Relationships matter in real estate, and that will never change.
From Silicon Canal to Silicon Slopes to Silicon Prairie, tech cities continue to pop up across the nation as long as the consumer continues to evolve and demand, tech gurus, will be there to respond. Although many sectors have found success among this rise in tech, it seems others have tried and missed the mark. Now, the reasons why a business or technology was not successful is not what we are here to discuss, and for time’s sake, we won’t. But what I want to discuss is one major area in technology that more than often gets overlooked, comradery.
As we all know, buying and selling a home is a very emotional transaction for more than 85% of the nation’s housing consumer population (due to financial capabilities and experience). This emotion drives brokerages to specialization, which encourages consumers to need a human connection and coaching, not just A.I. This is what many tech gurus fail to recognize and easily overlook. However, we have been trained to expect new and modern consumer experiences. Let’s call this Pre-Desire-User-Experience (PDUx). The concept is easy to whiteboard, but much more challenging to deliver.
A New Set of Expectations
Simply put, consumers have a new set of expectations based on other contemporary consumer experiences (think Amazon, Uber, Grubhub, Apple, Airbnb, etc.). The idea is to provide the consumer with what they need and want at the moment or before they think they want it. If your customer’s inner-speak is, “I need and want… and where do I start…?” The question then becomes, how does the housing industry respond? Unfortunately, as a whole, we haven’t.
When consumers buy and sell a home, they are required to complete this transaction while navigating many different industries—real estate sales, real estate financing, moving services, home products and services, security, energy and utilities, warranty, insurance, and more. Let’s refer to each of these industries as kingdoms, all of which are vying for the consumer’s attention, but operate quite competitively and separate.
Today, most technology strategies are focused on staying within each of these various kingdoms, and often the gurus themselves establish their careers within that sector. The individual industries that make up the Housing Market are a somewhat esoteric set of knowledge. And more consideration needs to be on the actual result. We must all ask the question, are we responding to our customer’s needs? We need to look beyond the traditional Net Promoter Score and Social Surveys, asking, “Were you satisfied with the lending experience?” What we need to ask is, “did you enjoy selling and buying a new home?” Unfortunately, that answer is most often unequivocally, “No.”