Why We Need Humans to Navigate the World of Real Estate

need humans to navigate the world of real estate

If you ask some companies like Bluenuts or whatever why we need humans to navigate the world of real estate, the management at Bluenuts will tell you we don’t. That’s because they find warm bodies, somehow get them through the real estate exam, and then try to compartmentalize real estate like they were shoving a Model T out on the assembly line. But when these new agents catch on, I imagine they go elsewhere to sell real estate, where the money is better. I’ve never met a veteran Bluenuts agent but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about why we need humans to navigate the world of real estate. There are a handful of new companies hitting town that offer less and charge less, which causes concern among some agents that they will be replaced by robots. I can’t say that I’ve heard anybody express how much they love dealing with automation over human interaction. Have you?

Not even Fox Mulder. We watched an X-Files episode, Season 11, Episode 7, about artificial intelligence and automation, mostly about what can and does go wrong. It really hit home. You can’t trust technology to always work correctly. This is why people are uneasy about driverless cars. We still need and, dare I say, crave, the human touch.

For example, the other day I had a couple hours I could get away from my computer, so I decided to do a bit of targeted spring shopping at Nordstrom. I texted my personal shopper to say, yes, I know it’s fast notice, but I would arrive at the store in 15 minutes. She wasn’t even working that day. Yet, you know what she did? She jumped in her car and met me there. On her day off! With her assistance, I bought what I needed and left. I could not have accomplished that without her help. I don’t have all day to shop or even all afternoon.

Another example, over the weekend, my husband and I went to Lowe’s to buy a new grill. Since we have a grill in Hawaii, I now find the charcoal vs gas grill debate has carried over to Land Park, and we need a gas grill at our house here. I also needed a planter hanger doohickey since one of the hangers supporting our basket of four elephant foot plants broke. We searched the entire store and I finally found a bag of four metal hangers sitting alone on a shelf of planters. It didn’t match anything and had no skewer.

My husband insisted Lowes would not sell that to us because it had no skew number. But he underestimates the power of dealing with humans. I approached the cash register, handed the bag to the clerk, explained I really need that plant hanger, including the fact I was aware there is no skew. I offered something he could not refuse. Said he can charge me whatever he liked. I need to buy it.

He just gave the hangers to me. No charge. Free. The power of dealing with humans.

The same thing applies to the principles behind why we need humans to navigate the world of real estate. No matter how savvy a seller or buyer believes they are, they do not have 40 years of experience in real estate in sales like I do. My knowledge helps clients to avoid costly mistakes, streamlines the escrow process, assists with pricing, and whatever happens, they know I will be there for them with a solution. Perhaps several solutions. Robots can’t give you that.

Do I like pumping my own gas? Do you?

Further, if automated checkout lines worked so well, why do employers hire clerks to stand there and watch?

Enjoy humans while you can. Because businesses will continue to try to get rid of them. But I firmly believe you’ll always want to rely on a knowledgable human to assist you with buying and selling Sacramento real estate.

Elizabeth Weintraub

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