Relational Realtors are making a comeback

True or false: In this new business environment, technology has changed the way real estate agents conduct their business with their customers?

Most agents would say false.

For years, it was believed that the biggest threat to the real estate industry was the ever-growing popularity of technology. But for many homebuyers, the internet can be an intimidating place.

Today, many agents are welcoming a fundamental shift in the way homebuyers are searching for their dream homes. While they may be searching online, they are looking for a relational agent who can meet all their needs. In a way, it’s a return of the old school, back to the basics concept. It’s a game-changing twist to technology.

Relational agents are creating a revolution where the client comes first and the technology comes second. Many homebuyers admit after a few months they can’t recall their agent’s name because their experience was transactional, not relational.

Traci Shoberg, with Market Place Realty in Winchester, is a relational real estate agent. She is not a find it, fleece them, forget them kind of agent. She meets the ever-changing needs of her clients from finding the perfect location to closing. And everything in-between.

“I’m not in it just for just selling a house and that’s it,” she said. “I’m relational, which means, when you buy a house, you’re possibly going to need someone to fix it up. You’re going to need a contractor, a lender, someone who is going  to be that whole hub of information that you might need to make that transaction from start to finish.”

Basically, according to Shoberg, she’s an advocate for the customer. To meet their needs, the customer has to feel certain about the process and the end result. That means attending to emotional needs, as well as sensible needs.

Renee Waymire, an agent with Long & Foster in Winchester,  adapts to the needs of customers with disabilities seeking a  home.

“It usually has nothing to do with the home itself,” she said. “It’s always about the community.”

As a relational agent, the community is extremely important to not only Waymire but to her customers. Finding the right home for a customer with a disability requires prior planning, research, and a little extra heart.

“It can be overwhelming for individuals with disabilities to think about moving,” she said. “A lot of those individuals don’t necessarily know who to go to for help or they don’t know what their options are. I’ve become sort of a specialist in the area.”

Both women say they’ve made friends with many of their customers.  Waymire treats a few individuals every month to a little something sweet to make them feel appreciated. Shoberg has attended many soccer games and graduations over the years.

“Selling a home to a homebuyer isn’t just about making a sale, it’s about making a home,” Shoberg said. “A place where families make memories for years to come.”