A Stroll Down “Memory Lane”

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memory laneI 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?

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12 Responses to “A Stroll Down “Memory Lane””

  1. Arthur Harris Says:

    In the short time I have been in real estate we have had a lot of changes. What I have noticed especially is that if you do not become competent with social media ie. facebook,twitter and linkedin you will not be as successful as other agents who use these new tools.

  2. Ron Taylor Says:

    In the short time I have been in the business (35+ years) we have color copiers that could probably do counterfieting vs handwriting every copy, SmartPhones that do more than I even understand vs rotary phones at the office, eFaxes vs “air mail”, but we eventually got computerized with a freestanding “telex” Western Union type machine. You could watch as it typed each letter. Next we moved up to a faster one that typed left to right and right to left as it returned (WOW..that was cool).

    Anyone got thoughts as to where we will be 35 years from now?

    • tylerbrenner Says:

      Forget about “virtual tours”. The wave of the future will be “virtual reality tours”!

  3. Anne Langley Says:

    The contracts were a mere 2 pages when I started–whoa!! I can remember guarding that big thick listing book with our lives. We thought we were something because other agents had to come to us to “find” and gain access to our listings. We all went kicking and screaming when we joined FMLS. We all wondered what in the world these brokers were thinking. I for one am so glad it has changed it has made our lives so much easier and better.

  4. Carol Weathers Says:

    The great thing about our websites is that now you can see so much detail on the homes and locations before you even have to get the
    customer in the car. Remember when you have to spend lots of money
    on gas and maybe even be out for the entire day from morning until night. Now with the map that is incorporated on our websites, you can zoom in and see if there is a tree buffer and what streets or lakes are
    surrounding the home. Then you can zoom out and see what highways will be close to take you to work. Multiplied with all the other features,
    Realtors and clients can cut down on time spent in the car. We can really narrow down the list of what fits the criteria on the website.
    If clients have small children, this can really be a help as most research
    can be done at home.

  5. Mark Broyles Says:

    By cracky, back in my day we didn’t have lockboxes. We had sticks, and we had to invent fire to burn the sticks in order to get into the caves! Just kidding Fran. Today’s agents (me included) don’t know how good we have it. My clients use all the tools to qualify homes before ever stepping foot the car. Things like slide shows, google earth, mapping tools, etc. All that is missing is a scratch and sniff print out from the MLS. Might as well know in advance if teh home reeks!

  6. Bob Davies Says:

    I remember when John Hartramph (some may know who he is) brought the first terminal into what was the West Cobb office then to replace the TI computers and the curley-q thermal paper that woud turn black on your dashboard this time of year.

    • Kevin Levent Says:

      Yes Bob, then the pagers, then the first fax machines, the first computers with dial-up modems, we love being the pioneers!!!

  7. Anne Langley Says:

    I can remember kicking and screaming when we had to learn the “FMLS” way of doing things. We thought all the brokers had lost their minds. The listing books were guarded with your life; they meant people had to come to you to get information from you for one of your listings or even to show it. I am glad we have progressed from the Caveman to the technologies we have today; you are right Mark you young whipper snappers have it soooooo easy.

  8. Sharon Darby/Ops Mgr. Says:

    As a mortgage person in the business over 30 years, I remember when buyers were limited in their financing choices. Contracts were often written and accepted before financing was discussed. Closing costs were almost always 3.3% and paid by the seller. Prepaids were paid by the buyer. Rates were often not negotiable with FHA /VA rates set by those agencies.

    The “good ole days” weren’t always that good if you wanted some control of your financing!

  9. Patrick L. Thornton Says:

    Anne Langley reminds me of 16% interest rates in the early 80’s being the “norm” with Brokers selling Non Qualifying loans to stay in business. I’m remember how all the agents complained about changing from the old books and discs to the new ” internet based” FMLS system. I must admit I was on the cutting edge with my motorola party line mobile phone. How did we survive “the good ole days”?

  10. ann bone Says:

    Yeah, I remember hitting a pothole in the road so hard that my “mobile” phone guts became disconnected in the trunk of my car. And how much we LOVED those $800 a month car phone bills, too! Buyers had to be really special to be allowed to use this exotic form of communication at our expense. Whatever happened to all the courier services we hired to deliver documents before faxes were used?

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