach being seen the same with the naked eye, if you look deeper you will see that the same technology won't work for every transaction, every firm, every agent, every buyer and every seller.
Perhaps those suggesting the Latte Starbucks method should check out this article: What Ocean Sand Looks like when magnified 250 times?
No two agents, no two buyer, sellers, attorneys, firms, neighborhoods, towns, cites, counties, states are a like. And while there are lots of great technological tools that can help all of us, the same forms, programs, phones, processes don't work for each of us. We do business in a world where the best agents perhaps do have smoother transactions, but that can be based on even personality and how you handle that "issue" that comes up and not just the technology and the process. Some states require paper copy records. Mine does. Some buyers and sellers want me to photo copy the listing agreement and documents they sign, I do. Other clients are perfectly happy with an emailed copy and I comply there as well.
The best agents work to fit the needs of their clients. I can't force a client to use their smart phone to get information if they want to call me. I do however have a QR code on my fliers for those who want that information at the click of a button on their smart phone. Do I think now or ever that when they "click" that button to get that info a purchase and sale agreement should jump into the cloud with a purchase price derived from some algorithm? Hell no. Why? because another piece of the puzzle that I haven't even mentioned yet... all the homes are different too. Even in a neighborhood with conformity perhaps one house has hardwoods just installed and updated kitchen and baths and the house that sold next door and closed yesterday has 14 year old carpet and builder grade 14 year old appliances. Is it a comp? Yes, do adjustments need to be made? Yes. Can any "algorithm" figure that out? I say no.
I say we as individuals can explore new technologies and processes and choose the ones that work best for us and that the real estate industry will ALWAYS work this way because of all the unique elements that come together for each and every transaction. I certainly am not saying we're not an ever changing and evolving industry, but just the complete opposite. Seems like it changes daily sometimes. But those changes are all unique and area dictated and individual. We're not all the same and the same process and technology will NEVER work for all of us.
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Tammy Lankford, Broker/Owner
Broker License # 169695 Lane Realty License # H-11420
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