Last week, an email chain was floating around about an upcoming fantasy football draft. When it was apparent that for the first time ever, we’d be doing the draft online instead of in-person, one friend wrote, “Ah…the Internet. t was supposed to make the world smaller, but this is yet another instance of it taking us further apart.”
Needless to say, it got me thinking about the many ways the Internet has taken us further apart from each other. For many, email, Facebook messages and texts have replaced the telephone as the preferred method of communication. While initially texting was a form of communication, I thought was limited to social uses. Now, it is widely used amongst my clients and peers.
In fact, the founder of this very site, Michael Beckerman of The News Funnel, wrote recently about how he didn’t want to speak to people on the telephone.
I also recently read an article by Allen Buchanan on The News Funnel about his frustration with certain online tools. Many have come along recently, which are supposed to streamline or assist the deal making process and manage relationships, but according to Allen, while many have good attributes, none are perfect.
Having said that, the first lesson my father taught me about real estate is that it’s not a bricks and mortar business; it’s a relationship business. There are conversations that need to be had over the phone, rather through email or text, and there are certainly times when a face-to-face meeting makes all of the difference in a deal.
An online football draft may be the answer this year, and texting certainly saves time, but nothing can replace the level of communication that takes place when people are in the same room. The phone is a distant second. That said, feel free to pick up the phone and call me when it warrants a conversation. And if it’s really important, let’s meet for coffee. Nothing in this business is more important than building and maintaining relationships.