I am sharing an article I just read and my thoughts. If you would like to read the article, the link is below:
The main message in the article is that because of technology, open houses are becoming obsolete. It even implies that real estate salespeople will have less and less of a role in our ever changing, computer driven society. The article gives examples of how clients can already go to some real estate offices, put on virtual goggles, and see all they need to see of a house and the neighbourhood.
I will argue, until my dying day, that any virtual form of a “walk-through” will forever be a poor substitute for a real, in-person, tour of a home or property, guided by a real estate expert and enhanced by actual human interaction and communication.
The most basic experiences of smelling, hearing and feeling a property can never be totally replicated by technology. They are experiences which are influenced by individual senses, combined sensation and personal experiences on a visceral level. If anyone could reproduce these qualities through technology, they would essentially only be reproducing their own take on the experience and sharing their own perceptions, therefore influencing the buyer to see it through their eyes.
I am always fascinated by how different my personal opinions of how pleasant or unpleasant the odours in buildings are compared to my clients’. Time and again, I will take clients into a house they loved after seeing online pictures or a video for, only to find that the floors are slanted or there is a draft through a wall, or the neighbours’ dog barks incessantly, or someone has an allergic reaction to the air. And then, there is surprise from clients, when they have dismissed a home based on pictures, yet I ask them to come with me to see it in person, only to find they fall in love with that particular home and it meets all their criteria and expectations.
Those are the obvious, concrete reasons for going in real-time to see a property. There are many psychological reasons as well. The reality that we are emotional beings, who need assurance and reassurance as we make decisions is hard to argue. Beyond that, as we process decisions, we need to compare and contrast and check perceptions with others at the same time as viewing our reality. People crave communication as they make important personal lifestyle choices and life changing financial decision. They need to ask questions, make comments, bounce ideas off others, relieve stress through banter and humor, voice concerns, share their stories and seek advice. They need to gather information, bit-by-bit, as they move through the stages and be introduced to different components of the buying process. A skilled agent will watch for when their clients are are ready to absorb the information and introduce topics as they see their clients move through various stages of decision making as they are viewing properties.
Technology is a good thing-don’t get me wrong. We have come a long way to helping clients screen their options and become educated about the market, through technology. It is a helpful start to the buying process and a great marketing tool for the selling process. But it is only a start to both, and will always be just that. The real part of real estate will never change. The way human being feel and decide and interact in the most basic sense will never change. The need for quality communicators, listening, interacting real estate professional, whose main focus is the client, not the “product” will never change. These things are integral to real estate sales service. Integral Realty Ltd. recognizes this and makes it our continued mission to focus most on people, for these reasons.