A couple of things happened today that gave me cause to pause and reflect on the state of the real estate business, and my place in it.
First, it was time to renew my license. I’m sure you are aware that in order to sell real estate as a profession, a license is required. I imagine that all states require a periodic renewal. In Colorado, our licenses are good for three years, assuming that we keep them on active status. Today was my day to tell the state that I wanted to keep at this real estate selling business, so I clicked a few buttons, affirmed a few questions, entered a few credit card digits into the magic internet box, and now I’m good to go for another three trips around the sun.
The other “big” thing that happened today was that I actually sat through a class on search engine optimization. I know I’ve been doing it all wrong — and my rankings prove that — but trying to figure it out from reading textbooks was making my eyes and brain glaze over. Luckily, the class came along that was geared toward real estate agents, so I jumped at it.
I was right. I’ve been doing it all wrong.
I’ll be getting to work on that, rest assured.
In the meantime, though, that class, when coupled with my license renewal, really made me think about how different the business of selling real estate is now than it was when I first got my license.
In the old days when I first started selling real estate, we were just transitioning away from printed MLS books and toward the computer. I never subscribed to the books, because I much preferred to use the computer interface in real-time. That meant memorizing a ton of codes. Everything was coded; storage space was expensive and not necessarily easily manipulated, so all the data was abbreviated and coded. Cheat sheets were the norm, and it was with some pride that a real estate agent could accurately pull down listings without the use of one.
Websites for companies, let alone agents, were not yet on the table, and the whole concept of blogging was still years off. When some yahoo down at the MLS decided that all listings should have their pictures be included as part of the experience of helping our clients find a home, we all went pale with shock and dread. Do you remember how long it took to download pictures in those early days? Searching was slowed to a crawl, but we were stuck; by that point, the printed books were no more.
The process we all go through to find a home and sell real estate has changed, indeed, and I must admit that I like it better now. Today, our clients are likely to come to us already armed with a ton of knowledge that they have gleaned from the internet. Did you know that our MLS has a public interface? You can find listings right here on this site, and I also feature a selection of listings that are highlighted on the home page. They are also searchable through the “browse by” and “featured homes” buttons found throughout the site. [EDIT: “featured homes” is now called “Spotlight Homes.”]Real estate marketing has gone in directions that few of us could have predicted just ten years ago.
All of that, of course, is not your problem. You’re here to find a home, and I’m here to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out and let me know what you need from me.
With warmest regards,
Randall Brennan, REALTOR
Certified Investor Agent Specialist
Certified Distressed Property Expert
Certified Military Housing Specialist
So what’s next? Take your pick.