I was in one of our office meetings recently with a speaker from Personal Marketing Company and she asked the group how many of us had been in the business for more than 10 years and a handful of us raised our hands. Then, she asked how has the business most changed for you?
Well, several things went through my mind, but technology is what has really changed the way we do business. It got me to thinking about how different things are today from when I started in the industry some 26 years ago (now erase that from your mind…I don’t want to give away my age).
Remember when you carried the “big book” around to see what properties were listed. Thank goodness those days are over. You had to actually talk to someone on the phone to get information. Remember how excited you were when fax machines were put in your offices! Agents today have it so easy.
Emails were not even available when I first got into real estate. But in only the last few years you can get your emails while driving your car (not recommended, pull off the road). You can be out showing property to one customer and be getting information from another customer at the same time. Smart phones are essential for today’s real estate agents. In fact, you can be standing in front of a listing and find out the price, see more photos, etc. on your phone because of mobile real estate websites (like metrobrokers.com).
I talked to an agent a couple of months ago that negotiated a whole deal by texting. He never actually talked to the other agent. How cool is that!
All the social networking systems that are in place now are also helping create more deals. We used to have to go to PTA Meetings, HOA Meetings, etc. to keep our face and name in front of potential clients. Now you can talk on Facebook, Tweet, connect on LinkedIn, Active Rain, etc. from the privacy of your home, to remind people you’re in real estate. I’ve even connected with people I went to high school and college with and have been able to refer one of them to an agent in the state they are living in and received a referral fee. I absolutely would not have had that opportunity 10 years ago.
Agent websites are also very important today. You never know where your next client is going to come from. I want to use every opportunity that is available to be successful. Agents who have not grasped these changes will not be as successful as agents that do. And they will be working a whole lot harder for the business they do get.
I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years bring. I’ll be one of the first to use it!
What are your memories?