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The Transformative Moment

Real Estate Agent on phone in front of house

There is a growing presence of AI in real estate and beyond, where the lines are sometimes blurred and you find yourself questioning what is real. These days I find myself screening any incoming communication from an unknown source until I can be convinced that I’m dealing with (a) a real person, who is (b) worth getting to know. 

This played out in a recent text communication where the discussion with my incoming text sender (let’s call them “IT”) went as follows:

2:28 AM, IT: “I want to put my house for sale. Please contact me. [Name].”

4:14 AM, IT: “House address is [house address].”

Waking up, my first thought was “Yeah, right. Helloooo, bot! Okay, let’s see how this goes!”

6:43 AM, Me: “Thank you for reaching out, [Name]. Let me know when would be a good time for us to meet at your house so we can discuss how you would best like to proceed.”

6:44 AM, IT: “Today anytime.”

6:48 AM, Me: “Sounds good. Would around 4:30 or 5:00 work for you?”

6:49 AM, IT: “Good for me.” 

At this point I’m thinking, “Seriously?!? What person answers every text exactly 1 minute later?” before responding with:

6:49 AM, Me: “Great. See you this afternoon. I’ll text you when I’m about a half hour out.”

Frankly I found it all a bit suspect, but when I looked up the owner of record, the name they had used was a match, so I resolved to keep the appointment. Approaching the house, I noted that there was no car in the driveway, no visible decorations and all the blinds were drawn. When I rang the doorbell, initially nobody answered, but just as I was about to turn and leave, an older couple appeared at the door. 

Turns out they had just arrived late the previous evening from out of state after driving all day to secure the house after evicting a troublesome tenant and had decided not to use the driveway so any visiting agents could have room to park, and they had gotten my name from the sign rider on my nearby listing in the same subdivision. The inflatable mattress they had bought to sleep on had failed, which was what had them up at 2:28 AM desperately reaching out to find anyone who could help get the place ready to market on short notice. 

So just like that, after 6 minutes of texting and within 5 minutes of meeting, what had started as an unnerving experience ended up being a mutually beneficial and warm working relationship. We had arrived at that transformative moment when everything comes together: In life, this happens any time two people who were strangers become friends or partners, and a very similar shift occurs in real estate when one person gains someone’s trust to the point where they decide to become their client. The new relationship that has begun will change the course and quality of both parties’ experience of the events which follow in some way, however large or small.

For my new out-of-town clients, the experience came full circle this week when we were able to close escrow on their formerly troublesome property since my team and I were able to help them get it fixed up and sold in 15 days—for well over what they had ever expected to get for the home. 

And to think it all started with a random text.

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