Is quick information good information?

Bogue Sound SunsetOne of the big things in real estate these days is instant availability to your clients. Many agents carry smart phones so they can always see their email.

We have been told that clients will move on and seek another agent unless they hear back within 15 minutes of sending an email.

This of course is just the logical extension of the Google search. If you do not find what you want in the first five search results, you move on.

I am a big fan of Google. I have written a couple of posts, Google’s clever daily intelligence and The glue for the modern world.

One of the post laughs a little about the kind of information that you can find with Google and the other talks seriously about how Google somehow replaces much of the information that used to be passed on by family and close neighbors.

While it might be nice to get a quick reply from a smart phone that I will get back to you shortly, I would certainly rather get a real contact from someone.

We have gotten to the point that people prefer quick over accurate, and anonymous over professional.

I have not decided why people have become so jaded that they are not interested in talking to professionals about a subject. Most people place the greatest importance on getting their information quickly. They seem relatively uninterested in making certain that they are getting good information.

As a Realtor®, I have gotten more training and access to useful information than I ever have previously in my sales career. Yet I get the feeling that most people are afraid of the information or power that Realtors® have. We seem to be only slightly above used car salesmen even though we go through a rigorous licensing procedure and take additional training each year.

People believed every word that I said as an Apple sales person. Unfortunately I knew almost nothing because of Apple’s North Korean style secrecy. Still people depended on my best guess as to whether or not to place million dollar computer orders.

My theory on sales does not have anything in it about magically tricking people into buying something that they do not want. Sales is all about finding out what someone wants and helping them find it.

When most people take the time to seek out a dedicated real estate professional, they add a local expert who can fill many of the cracks where the Internet just does not provide complete information.

I often get questions on online forums. I go to great pains to respond accurately to people’s questions. I do it not because people are likely to turn around and buy property from me but because by getting good information on the table, I can hopefully make people see that the quality of the information is more important than the speed of the answer.

We have become a society that does not want to wait. We would rather jump to whatever conclusion we can instead of taking the time to dig deeper and get real answers.

Google is part of my daily life, but I have no intention of trying to beat Google to the punch or supply Google type information. If you do a Google search for “Cape Carteret, NC,” you will come up with a Google map and lots of links.

You might be able to find what you want in those links. If you search for “Local expert Cape Carteret, NC,” I come up number six in the search. If you send me a note, I will likely be able to give you better information than you might get from a Google search. At the most you will wait a few hours.

Even Google has figured that out since they let us create more useful maps using their tools. You can compare my Cape Carteret map to the one you got in the Google search.

It depends on what you want with your Google search. If finding the right place to live the next twenty years is what you want, just maybe you should take the time to evaluate your sources instead of taking whatever Google throws at you.

If you are looking for the location of an ATM machine, Google is probably the right tool.

A friend and I are rolling out a local Internet resource which we expect will create another level of information at a more local level. We hope by involving lots of people we can get good information which is locally based and refreshed on a regular basis. We have the prototype up at CarteretNorthCarolina.us .

We will see whether it makes a difference in the long run.

Character

beachI have heard it said that your real character shows late at night when you are alone, and no one can see what you’re up to.

While that is probably true, the problem for the rest of us is that no one is there to see you, so we cannot figure out your character.

Maybe your character shows on a nearly deserted beach like this one near Emerald Isle, NC. At least someone might catch a glimpse of what you are doing.

Actually I think technology has made it much easier to see inside that protective coating which keeps most people from knowing who we really are. It has nothing to do with cameras or surveillance.

So how does technology reveal our character?

Sometimes it is as simple as technology providing anonymity through a nickname with instant messaging.

Most often it just provides distance or a buffer from real personal interaction.

What better to really tell someone off than in a voicemail or perhaps a cell phone call where the connection is so bad that they can’t even fight back?

Then of course there is the flaming email which is well known to all corporate dwellers.

In a sense people really do hide behind the technology. Technology lets the real person sneak out without fear of consequences that might come from a face to face confrontation.

The other day, I had someone go off the deep end in a phone call. They said things which they should have never let slip out of their mouths. I seriously doubt if the conservation would have been anything near that had it taken place in person or face to face.

What it did let me see is the real person who masquerades behind a facade of civility. I now know that the person is someone whom I probably rather avoid, especially in business dealings.

I recently had another illuminating moment with a business partner.   His real character wasn’t revealed by technology but the way he said something had almost the same effect.

He decided that he wanted to get out of a joint business deal with me. Instead telling me directly, he waited to dump it all on my wife while I was at work.  My wife had not been involved in setting up the deal, and actually wanted no part of it.  She had even recommended against it.

It is probably one of the more cowardly episodes that I have ever heard.  It is perhaps something that only a very small minded person would do especially since it almost knocked my wife into depression.

His actions showed a complete lack of real character. It was pretty obvious that his only consideration was his self. I actually cannot think of someone who has so grossly violated the code by which most men of honor operate.

I guess it goes to show that while technology can reveal a lack of character, those completely without character don’t need technology’s help in showing their lack of worth.

I have an interesting post on the concept of “Sour Grapes” at my Blogger site.  I wrote it after an Apple maniac decided my purchase of a Windows laptop was based on dissatisfaction with my former career at Apple.