What's Old is New

Owensboro, Ky Homes for sale, real estateI must say that it does my heart good to read so many Gen X & Y Activerain bloggers writing about real estate as a people business.  We were once told that by 2010, we would have a paperless, almost touch less transaction due to technology.  I'm all for the paperless part, but the touch less part?  No way!  Once again, what's old is new. . . .

•1.        Networking, volunteering and in general "hanging out" in your neighborhood.  I remember attending a seminar in 2002 at our national real estate convention about age diversity in the workplace.  The demographics presented painted a picture of Gen X and Y-er's as very "all about me" - not interested in a team effort or doing any kind of networking.  I have found this is not true at all.  I love all their energy and enthusiasm!

•2.       Cold Calling.  Yes, you heard it right!  I recently heard some seasoned agents (on two different occasions) ask the question "who cold calls anymore?" to which I responded "I do!" (as in knocking on doors - the no call list has made it too complicated to pick up the phone)  This younger generation is a group of go-getters!  They will not sit around and wait for the phone to ring.  I sold a $675,000 last year house as a direct result of knocking on doors.  Yep, it's an old concept, but still works. 

•3.       Going to loan application with your buyer.  I was recently at a meeting where a local lender was updating us on the new RESPA rules regarding disclosure and how they could not lock the rate in until they had a signature from the borrower on the GFE.  The loan officer was lamenting how difficult it was to actually nail the customer down due to all the online applications, unanswered voicemails, emails, etc.  One of the younger agents commented that a solution to overcome this problem would be to take our buyer to loan application.  Then the customer could be locked in on their rate, we'd have our pre-approval letter, and everyone would be happy.  Wow!  I like it!

•4.       Presenting offers face to face.  Instead of emailing or faxing your offers, how about actually hand delivering the offer to the listing agent and making a case for your buyer?  And, if the seller allows, you could take it a step further by asking if you could present your offer to the seller yourself.  We commonly did this in the past.  Once the fax machine became affordable, we got lazy, and quit.  I even had an agent tell me it was illegal for me to present my offer to the seller.  Huh?  Not in Kentucky.

I firmly believe that "high touch" adds to our personal value proposition.  I once commented to my sister that I got a lot more "sucking up" at the Veterinarian's office then I got at the Gynecologist's office.  (I felt like a cow being herded through a maze with all the other heifers!)  I look forward to seeing what new, higher standards this younger generation is going to set for us!


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Comment balloon 21 commentsKaren Pannell • April 08 2011 05:54PM


Back to the basics with added technology is what will keep many in business this year!! We have to no only be on the Internet and marketing there, but the face to face with people is just as important! I completely agree with all 4 of your points here Karen1

Posted by Terrie Leighton, Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno (Ferrari-Lund Real Estate ) almost 9 years ago

Great post, Karen....I sat through a 3 hour webinar on social media the other day - everything that was talked about lead to the same goal....getting "in front of" the client.   Technology can only take a "relationship" so far.

Posted by MaryJane Sheppard (The Van Dyk Group - Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Karen,  In tough times we have to turn to the basics...yes we use modern tools...yes we adapt....and innovate, but it really does all come down to being a "People" business!

Posted by John Howard, GRI, Mountain Home, Arkansas 870-404-3614 (Century 21 LeMac Realty) almost 9 years ago

Well said, Karen. Technology can make us more productive and efficient, but can never replace us. The connections made in real life are so much more rewarding.

Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) almost 9 years ago
Everyone brings something to the table for current real estate practices.
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) almost 9 years ago

I agree, have to view technology as a tool to reach out to others, but like John says, it can never replace us. Kudos to you for door knocking. I door knock too!

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) almost 9 years ago

Karen - EXCELLENT!  I love all the great technology we have now, but one thing never goes out of style - "Good Basic Hands On Service!"  the key is blending the old with the new.  Congratulations on the feature.

Posted by Barbara Hensley, Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas (RE/MAX Properties) almost 9 years ago

Great post, all the tools, bells and whistles only work if we get the appointment to be face to face with our clients.  Have a great day!

Posted by Phil Hillerman, Crye-Leike Realtors® (Crye-Leike Realtors®) almost 9 years ago

Offers presented in person... illegal...yeah, we wouldn't want to spend a whole hour to increase the possibility that our buyer may actually get the property...

Posted by Michael (Mike) Robinson, CRS, CIPs, REALTOR (Broadmoor Realty, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Excellent post Karen!  I agree technology is great but nothing will ever take the place of the personal touch.

Posted by Connie Lou Barnett, GRI,CRS,CRB,SRMM,ARA,PRS,SFR,QSC (Real Living/Home Realty) almost 9 years ago

Thanks for the reminder to keep things personal. I'm ashamed to admit that I have far more friends on Facebook than in my daily life. And the personal touch in business is vital. It's what keeps people coming back referring folks to you.


Posted by Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate, Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs (Kelly Right Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Glad to see so many of you agree!  Yes, Erica and Michael not illegal (in KY) or unethical to attend the offer presentation with the listing agent.  (with the seller's permission)  Of course we did not stick around to hear the list agent and seller's confidential discussion.  We used to do this frequently, especially in multiple offer situations.  Now, it's just easier to fax or email the offer.  I at least like to deliver my offer and have the list agent review in my presence in case there are any questions.  Thanks for all the comments and have  a great weekend everyone!!!

Posted by Karen Pannell, Owensboro KY Real Estate -270-903-2167 Homes, Cond (Real Living / Home Realty) almost 9 years ago

Oh Nooooo! Don't tell the youngsters about the old way of doing business. Now that I can do the tech thing, I'm one up on them. But if they learn some of the old ways, I'll have to share the business... darn...

Posted by Sandy Acevedo, RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale (951-290-8588) almost 9 years ago

Karen, all this old-school, hi-tech stuff seems like great ideas! Thanks for the refresher.

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) almost 9 years ago

Old school never goes away.  I'm glad I got into business before the internet came along ;)

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) almost 9 years ago
I can't wait to see what the future has in store and how the industry will change.
Posted by eRealty Houston Real Estate, Brokerage (Buy, or Sell Homes in Corpus Christi) almost 9 years ago

"Nose to nose, toes to toes" a manager of mine once said...  so true!  Nice to hear this!!  

Posted by Laurel Stone, Quality Online REAL ESTATE Education (Laurel Stone School of Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Although I love the idea of presenting an offer in person, I have never had the opportunity. Everyone just says fax it or email it.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) almost 9 years ago

Even with all the technology available you need to balance high tech with high touch.

Posted by Alan Gross, Loan Consultant (PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company, Equal Housing Lender) almost 9 years ago

Karen, this is good information. Personally cold calling goes against my golden rule, but I have a questions about your last point. Have you ever successfully presented an offer to a seller on behalf of your buyer? I have been asked and I always refuse. I just don't feel comfortable with it.

Posted by Randy Harden MBA, www.RERandy.com (CENTURY 21 Wieder Realty) almost 9 years ago

Sandi - Lol!

Eric - You're welcome!

Justin - me too!

Tammie - yes, we just dont' do it anymore

Alan - so true!

Randy - Yes.  It's all about humility.  If the buyer's rep is too pushy, it can really turn a seller off.  Back in the day when we did do it, about half of the agents would agree and the other half felt as you do.

Posted by Karen Pannell, Owensboro KY Real Estate -270-903-2167 Homes, Cond (Real Living / Home Realty) almost 9 years ago