Is Today’s Technology a Tin God?
John Naisbitt posed the question “Is technology the Tin God of the 21st century?” in his 1999 book High Tech, High Touch. I’m not sure if I would go that far. I mean, do we ever leave home or even a room without our cell phones? By definition, A Tin God is someone or something that is wrongly considered important. Technology is important – right?
When I started my Real Estate career in 2009, I was advised to ditch the flip and get a smartphone. I’ve been a REALTOR® with one in my hand ever since. Technology has certainly made communication easier, but I enjoy human interaction as well. In the early 1980’s Naisbitt actually coined the term “High Touch” in another one of his best-sellers, Megatrends. Here he points out “the fallacy of automating every business transaction without human interaction at some point. There is no substitute for the personal touch.”
I agree with him. I like balance. Maybe it’s because I’m a Libra. Or maybe it’s just because I like talking to people, alot. Email, text and social media have their place. So do phone calls, in person meetings and gifts. (Photo from Matters Magazine)
High tech specifically refers to technology that is cutting edge: the newest and most advanced available. REALTORS®, by and large, have embraced tech. Emails, video, websites and CRMs have become standard. Newer tools, like Revaluate, which harness the power of predictive analytics, are also being embraced more and more. Running behind the scenes, this tool collects data to juice up our databases. I won’t pretend to understand their secret sauce, but that it does work fascinates me. To truly realize its potential you need a killer CRM and an integrated website. I am currently working with FollowUpBoss and YLOPO. This triad is a new venture for me and I am excited to see the results.
The “high touch” touch I miss the most is gathering people around a table, enjoying a meal with friends old and new. (Table Photo) Discovering untapped connections between them thrills me and is best achieved in person. Good food makes it even better! During the pandemic, I’ve been living vicariously through Phil Rosenthal and his series Somebody Feed Phil. Watch it! He epitomizes high touch. Phil travels the world, learns about local cultures, makes friends, hugs, laughs and shares really good food. Some life, huh?
Scott Stratten, Founder of UnMarketing is another high touch inspiration for me. Scott was the keynote speaker at The Residential Real Estate Council’s annual Conference (Sell-A-Bration) in January, 2020. Last conference I attended before lockdown actually. To say I’m a huge fan is an understatement. He happily signed my copies of ALL of his books. (see photo). Scott shared his famous story about how a box of doughnuts from a REALTOR® named Petrus, created a relationship for life.
Gifts are tactile, even edible in Petrus’ case, and they embody thoughtfulness. People feel SEEN. Particularly when we couldn’t have a cup of coffee, go out for a meal, HUG our clients at closing or even see their entire faces! While my approach is not as hyper targeted as Petrus’, it is the high touch balance to my high tech systems.
Using my “juiced up” database, I create intentional coincidences by sending timely gifts to those who are likely to move, part of my sphere of influence and relationships I want to nurture.
Thank you and birthday cards, new baby and new home gifts are standards many REALTORS® send. I like to throw something different into the mix. Recently, I sent a box of Calgon and some chocolates, reminding folks about the importance of self-care. “Calgon, take me away!” If you don’t get the reference, (I am looking at you Millennials) google it. (Box Photo)
My next gift is inspired by Chet Holmes in his book “The Ultimate Sales Machine.” Let’s just say it involves a Rubik’s Cube. I am so excited to test this one out on my Revaluate and Reside contacts, as well as my SOI.
High Tech, High Touch has been the backbone of my business strategy for years. Integrating the right tech tools and systems with thoughtful, personal touches has paid off for me and I intend to continue with this balanced approach as I scale up to the next level.
More: You can also see Tracy’s video with Mara and Katrina on this topic here.