January 28, 2021


Hassan Riggs

3 Soft Skills You Need For Real Estate Sales And Could Never Teach A Chatbot

This is an easy way to compare real estate ISAs: human versus chatbots

At Smart Alto, we firmly believe in leveraging software whenever it makes sense.

Technology can be the key to creating seamless systems and maximizing efficiency for most businesses when done correctly.

But we also recognize the limits of technology.

Technology can’t replace humans when it comes to people-driven transactions.

If you were selling something like shoes or clothes, things that don’t cause buyers a lot of stress, then sure chatbots would do just fine.

But when it comes to helping people buy and sell their family home, you are dealing with people at their most emotional moments.

Even more importantly, real estate is a marathon & not a sprint. It’s not enough to just close sales today, you need to build real connections with your clients while providing excellent service because repeat and referral business is the foundation of any good real estate career.

When dealing with online lead gen, it’s easy to believe that as much as 90% of the people who interact with your business today won’t be moving for another 3 years or more. And the impression your business makes today will have a lasting impact.

That’s why it’s critical to keep humans in the sales process because they can build 3 skills that no robot could ever learn.

  1. Situational Awareness
  2. Empathy
  3. Emotional Intelligence

How do we know this matters for sales? Our human ISA’s tested this out via text messages and found that when we make it clear that a real human is on the other end prospective home buyers and sellers responded 15% more often.

Let’s explore.

Situational Awareness

Have you ever had to call a customer service number to make a return or request a refund?

It’s a frustrating experience, you almost never reach a real person. Instead of being put through to a live operator, you’re forced to listen to a number tree, “press 1 for our privacy policy”.

And of course, the number tree never has an option for making a return.

So what’s the problem? These systems are tone-def, they can’t read the room and realize that you are a frustrated customer who just wants to process a return.

What’s the opposite of tone-def?

Situationally aware is the opposite of tone-def. And all of the best salespeople have situational awareness.

Think about it, buying and selling a home are two of the most stressful things a person can do in their adult life. Being able to tell what their tone needs is the difference between a while timed witty remark that helps release tension and a tone-deaf joke that just puts everyone on edge even further.


“Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of you’re not alone.” - Brene Brown

There are a few popular reasons that people move 

  • Death of a loved one
  • Birth of child
  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Job Relocation

What do all of these major life events have in common?

They’re stressful, in fact, according to Ariana Huffington’s wellness publication these are some of the most stressful events in a person’s life.

With that in mind, it’s pretty impressive that Realtors are able to earn any repeat and referral business. You know how when you’re stressed out, everyone around you seems like an idiot?

Somehow Realtors work with the most stressed people in the world and come out with a 5-star review.

(Wanna know more about empathy? Read the Empathy Matters in Real Estate section of our popular blog post called ISAs: Chatbots vs Real Humans)

How does this happen? It’s because Realtors are phenomenal empathizers and can connect with people on a very human level, making them feel calm despite the massive amount of stress they may be under.

Have you ever had to be a shoulder to cry on for your clients? It comes with the territory in this business.

Most great agents know that you have to take the time to really understand someone’s motivations and genuinely offer your support not as a professional but as a fellow human, in order to deliver great service.

Emotional Intelligence

If you wanted to try to teach a robot emotional intelligence, you could build out the most amazing script library in the world, and create hundreds of objection handlers and canned responses for a robot and you’d still never come close to recreating a real authentic emotional conversation with a buyer.

Giant Companies Wouldn’t Use Chatbots If They Didn’t Work”

I can hear the chatbot-salespeople out there saying that if chatbots weren’t effective then huge companies like Comcast wouldn’t use them.

But these companies know that chatbots are terrible, that’s why they use them as gatekeepers.

Giant Companies use Chatbots BECAUSE they are frustrating (keep reading).

I know that sounds silly but imagine you’re a massive corporation processing millions of dollars in refunds every day.

Simple logic tells you that you can save yourself thousands of dollars per day just by making it a little harder for customers to process a refund.

So now you just have to figure out how to make returning a product more difficult.

And if you’re a giant company and you want to make it harder for people to return a product or request a refund, you use a chatbot.

Why? Because humans have enough emotional intelligence to make a lengthy return process...bearable.

But chatbots have zero emotional intelligence. So there’s no emotional relief for a customer navigating a tricky return process because the chatbot operator is like talking to a brick wall.

Humans, on the other hand, create connections, connections that can make even very scary projects seem doable.

Just by picking up a client’s unspoken cues, we can adjust our demeanor to make them feel at ease as we guide them through the single biggest purchase of their lives.

Real People = Better Conversations

We aren’t neanderthals, we know how to leverage technology.

In fact our technology has allowed us to build a network of real human ISAs in both the US and the UK and using our software we can route your leads to an available human ISA instantly regardless of what time it is.

This guarantees that your leads are followed up with immediately and human ISAs guarantee that your leads are being treated with Empathy, Situational Awareness and Emotional intelligence every time.

Because of tech, we can offer you REAL Human ISAs at the same cost to you that our competitors charge for chatbots.

We know that emotional intelligence is a critical part of sales, not only in converting your clients but in building a positive brand feeling about your business.

After all, Real Estate is a long game, so while we’re helping you grow your business today we also aim to keep you in good standings with the leads who say no to an appointment and might not be ready for a few years, they’ll come back to you excited to do business with you because when our ISAs reached out they felt cared for and seen by a real person.

Not shoved aside to deal with some frustrating chatbot.

Hassan Riggs

Founder at Smart Alto and former real estate ISA who has set 10,000 appointments.

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