CEO of Harcourts New South Wales, Rob Forde, told Real Estate Business at the group's most recent quarterly awards that principals are operating in an IT world.
“One of the big elements now is we’re looking at the way business is done through social media and the internet,” Mr Forde said. “There are a lot of ways we can communicate with people, and a lot initiatives to do that more efficiently.
“But there is a huge focus for us at Harcourts to keep that human element in everything we do. It’s quite easy to become lost behind a text message or an email.
“If you’re actually taking the time to develop and nurture a relationship, it’s going to make a huge difference to that person.”
To prove his point, Mr Forde challenged principals to look at their own emails and see which ones had enough appeal for them to open.
“The days have gone when you can send out a bulk email or SMS to your database, it just doesn’t happen. The IT world we’re in just doesn’t allow it. Look at your own inbox, how many emails do you open if they’re not personally to you?
“If it doesn’t look relevant to you, then the person has missed an opportunity to develop that relationship with you. The intent behind the message has to be right.”
Mr Forde also stressed that buyers should not be forgotten when it comes to building relationships.
“The amount of information available to buyers now is as high as it’s ever been. So quite often a buyer can be online and research everything from recent sales to median prices, and they have a very good understanding on influencing price.
“A lot of the communication between the buyer and agent should be around if the property is the right fit for their lifestyle. So from our point of view, it’s about understanding and asking the right questions to find their motivations.”