There are two things that I enjoy about being a real estate consultant - the relationships I form with the people I work with and the constant change of the business. I began my career in 1991 when our multiple listing service was slowly making the change from being printed in books and sent out every two week to an online DOS based system. There hasn't been a year that goes by that hasn't seen some change in the business. I once went to a real estate convention where they were going to surprise agents with a "major technological tool". We had fun guessing what it was and I was convinced it was going to be virtual reality tours of houses. . . do you remember the full headgear you needed for virtual reality in the early 90's? I was disappointed when we didn't come home with 3 pound virtual reality headgear for our office.
However, I'm finding more and more of my business happening in the online world. This morning I was having a conversation with a person who had questions about buying a condemned house in Medford to tear it down and rebuild. We met each other through Zillow. Each day I'm also on Trulia, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn meeting people from all over the globe. But I'm not just meeting people online - my meetings are moving there, too. Buyers were referred to me, but they have 2 small children and lived an hour away. They were having a hard time coordinating a time that worked for both of them for us to have our initial meeting/interview/class. I suggested we meet online. I use a free service called Vyew. With Vyew you can upload a variety of documents from PowerPoint, Word, PDF files and even videos. Vyew lets you control the presentation and even share what's on your screen. Turn on your webcam and you can see each other as well. I've used Vyew to hold meetings with both prospective sellers and buyers and it works great. Who says you have to meet in person to truly "meet"?
As I get a video ready for a new house I'm bringing on the market, I realize that we may not have virtual reality showings yet, but we're certainly moving closer!