Our Wine Party
After a very fun thank you event at Medi Wine Bar last week, where we spent some time saying thank you to clients and our vendors, I sat back for a minute to consider how much fun it is to throw a party.
I’ve been planning, producing and hosting parties and events for 25 years.
So first, thank you to everyone who came out in a freezing downpour last week.
We had a wonderful time!
I hope that you will come to the next one if you missed it!
In the spirit of these types of events, I have been thinking about how much the real estate industry has changed, and what things remain the same.
An article I read last week (link here) also had me thinking about how disruptive technology will be to so many industries.
Specifically, I have considered how technology has impacted my business over the last 15 years (so many LinkedIn congratulations– what is that all about?
Thanks for those!)
Will events like this- bringing people together for a drink and a visit- change very much in the future?
Sure, people now wait to RSVP until the very last minute- and commitment to events like this can be a bit challenging- given how easy it is to say maybe on an e-vite.
But nothing beats those times where people can visit, meet each other, or
just say thank you for making time to refer business my way.
Even meeting my clients before setting out on the search- doing this is in person feels quite important in person- to learn about what they need before we start looking at apartments- This remains a very personal endeavor.
Yet, in other respects, technology has been incredibly powerful and impactful to how I spend my day.
From the most basic of having email on the go, to having access to all of my files from anywhere in the world, and being to respond effectively to clients on the go- To being to conduct property searches from a phone.
All of the interstitial things of running a business- scheduling, team communication, sharing files, looking at property videos and sharing photos with buyers, all of it has become a second skin- a seamless layer of efficiency.
Add to that the
other add-ons that have been amazing- Facebook and the instant nature of texting, and messaging.
All that said, can something other than speaking on the phone replace the depth of that conversation?
Email is flat, without tone, prone to misunderstanding.
The unrelenting search for efficiency continues to try and disrupt the business of human interaction- the question is not “What can technology replace?” but “What can’t it replace?”
I wrote about the overconfidence, call it hubris even, of buyers who, armed with information from Streeteasy, decide that they know the market better than those who buy and sell on a regular basis.
I do think there’s a place in certain price points where there can be some disintermediation, in the places where apartments have been much more commoditized.
But I would argue that there is a certain and obvious price point above which that doesn’t work.
Further, even below that level ($1mm?
$1.5mm?) I struggle to find situations when there is no value in having human beings negotiate on behalf of interested parties, or deals where I haven’t added some value to get a deal done- be it market knowledge, broker relationships, building knowledge, etc.
Not to mention the deals that I scotch for one reason or another.
I read recently about large mergers and acquisitions that have found a way to avoid some of the intermediation of banks and advisors that is still standard practice.
Will this become the norm?
I doubt it.
Very few companies can become expert at this without spending more money or time (they are equivalent in many cases) than would be useful.
I think the same goes for professionals who try to become real estate experts.
It’s harder than you think.
Robots and Artificial Intelligence will have a hard time asking the right questions to get deals done, for a long time.
Arm’s length does not probably mean the length of a cyborg’s arm…
Some last thoughts.
If you have bad credit, it can really hurt your chances of buying an apartment, especially in a rising rate environment.
Enter some very savvy folks, a firm called Regal Financial, that has helped a lot of celebrities, athletes, and normal people with poor or no credit create a better credit profile.
This is more important that you may realize!
Anthony wrote a fun article about things you don’t usually think about regarding your credit.
Check it out here.
One last thing.
I’m very excited to have our Brown Harris Stevens Annual Meeting tomorrow.
I’ll be writing about how dominant our firm remains at the high end of the marketplace.
Despite sales volume being down 19% in NYC, we definitely continue to outperform.
More to come…
Have a great month! -S