I started in the real estate world full time in 2005 at the ripe old age of 32. New career, new goals, new outlook on life… yep, I was a bonafide newbie. I was scared to death yet had the whole world in front of me. I was willing to try, didn’t have any bad habits (yet) and didn’t know what I didn’t know.
Agents who had been in the business for years and years were quick to tell me how lucky I was to be getting in now. You see, they remembered when you sat next to your corded phone in the office and waited for a buyer/seller to call, then they called the other party 17 times until they answered, waited 11 hours for that party to call back and then had to physically drive 22 miles to get real, ink signatures then drive back to the office, make 4 copies (buyer/seller/closing dept & one just in case) and then snail mail them out to all parties. Then they got a fax machine! I could keep going but you get the idea…
Back to me… I was young, ambitious and tech savvy. I had a cell phone, access to a color printer and… a website of my own (gasp!) I was cutting edge! Within a few years I upgraded to a smart phone with unlimited talk/text/pics, my own color printer, a better website and Facebook business account. Never one to get behind the times I moved on to an iPad, and hired a professional photographer & drone videoer (is that a word?) for my listings, downloaded an app for on the go scanning & started using Dotloop for electronic signatures. I assume you’re seeing the trend here…
Now here I am starting my 13th year in real estate. I no longer feel like a newbie in the business. I love when any of the “new” agents come to me and ask how to do something because I finally feel like someone thinks I know what I’m doing! My new fear is being left behind. It seems like every day I see or hear of something “new” I should be doing or trying to market my listings or find new prospects.
But staying cutting edge is a daily grind in this business. Just this morning I read an in depth article on how virtual reality tours will be the norm in our business within 1-2 years. I checked on my ads on Homes.com, Adwerx and Zillow. I updated leads from Agent Machine, Premier Agent Concierge, Lead Router and Zap. Last week I downloaded a new app (you should see the # of real estate apps on my phone!) last week that would make quick, visually pretty, videos for my listings. In the past two days I’ve texted, called, IMd, Messengered, Instagrammed, Facebooked, Pinterested, Snap Chatted, Skyped, Ripled and blogged all in the name of business. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to Google+, do anything on Facebook Live, my Contactually account is behind and my BombBomb account feels neglected.
All of this said, I absolutely love Century 21’s new commercial (see below) “Not an App” because it reminds us that even with all of the innovation, even with all of the real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com there are things that machines, apps, programs can’t do. That’s where I/we come in… the real Brandi Nelson, a real person with two real buyer’s agents (The Brandi Nelson Real Estate Team) to take care of real clients.
So yes, we plan to keep innovating but we like to talk to and meet our clients in person. We spend sleepless nights worrying about clients being homeless or complicated deals falling through. We do everything we can to make the process easier & simpler for our clients but at the same time, buying/selling a home is most likely the largest financial decision of your life and that deserves our personal attention.