One of the oldest known “home” decorations in existence dates back almost 9,000 years in a location called the Hands Cave in Argentina.
The piece looks like a contemporary house-welcoming gift, the width of an entire wall with warm communal handprints donated from all, as if to say, “Welcome to the neighbourhood!”
Since sapiens emerged as the sole human species, we’ve evolved thousands of generations (almost 19,000 for those who do love the numbers) spreading our influence.
For a majority of those generations, we actually remained very transient with no desire to settle.
Location, location, location was more a way of life than an industry meme or metaphor for the perfect home!
So, it stands to reason that salespeople, including real estate and property, are embryonic on the scale of both industry sector and career path over history!
Human connection still vital
It wasn’t until the agricultural evolution (when fields of maize or animals domesticated us) that we chose to settle.
Ever since then we’ve magnified a greater craving for stability and quality domestication in decor and residence: regardless whether our houses are palatial abodes or humble homes.
One thing that has evolved with us, from our earliest common ancestors, and is very relevant to success in the modern-day practice of real estate sales is yet another evolution — namely, the digital age.
Human connection and touch are critical components of communication as well as social acceptance and bonding that warms our potential tribe and neighbours to us.
Indeed, it is our skill for social interaction that also acts as evidence for competence in our craft, regardless of the trade we ply.
The idea of numbers, or metric data of any kind, is also a very modern form of communication (and motivation!) in the grand scheme of things.
The language of metrics, including money, pales in significance against that of human connection and human touch.
That’s really worth bearing in mind as we go through this current evolution of the digital age.
We’re continually adding to our tech stacks or succumbing to the latest social media trends and, in increasing proportion, this includes egocentric, flashy videos, using the trappings of commercial success for bragging rights or as a primary customer hook.
It’s true that the sales figures you’ve achieved, number of units or houses sold, volume of record-breaking prices or speed of contract exchange are appealing.
However, it is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to sales success.
Instead, the most successful salespersons are the ones who blend sales acumen, including your achievements of measured successes, with the older and more sought-after appeal and sales hook.
Namely, real human connection and human touch.
I’ve studied and written about how people can add value for their clients for decades.
What I’ve learnt along the way is that if you want to elevate your success or fulfilment, both personally and professionally, it’s vital that you blend the positives of tech while also mastering human connection and human touch.
Here are five quick tips to help illustrate what I mean:
1. Deep and thoughtful engagement
Engage in deeper quality conversations at the initial point of client engagement.
The time to find out a depth of knowledge about your clients is not when you’re trying to close.
You must do it earlier and the sales will more easily follow.
2. The power of personalisation
As much as location, location, location is a mantra, adopt another one that is equally powerful, and that is: personalisation, personalisation, personalisation!
However, this doesn’t mean succumbing to digital mechanisms to achieve this goal.
We all know it’s becoming easier and easier through data capture and tech to send out tailored messages, but you must not make it solely about this.
There is nothing personal or authentic about that approach.
Like those warm handprints that appeal to us in that ancient cave, we all discern and value more greatly any evidence of conscious human effort and touch.
3. Tell stories
Adjust your digital strategy to tell better stories.
Everyone is lifting their game with videos of the “product”, which is usually the “transactional home” for sale or rent.
However, remember this: cultures have evolved through stories of greater depth.
Don’t just make an exceptional video of the home.
Bring the home to life in the concept of the story, the community and a broader context beyond its brick walls or garden alone.
4. It’s not just about you
The digital age lends itself easily to traits associated with ego and narcissism.
If you want a bigger worldview of how we value deeper human connection, then look no further than the current devastation sweeping across Australia. Our entanglement and connection to others runs deeper than we can ever fathom.
Consideration of others is surely among the enmeshment of our atoms.
In this case, make sure those high-quality videos include your broader team and the local suppliers (wildlife and pets even).
A great story means many more faces in front of camera, other than just your own.
The quality of your total character is a better trait to focus on than creating a self-absorbed personal brand.
5. Never stop learning
Make sure to keep a focus on your continued education and, in doing so, double down by stretching it beyond a series of one-minute videos or being seen tagged in posts and blogs with the right people.
Those mechanisms have become an artificial symbol of competence, in my opinion.
We don’t become geniuses by rubbing shoulders with trending celebrities or subject matter experts.
We become competent and credible when we take the time to reflect, apply actions and make new skills (or forgotten ones) a part of our established character and toolkit.
It’s well-known business folklore that Warren Buffett, one of the most successful investors of the 20th century, spends five to six hours per day reading five newspapers and 500 pages of corporate reports.
So, like that early dwelling decor of the Hands Cave, the common thread from these tips is simple.
The personalisation of the client experiences that you create and your ongoing and continued lifelong learning have one thing in common — both of them are hands-on!
By Mark Carter, author and real estate trainer