I am bombarded by conversations that paint real estate as a tech industry.
It’s not. That line of thinking is frankly annoying, almost as annoying as hearing a tech tool is a “game-changer” or a company is here to “disrupt the industry.” And really it’s high time we change the conversation. It’s time to put humans over houses.
My passion for this paradigm shift started on a night when I was completely drained. Most of us have been there: after a long, sapping day at work we are mentally spent. Some of you might find refuge in a nice dinner, your favorite non-judgmental sweatpants, or a glass of wine.
I found myself alone in a Times Square Coffee shop, scribbling notes about all these conversations I’d had throughout my day at an industry conference.
The barista handed me my coffee, I looked back at my notes and realized that not one word was about the real humans buying and selling houses – and that bothered me. I remembered my own experiences selling homes. How I had to climb out on a balcony because of a door accidentally swinging shut. Or how that hug felt when I handed my client the keys to their dream home. The opportunity to deeply impact a life, and all the gratification that goes along with it, isn’t something even the best technology can replicate. And to make it worse, I was complicit. I had not initiated the conversation about the people either. I vowed that would not happen again. At least not by me.
And yet, no one was talking about the human selling her house and how we could make it better for her.
No one was talking about Donna’s smile when she bought a home for her immigrant parents who sacrificed everything so she could go to college. Or Lynn’s perseverance when her dream home fell through. Or the memories steeped in Sarah’s childhood home – and her experience selling it as a new REALTOR®.
I realized from that coffee shop table that I was part of the problem. The cult of technology has a powerful pull – but it’s past time that we swim against that current.
Since its genesis just two years ago, NextHome’s Humans Over Houses movement has recast the way real estate is done in America. The hashtag has reached thousands on social media, sharing personal stories of real people having a deeply personal experience buying or selling a home. If we ever lose sight of the human in the transaction, we are out of business. That’s really the heart of it: with something as intimate and complicated as real estate, you cannot lose sight of that personal connection.
And so the Humans Over Houses phenomenon rolls on, gaining more steam with each story it tells. Across these pages you will find the very human experiences of home buyers and sellers, remembering their feelings as they discovered, or reinvented, what home means. It’s a website steeped in humanity where you just might realize that you aren’t the only one who has ever felt this way as you navigate your own home buying journey. It is a promise that NextHome knows that humans are at the heart of real estate.