Council News

Vantage Point: The Art and Science of Making Connections

Michael Burkhard, CRS 2019 RRC President

From the desk of 2019 RRC President Michael Burkhard, CRS

If we look at our industry—at the world itself—technology helps keep us connected. Computers and mobile devices allow us to communicate instantly with anyone. Apps and programs organize those communications, as well as our files, paperwork and calendars. CRM programs and social media tools keep our professional life synchronized with our business plan.

You could say that technology is the science of making connections—so it’s imperative that we stay on top of what’s available. To help master that task, we cover an array of tech tools in this issue of The Residential Specialist. You can also take RRC courses, or compare notes with fellow professionals and ask which apps or platforms they use to keep their business running smoothly. Talk to people in your network, too. Ask the home inspectors you recommend and photographers you hire which business programs they use.

Although it’s impossible to grow a thriving business without technology, we can’t ever forget that we work in a people business. To survive in this industry, we have to know the importance of a handshake. So it makes sense that the art of making connections lies in our ability to build a genuine person-to-person relationship with clients, business partners and other community members.

The objective is to blend the art and science of making connections. For example, once a connection is established, we can use technology to provide the best possible client service and further strengthen that connection.

Of course, the perfect blending is rarely 50/50—and knowing when to go digital versus when to stop by in person with paperwork is what sets a CRS apart. The hours you spend in class learning about different apps combined with the years you’ve spent learning about people give you keen insights into making connections.

I believe there’s an important place in our profession for technology, and we have to morph with the ever-evolving programs, apps and platforms available to us. But we still have to maintain our heart. That brings us back to the art and science of making connections and knowing that technology can improve—but never replace—your relationships with real people.