Tariq Jarrar is an experienced sales professional with over three decades of experience under his belt. He heads the Axession Advancement Academy by Devmark, and recently judged at the Gulf Real Estate Awards.
In a new article for CXM World, Tariq looks at why despite fears of its imminent demise in the face of rising technological advancements, human salesmanship will always remain valuable to customers…
The following is not a review or modern adaptation of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman with a real estate twist.
For a start, the title is slightly different and unlike the play, this article has a happy ending!
By now, the majority of us have been bombarded with articles and blogs about Artificial Intelligence, from positive insights on how forthcoming AI advancements will elevate the world, to apocalyptic prophecies about how it will annihilate humanity, and of course, steal your job.
I am not technologically savvy, but I have been around long enough with a semi-intact memory to know and remember a thing or two about technological breakthroughs and trends. After all, I was the first generation to own a Sony Walkman, and I am the proud owner of Amazon Alexa today.
I do agree that the rise of Artificial Intelligence will replace specific jobs. However, I can only speak about my vocation, which is real estate sales.
I had thought about the subject, but did not put much reflection into it until a friend and colleague propelled me to read and ponder more about the matter.
My fellow combatant has been driving me insane over the last year with his concerns about the demise of the real estate salesman at the hands of C-3PO. He has been talking about that with fiery conviction, and how he must reinvent himself away from sales.
Although I can understand his concerns, I am not worried about the demise of the real estate salesman, and here is my argument as to why.
I have been a supporter of the doctrine that property purchasing decisions are to a large extent driven by emotions, while others believe it is rational, or a combination of both.
It’s a topic that is much too complex to cover in one sentence; however, for the sake of our discussion let us assume that the purchasing decision is a web of emotional and rational elements.
According to Professor Michael J. Seiler, who specialises in behavioural real estate at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, we readily become invested psychologically in a property before we’ve reached a rational decision.
I have been fortunate to partake in numerous real estate transactions over the years. Whether a couple is buying their first home to start their young family, or a family is looking for a bigger house to accommodate their kids, or an investor is looking for a property – the emotions were rampant.
According to the study by SMITH (an experiential commerce agency), there are up to eight different emotional mindsets that influence how consumers make decisions.
I have selected the ones that I have experienced over three decades of sales: Needs Validation, Decision Anxiety, I’m Special, and Know-It-All, while I can think of many more to add to the mix.
If we are to simplify the purchasing transaction, we are then looking at an undertaking of two major elements : the first is parting ways with a large sum of money, or taking on a sizeable monitory commitment, and the second is a cocktail of emotions.
Artificial Intelligence will not replace the human element as long as the purchasers remain human, and humans like to do business with other humans. So, how do salespeople immune themselves from being replaced by a website, a virtual agent, chatbots, or the new generation of sophisticated robots?
There is a lot of good advice out there on the subject, from shifting your mindset to using technology to maximise your efficiency as a salesperson and free your time to do what you are great at.
In my view, the immunity lies in what distinguishes us from the most advanced Artificial Intelligence in the world, and that is our humanity.
However, that is only half the immunisation. It is important that real estate professionals exercise their human traits such as empathy, trustworthiness, and especially the ability to relate to customers and prospective buyers on a personal level. These are what combine to make the true essence of salesmanship.