Seattle says their home sales are sliding, but Yakima-area realtors aren't letting the "West Side" stop them from  getting these "East side" homes sold with the quickness!

Yakima realtors' biggest threat to stealing their new customers (and their commissions) is not other agents, it's online real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia and Redfin and now, ROBOTS! What are Yakima realtors doing to fend off the competition?

The saying goes, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!", and some area realtors are turning to "technology adaptation" to continue being the dominant resource for home sales in the Yakima Valley. Some agents are beginning to use artificial intelligence and virtual assistants to provide top-notch customer service-with a human touch-for their clientele. There are virtual assistant programs similar to Siri that can help agents find the information they need for their clients.

I recently visited one such technology training session at a Yakima-area real estate company, Keller Williams Realty. The training session was open to those interested in becoming a real estate agent with their company (such as myself), but the training was mainly beneficial to the company's existing roster of realtors.

During the training session, I learned a lot about how realtors are now relying on the use of quality photographs, scanners, drones, social media, advanced software programs and virtual tours to keep a leg up on their online competitors and ROBOTS. I also gleaned a few specific tips agents use to explain the contracts they use when helping sellers list their homes for purchase.

The Seattle side of the Cascades may be seeing home sales cool off, but over here in the Yakima Valley, business is poppin' and it sure ain't stoppin', at least for the time being, and while robots may be able to find the same information as a human real estate agent, but they certainly cannot provide human empathy and emotion! You will need both of those if you plan on buying or selling a house!

Robots can't tell you if somebody previously died in that house! Robots can't tell you which painter, carpenter, appraiser, electrician they recommend the MOST. Robots cannot tell you about traffic patterns, or which home is about to go on the market that might be a perfect fit for you! Robots can't persuade you to look at one more home when you've given up all hope on finding your dream house. Robots don't get to know YOU as a person, and that is something Yakima realtors can do like no other!

TAKE THAT, ROBOTS!