The other night I went out to the movies with my family and saw James Cameron's new film, "Avatar". (For those of you who haven't yet seen it I highly recommend it) It was my very first modern 3D movie experience and it was, in one word, amazing.
The last time I went to a "3D" movie was with these familiar red and blue paper glasses (familiar anyone?) and after hearing all of the hype leading up to Avatar I was curious to see how things had progressed.
After watching the movie I am convinced that the new technology developed for the movie will revolutionize the movie industry. Several times during the movie I found myself dodging arrows or missile that were being shot at me and more than once I found myself awestruck by how realistic the environment was.
The next day I found myself thinking about the movie and wondering how much more information was able to be given to the audience with 3D technology. It made a normal movie experience ten times better and it was all because of the vision and expertise of the director.
But is what we do as real estate professionals that much different?
Most consumers have a 2D idea of a real estate transaction. It is a flat image: an offer, a deal, close of escrow. And in between are a smattering of inspections, clauses, contingencies that need to be remedied, and so on and so forth.
"Why do I need an agent?", they wonder. "How is this so hard?"
And, truthfully, some consumers are right. Some can handle a real estate deal, whether because of their past experiences, friends who have knowledge, or if they have time to become knowledgeable enough on the matter to give them a sense of confidence.
But the vast majority of consumers are not real estate professionals. They have another job, another profession, and leave real estate related matters to us, the trained professionals. The real value, in my opinion, is in the past experiences and histories of the agent. We have the ability to bring situations into focus and help guide our clients through the tangled web.
We are able to anticipate, draw upon past deals, past connections and past memories in addition to our ever-evolving repetoire of news articles, pieces of legislation, zone/use changes, etcetera to protect our client. We are able to provide to our clients a 3D view of the deal.
We see potential lender issues (this home won't qualify for an FHA loan with holes in the walls), inspection issues (that drywall tape bubbling is NOT a good sign), zoning/permits issues, and wonky purchase contracts/addendums/disclosures.
We see an incoming missile a mile away and inform our clients of potential doom and catastrophe. We have to navigate through the web of agents, inspectors, escrow officers, lenders, deadlines, surprises and put out fires at a moment's notice.
At the end we take off our 3D glasses, go to closing, and celebrate with our clients.
Another job well done.
And if you haven't seen Avatar, you should go see it now! :)