Automation: The Great Lie

Automation done right frees you up to spend time on the things that matter. Most of us real estate and mortgage folks are obsessed with the idea of automation. We are told automation is a magical gateway to more time, more money and greater recruiting prowess. Consider the last five sales pitches you have seen about automation. There is a good chance it was similar to “We can automate that thing you don’t like doing!” Are you on FB? Every add is “guaranteed to convert” and is basically a promise to generate more money without work. Seems like a good idea, right?

I was squarely on ”team automation” for a long time. The CTO of the F250 company I worked for looked me right in the eyes at an especially intense meeting and said, “I don’t do automagic, you shouldn’t make technology do what humans are getting paid to do.” He was right.  I was wrong, (although I didn’t admit it at the time and I continued to make John’s life hell… sorry John).

 

personal responsibility in the workplace

The automation trap is real and it’s expensive. 

At some future date, I will explore the really interesting stuff like customer service bots and AI cold calling… but, for today, I want to keep it simple.  STOP TRYING TO AUTOMATE THE FOUNDATIONAL DUTIES OF YOUR SALES JOB.

Gary Vaynerchuck has written on this extensively and says, “When it can and should be done by a human, use a human.” Seems legit and easier said than done.

A few of the industry automation danger zones are…

Status updates

Do you make weekly update calls or send weekly update e-mails to all of your active clients? Working to “automate” this is a complex form of insanity. It is your team’s job to communicate effectively and taking a few minutes a week per client is non-negotiable.   

Responding to Social Media Engagements

When was the last time you reacted to or responded to an auto response on social media. You like a FB page and get a clearly automated, “Hi thanks for liking my page, how are you? Click my link.” Ignore it, don’t do it.

Nurturing Converted Prospects

The closer a lead is to being converted the more important personal communication becomes. You don’t spend six months working on a lead only to use an autoresponder when they say, “I would like to talk about rates.” Look for buying signals and go get ’em.

The real power of automation:

The real power of automation is to help you prioritize your day and make the right call at the perfect time to rock your customer’s expectations. Managing No Lead Left Behind is impossible without some level of technology and automation.

Here are a couple of ways I use automation:

  • instead of using automation to make calls, use to to tell you who/when to call.
  • In place of sending update e-mails, have it prepare update e-mails.
  • Rather than using it to sell, use it to inform.

In short, I am with Gary and John. You are paid to convert and communicate clearly.  There is no magic bullet to avoid that work.

Bear in mind I write this from the position of currently making a living digitizing relationship based mortgage pros. For me, the stakes are high. I see to many “don’t do any work and get good stuff” messages floating around. Those who fall for it waste time, waste money and don’t get the business they deserve.