30 Years in Real Estate
30 years ago today, I got my real estate license. That very day, one of my seasoned colleagues told me, “Real estate is the easiest business in the world if you work at it hard, and the hardest business in the world if you work at it easy.” I decided to try the working hard option.
Without distractions such as email (we didn’t have computers), social media or internet marketing, it was pretty straightforward. We typed contracts on a device they called a typewriter, or we used a pen. Didn’t matter much, since the contract was a single page.
I got my first wake up call in May of 1984, when my best VA buyer decided to just stay in base housing when interest rates went to 14%. My helpful colleagues told me if I could sell real estate then and there, I would be able to do it anywhere, anytime. That turned out to be great advice, but my primary concern in the moment was paying my rent. At that time, if my commission check had a comma, I was elated.
A better day was when I had a telephone installed in my car, at the cost of about $1,000. I was one of the few agents in my office who had one.
As the years passed, cutting-edge convention and seminar speakers always asked, “Who has a computer?” A few hands would go up. Then it was, “Who has a website?” That took a while to catch on. I think that was about the time they did away with the MLS Books (3-4 inches thick, printed weekly). You’ve never heard such protests from agents who didn’t want to see that change. It was like Y2K approaching – the end of life as we knew it!
Today, I live a blended version of the advice I received on January 25, 1984. Email, digital signatures, internet marketing and technology of all kinds make this business pretty easy – even as I still work hard. I sometimes wish we were at the kitchen table with our clients more often. Maybe we’ll have to make a point to do a little more of that, even though it’s not required.
Side Note: January 25 the following year was also the date of my first date with Daryl. Next month on the 25th will be our 25th wedding anniversary. To be continued…