Pucker Up

Recently,
I saw an infographic
either on Facebook or Instagram
(which means it HAS TO BE TRUE) that read something like this: “80% of all
plane crashes occur in either the first 3 minutes or the last 8 minutes of a
flight.”  Hmmmm.  I guess that’s one way to look at the data –
and I guess it’s encouraging to those nervous flyers who like to play the odds –
that if you have a 120-minute flight, you have a high percentage of living
blissfully for the 109 minutes between takeoff and landing.  However, the infographic
would be more accurate if it read something like this: “100% of ALL plane
crashes occur in the last 10 seconds of a flight.”  Before you curl up in the fetal position and
hide under your desk in light of this grim statistic, take a few deep breaths,
and let me explain: no matter how you couch the truth, it’s still the
truth. 
There’s
a new website out in Internetland
(I’m sure that’s what Al Gore wanted to name it when he invented the Internet)
with the domain name of First.IO.  Yes, just type that into your browser without
a “www” or a “.com”, and you’ll be taken to this new and very interesting
place.  In essence, the website asks real
estate agents to upload their databases of contacts.  Once this is done, the website starts mining
all the data that’s floating out there (in Internetland)
as a result of everyone using social media, buying things from Amazon, reading
their favorite blogs, scanning other websites, trolling through Pinterest,
etc., to determine when an agent’s contact is ready to buy or sell a home.  Yes, it’s happening.  I don’t bring this up to launch a formal
protest or throw my support behind it –
I bring this up simply to point out the obvious: the technology is only going
to get more sophisticated as time goes on. 
However, no matter how sophisticated it gets, there’s a rock-solid truth
that still exists: it’s only as good as the person who’s using it (no matter
how you couch the truth, it’s still the truth).
Let
me use a cheesy sports analogy: golf club companies are continually coming out
with new drivers and irons to help a player hit the ball farther, but if the
player has a crap swing, it doesn’t matter how much he spent on that club –
the ball isn’t going to fly off into the stratosphere.  In the real estate world, as technology
continues to develop to do more and more of this “grunt work” of database
management, prospecting, etc., it still comes down to the agent’s skills.  The flashy websites and mobile apps are
great, and they can really help attract and garner attention, but what keeps
them is the agent’s local knowledge, negotiating skills, connections to other
professionals, etc. 
There’s
an old saying that goes something like this: if you put lipstick on a pig, it’s
still a pig. Just because someone invests the money and time in the latest and
greatest doodad doesn’t make them a great agent.  Technology can certainly enhance a great
agent’s talents and skills, but if an agent doesn’t take the time to develop
and hone talents and skills, they’re just a pig looking to kiss someone –
and no one needs that.

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