If your GPS quite working...would you be able to find your front door?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with WHISPERING PINES REALTY 20398180

Here is a great example how we have become overly dependent on modern technology. 

I live in a rural part of Minnesota.  Not out in the sticks, just not in town.  I include very precise directions for my listings.  I had an agent call on Friday and was lost.  Could not find the home.  Her GPS would not pick up the address. 

I told her, just look at the listing..the directions are right on the front.  "You can't miss it." I said. 

Her reply..."I'm not sure how to follow the directions."      "WHAT?"

The agent was sitting at the starting point of my directions.  A major highway intersection.  She needed to take the road off the hwy going west, (the only direction you could go)  Go 1.2 miles to XYZ ave.  Turn right 1.3 miles to the property where my sign was.

I then went over the directions with the agent very S L O W L Y,  to which the response was.."Well, I guess I can try."

I told her...ask your client to help you follow the directions.  "OH, I couldn't do that, they shouldn't see that info."    "WHY?" I asked..."You are driving them there and they will see where to go any way, or do you have them blindfolded?"

The point is that I know people who punch in the address to the store where they will be shopping even tho they shop there once or twice a week.  We are losing a basic instinct...our sense of direction.  I know that many people have been challenged by this all their lives, but you should be able to make a wrong right turn on a city block and know that you need to make a left and a right to be back on track or 3 more rights.

For me, I will not use a GPS...don't need one.  I will always be able to find my front door.  My directions will be spot on for those that have trouble following directions to make it as easy as possible.

  OH OH, Now what do I do?


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William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

This would be funny, William, if it weren't so sadly true of so many. Only the directionally challenged...

May 04, 2010 02:40 AM #1
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Funny you should say that --- I just bought a new car WITH a GPS, but still have the Garmin --- cause I forget HOW to look up addresses now.   We are so spoiled!

May 04, 2010 02:41 AM #2
Randi Brammer
Randi Brammer, Acctg. - Hinckley, MN
Accountant & Tax Preparer

I use a paper map.  It is highly accurate and I don't have to hear some gadget telling me to turn 100 feet ahead when there is not road there!

May 04, 2010 02:52 AM #3
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


Wow, i have never heard that one before. I use GPS, but have learned by experience to have back-up directions handy.

May 04, 2010 03:30 AM #4
Julia Odom
Select Realty Professionals - Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga Homes for Sale

Mea culpa. I'm definitely a person who has lost some of my sense of direction (which used to be fine tuned like a ninja!) since I started using a GPS. But I'm not nearly as bad as that agent.

May 04, 2010 03:48 AM #5
Rita Fong
RE/MAX REAL ESTATE TODAY, Executive Broker 901-488-9590 - Marion, AR
Realtor - Marion Arkansas Homes for Sale

Bill, GPS is excellent when it comes to established road and hihgway directions, but I still like to get the direction ahead of time for back up sake.  I just bought a GPS about a month ago, and it works wonderfully.  But I will definitely get a back up direction when it comes to rural area and new streets, GPS may not able to pick it up.

May 04, 2010 05:03 AM #6
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

Bill, My office is in a town with two traffic lights one is to get off the highway the other is the ONLY four way intersection in town , I have had people call me from a cell phone saying they had gotten lost. I said repeatedly it is in front of the ONLY traffic light in town...how hard could it be?

May 04, 2010 05:04 AM #7
Michael J. O'Connor
Diamond Ridge Realty - Corona, CA
Eastvale - 951-847-4883

Actually I love using my GPS - I don't live in a big city nor is it the sticks.  With the amount of growth that we've experienced it can be really difficult to figure out how to get out of a development or from one home to another especially with the new construction. 

The best thing for me is to push the 'home' button when I'm done and just listen to my dashboard friend as I'm told where to go.  I don't think that I'm losing my sense of direction, it's just so much easier.

Another benefit is the 'look for' feature - I've found more than one new restaurant to try by searching for all surrounding restaurants when I'm somewhere not too close to home.  Much easier than the phone book or just driving aimlessly.

May 04, 2010 06:08 AM #8
Brian Kuhns
Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly Graber - Fort Wayne, IN
Fort Wayne Real Estate by Brian Kuhns

   I really hope that you didn't assume she knew which direction was West even though it was the only way to go...anymore I stick to left and right when giving someone directions unless I know they are capable of understanding the more complex language of NSEW

May 04, 2010 06:27 AM #9
Irene Tron
Valparaiso, IN

Well, I don't think I ever had a sense of direction to start with.  :-) 

I do have a GPS but I have found that you can't depend just on the GPS.  Sometimes they are wrong or don't recognize a street name.  Whenever I have showings, I usually print up directions off of Google maps or mapquest as a backup to my GPS. 

May 04, 2010 01:12 PM #10
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I could not believe this agent.  She was sitting in the intersection and I told her which way she should go, but still could not figure out the directions even when told the right direction to proceed.

May 04, 2010 01:27 PM #11
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

William, I think you are right about people losing a basic instinct such as direction.  While teaching my daughter directions it was aways North, East, South, West and that's the way I would give her directions to get anywhere...not right or left.  I'm amazed at people given a compass direction and looking at you like you're from another planet...as for the agent you speak of...well, I have no appropriate words.

May 04, 2010 04:58 PM #12
Vern Eaton
Askov, MN
Realtor 651-674-7449

Bill, I don't have a GPS either.  Doesn't work most of the time up in this area I am in.  I have also had the comments from some agents when I tell them GPS doesn't work they ask me 'Well how am I going to find the place?'

Giving and following directions is becoming a lost art.

May 05, 2010 02:01 AM #13
Frank Kliewer
Woodinville, WA

Hi Bill, while I've used GPS in various versions for a long time, I try to not use it as much as possible to maintain that sense of direction and capability to think on my own. It is like doing basic math rather than using a calculator.

May 05, 2010 03:28 AM #14
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

I use and love my GPS but also have very specific directions on my listings. Just saw an mls directions.."check the map". Maybe this is why 7 percent of the agents are doing 93 percent of the business.


May 08, 2010 02:45 AM #15
Teral McDowell
Referral Patners LLC - Murphy, TX

I haven't gone the way of the GPS yet because I don't like that thing talking to me. But I will make the leap because I live in a large metroplex and it is best not to get me or the client lost.

May 08, 2010 04:00 PM #16
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William Feela

Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.
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