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In today’s ever-changing, digitally-focused real estate industry, professionals seeking an advantage are looking for the next new shiny object that comes with the promise of changing their business, and, ultimately, their lives. Whether it’s leveraging a non-traditional business model, online leads or predictive analytics, there’s simply no end to the shiny object syndrome. For us at CENTURY 21 Alton Clark, our focus remains being relevant to our clients through innovation, technology, and the very best in service. Yes, we were one of the first to market with professional photography and HD video walk-through tours, as well as 3D technology, and now it’s a norm in our company. That said, the more we chased the shiny object, the more the real answer became clear to me: The more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s the secret to lasting success in any marketplace.

I was recently speaking with a new agent, and I asked for their opinion on a metaphorical business model: the idea of opening an old-fashioned gas station complete with uniformed station attendants dressed in all white with a red bow tie and matching hat. They would approach all vehicles greeting their clients by name, checking oil levels, washing windshields, checking tire pressure, getting them a cold drink, and yes, topping off gas tanks. Upon hearing this model, the agent immediately said that this concept would be amazing, and would probably go viral.

We agreed that this station would probably outsell everyone in town, but the real question was why. Exemplary customer service coupled with true connection is how to be relevant in today’s digital world. The more we get lost in our smartphones and tablets—those shiny objects—the more disconnected we become from each other. Service and connection, in combination with innovation and technology, and a servant heart and mentality, are the game changers. If you choose this direction, be prepared to give more than you receive, and to stay ahead of the competition, add to your list of shiny objects a white uniform, matching hat and red bow tie to personalize the relationship experience for your clients.

James A. Clark is a broker with CENTURY 21 Alton Clark.

For more information, please visit www.c21ac.com.

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