Forbes: 10 Real Estate Features That Need To Stay Traditional

There is no doubt that the real estate market has come full circle in terms of technology use. From drones to virtual tours and digital staging, a buyer can determine if a house interests them from the comfort of their couch. One broker has even incorporated the use of “robot agents” to sell home and keep costs down, according to a report by Newsday.

While technology certainly has enhanced the ability for buyers to view homes easily and for sellers to get more money from their home sale, some parts of the real estate process still need to use traditional features to maintain its success.

To find out what areas of the real estate industry still need to hold true to the “old ways” of doing business, 10 members of Forbes Real Estate Council weighed in. Here is what they said:

1. The Human Component

Technology has streamlined and enhanced the real estate industry in unbelievable ways, but that doesn’t mean we can eliminate the human component altogether. Whether it’s a first home, a dream home or an investment property, it’s the human connection made between agents and buyers or sellers that ultimately takes the sale across the finish line. – Joshua HuntTRELORA

2. Personal Relationships

What can never be replaced by technology are the personal relationships that must be formed with the residents to ensure long-term customer satisfaction. For us, the technological advancements we’ve adopted give us important business intelligence to maximize economic performance and streamline reporting, while allowing our people to get out and create those exceptional customer service experiences. – Diane BatayehVillage Green


3. Handwritten Letters

Handwritten letters have always been a compelling tool. With the rapid growth of technology, letters have become even more unique and powerful, because people just don’t do it anymore. Everyone can send an email with the click of a button, but taking time out of your day to purchase a card, sit down and write a personalized message stands out in today’s marketplace, and clients appreciate it. – Doug FathWealthy Passion / Legacy Capital

4. Physical Market Presence

It’s important for brokers, especially new ones, to physically visit their markets and products. Each of our brokers walks the streets, checks alleys and dumpsters, looks in vestibules, sees work being done on properties and takes extensive notes on all of the above to put into their databases. – Lee KiserKiser Group

5. Clients As Family Members

Buying/selling a home is one of the most stressful tasks in life. Fueled by divorce, marriage, a new baby or even a death, the circumstances behind a sale/purchase can be very emotional. As realtors, we are there to make our clients feel safe, listen to them vent, be a shoulder to cry on, be their cheerleader and most of all, help them achieve their real estate goals, resulting in lifelong friendships! – Angela YaunDay Realty Group

6. Personal Touch

Our company does more than a hundred sales per year, and every time we make a sale we send a congratulations email, make a personal phone call and send out a gift basket with a letter signed by our leadership team. This has proven to be quite different from the industry standard and something our clients adore. – Engelo RumoraList’n Sell Realty

7. Phone Calls

We do a lot of internet-based communication, run ads on Facebook, send email newsletters to clients, do video walkthroughs and webinars. We take full advantage of all available online tools to streamline our marketing efforts. But you know what? Even if 90% of your list opens an email, that’s 10% who haven’t. And that’s when it’s time to pick up the phone, make a call and fortify a relationship. – Kent ClothierReal Estate Worldwide


8. Printed Documents

Real estate, unlike almost any other asset class, is extremely verbose in legal jargon, regulatory oversight and governance. We find physically printing, reading and highlighting every contract, all the regulatory minutia around the various zoning, environmental, tenancy, development, transportation access, etc., extremely beneficial. It stops us from making mistakes, and we find retention to be greater. – Ridaa MuradBREAKFORM | RE

9. Meetings In Person

Our business is an online commercial real estate investment marketplace and SaaS provider, so more than 90% of everything we do is online. Despite this, we have found our investor meet-ups to be one of our most revered activities. It underscores the value of assembling multiple actors in one location, it brings tangibility to our platform and amplifies the results of our online efforts. – Ian FormigleCrowdStreet


10. Nothing Worth Holding Onto

If history teaches us anything, it’s that in nearly all cases, there is room for innovation. To ignore this is to stick one’s head in the sand. In order to constantly improve, we need to be open to aggressively shedding old ways of doing things, experimenting with new ideas, and keeping the things we find to work well (and throwing them away when they stop working well). – Gino ZahndCozy

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Lee Kiser