Real Estate, Then, and Now
The real estate sales industry has changed dramatically since I first began selling in it. I am really going to sound like a dinosaur, but in real estate, there were no computers, no fax machines, and no cell phones. There was a MLS (multiple listing service) book in different colors for each county that came out every two weeks and that is how you searched for houses.The information in these books was typically out of date before it went to print. There was no e mail, e fax, e signatures,cell phones, and no internet. The only advertising tools were a homes magazine that came out every two weeks, open houses, flyers and ads in the local newspaper. The buyers and sellers were much more dependent on the sales person, and while you still had to worry about a buyer falling in love with a home at an open house and writing the offer with the listing realtor, the buyer did not have all the information available at their finger tips today. The customers relied on you, the sales person to guide and direct them. Now, fast forward to todays selling landscape. The buyer has done their research, been pre-qualified, looked at sold properties for comparison, and determined their interests, they are typically mid-way through the sales process when you are invited in .This is good, and bad for the sales person, on one hand they already pretty much know what they want, or need, on the other hand, you will have a difficult time gaining their trust if you are not as prepared as they are when you meet. You need to come out of the gate strong, informed and clear in how you are a credible sales professional, and provide value. In a recent Harvard Business Review study, in todays market, the buyer has made their decision in the middle of the sales process a whopping 58% of the time! This can be true of any sales environment. However, if you can provide value and are strategic in meeting the customers needs, you will be a very important part of the sales process. In the old days of sales, it was all about “relationships.” While this is still true, you can add the phrase “strategic relationships” to that phrase. Provide value through education, and a strategy that makes sense for your customer, and you will become the “go to” person in the sales process.