I recently thought about the “old school” vs. “new school” business development model.

Which produces the most effective outcome?

I have been in commercial real estate for over 30 years, so naturally, I gravitate toward old school thinking, but, that is not to say that I have not embraced new school methodologies.

Today’s technological advancements make prospecting more efficient and effective than spending hours a day on cold calls. Prospects are easily fine-tuned through online information. Thoroughly researched emails with great content, computerized tracking and sustained follow up yield far better results than just cold calls in the “old days”. However, due to the volume of emails prospects receive in today’s Internet world, it takes 6-9 “hits” to make a meaningful contact. And, few prospects are readily reachable. No one answers their phone, every call goes to voicemail, and few people even listen to their voice messages. So, while technology makes getting the message out easier, it makes actually “connecting” harder.

But, emails without “old school” follow up is a waste of time and energy.

The most successful agents are the ones that incorporate today’s technological advancements with yesterday’s face-to-face relationship building.

My most valuable relationships started off as cold leads but grew into sustained, trusted relationships. Those kinds of relationships cannot be made through email exchanges or text messages. While social media and technology offer the tools to initiate a connection, the real development begins when you get personal. “Clients” are made when you spend time together, getting to know each other and building trust– sometimes it takes years to foster those relationships.

New school technological proficiency matched with old-school tenacity and patience is the ideal business development model. Agents at Scheer Partners that make the most of technology and take the time to foster meaningful trusted relationships are also the top performing agents.

There is a direct and growing relationship between embracing technology and success in commercial real estate.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”– George Bernard Shaw