Computers are really good at a lot of things. So good, in fact, that they are taking tasks away from workers in almost every industry, real estate included. They can collect and analyze data more thoroughly and with less error than humans. They can juggle an almost infinite number of tasks and can give real-time reporting on anyone at any time. Better yet, they never complain to HR about your off-color joke or tell you about the show that they are binge watching. For basic tasks, they are better than human in almost every way.
But, there are still many jobs that humans are uniquely qualified for, at least for now. One of those jobs is sales. While much of the sales process can be automated, the main job of selling is still best left to salesmen and women. That is because sales are about telling a story and telling a story is all about understanding the audience, which, at least for now, is a human.
The mystery that is the human psyche is so complex and at times even non-rational that a fellow homo sapiens is best at unraveling it. A program could put all of the information together for a listing. It would probably be useful in its own right. But, it would not be as impactful as if a human created it. What is highlighted, what is not, and how the story is told is just as important as the information itself.
There are many tools available to help tell every listing’s story. Photos, video, 3D walkthroughs, drone footage, data on comparables; all of these are easier now than ever thanks to technology. But, understanding the audience goes further than just the sum of a listing’s parts. It is a holistic view of every part of the discover process.
All audiences are different. The tech company CFO will be looking at different things than the VP of an investment firm. So, identifying the target audience is an important first step. Then, one should understand how much friction that potential customer will tolerate. Do they have to sign up for a service to see the listing? There’s a little friction. Do they have to inquire about important information like price and exact location? Indian burn level friction. Do they have to pay to see your listing? Orbit re-entry level friction that will burn up all but the biggest and best insulated of the audience!
Today’s broker has tons of options when it comes to where to list a space. But, they should remember that every option comes with a different audience. The best publication sites actually walk the broker through best practices for their specific viewership. Ten-X does a particularly good job of providing due diligence documents as they know how important they are for their audience to place bids on properties. LoopNet produces flyers and brochures as it understands the importance of official marketing material to their site’s visitors.
Final decisions will almost always be made by humans, mostly because they are more accountable than a piece of code. So take advantage of your humanity. Use automated tools to help get more done. But, don’t forget than the person looking at your listing is a fellow human being. Think about them as you tell your listing’s story. A lot of technical analysis goes into almost every real estate transaction, but a lot of emotion does too. Sales is a way to use that emotion to change the way someone sees the world. Computers in the future, in their infinite wisdom, probably still struggle with how human perception can change with attitude. So, let’s leave the selling and storytelling to humans, at least for now.
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