In the last decade, the Real Estate agent profession has suffered a big transformation. We were coming from a time where everything was worth it, and anyone with minimum commercial skills and without any infrastructure further than a mobile phone and internet -typical image of the “Spanish broker”- was able to marriage any house searcher with any real estate product that had a minimum habitability conditions. And of course, were willing to pay the price that was required for that product.
Certainly, majority of these professionals were the first one to disappear at the beginning of the crisis. Which is not a reason for celebration, but the fact it was something to reflect on and realising that “everything is worth it” was leaving forever. Being the current scenario -in which we see how the reheating of the Real Estate market is starting to appear again with this kind of professionals-, perfect to reflect and ask the question that title this article: Do you sell flats or create homes?
Answering this question, requires doing an auto-exam, and seeing in which starting point we are and where we go with the service that we are offering to our clients. Where do we have our focus on, on the client or on the house? On giving a service or gaining a commission with that? Selling a house, or finding the home that fits perfectly to our client´s needs? Getting the conveyance at any cost, or achieving a fair deal for both buyer and seller? Going to the notary and then, saying goodbye forever to both, or growing a relationship that not finishes but starts that day? Being another economical actor in your area of your business influence, or being a good neighbour that helps on the social development of that area?
Too many questions, for those can only be two clear positions, that are also completely antithetical: Putting the focus on the business, or the business that comes as a consequence of helping people to create their home. Saying this, it could be framed at the entrance of any Real Estate office, indeed, it is not a crazy idea. As an example, I am going to use the Mission that I defined originally, before I developed the Business Plan for VIVEenGRANADA, and I still use as a compass or prism to look at, previously developing new strategy in the company:
“Giving a professional service, ethic and transparent. With a clear vocation of supporting our neighbors, helping them to create their life projects, and facilitating them a home with the simplest way, comfortable and safe for them; and adding the value during the whole process”
Starting from this reflection, it is the turn of any professional taking position in one side or another. Sure, being clear that if we want to give an added value to our clients and being useful, we cannot act just as robots. If not, nothing will differentiate us to the service that offer the new Proptech –tech companies that offer Real Estate services through the internet-. They are trying to avoid that “human” contact that the agent gives, so it is important for adding value to the process; especially, when we talk about homes being inhibited by the people; places for creating, dreaming and loving. And not just Real Estate assets for commercializing, but the vital experience that is developing in that place.
On the other hand, if your services are limited to “marry” a buyer with a market offer, you are not doing anything that can be done by an Artificial Intelligence system like the one it is offered by some Real Estate websites such as Idealista, Fotocasa, etc. -only giving some of the most popular-. But of course, if you know the real needs that your clients have -that normally goes further- and you are able giving services like the following:
- Legal and tax advisoring.
- Arbitration and family intermediation.
- Finance searching.
- Administrative forms and processes.
- Taxes liquidation.
- Home staging and manteinance.
Just them, you will avoid becoming a simple information processor, that could be like the image of the Broker 3.0, and believe me, in that field any computer is going to be better than you.
Therefore, if we want to give that VALUE to our clients, at the time to make such an important decision like the searching for their new home is; we must be focused on how to help them to fulfil their real needs. Meeting their desires, but also their illusions and feelings. Making them as most comfortable as possible during the whole process. It becomes a transform experience, and nice at the same time; because they are leaving their future at our hands -which is a huge responsibility-. And to avoid that this path is full of bumps and falls, where they are treated like numbers or algorithms instead of people; and that leaves them injured forever in a very negative way.
Of course, in a way this experience is positive, they will recommend our services to family and friends. Meaning, it will create a link that goes further than the professional side, creating a community of brand friends, that without doubts will make them to come back when they need our services again.
After saying this, each one must decide which side you want to be. Sure, making it very clear that we reap what we sow. So, if we behave like machines, they will treat us the same way, but if we put all our humanity at the service of our clients, in the same way they will award us, with the best present: their satisfaction with our service.