When I started selling real estate 28 years ago, we didn't have a computer system. Anyone else out there that remembers "The Book" that was printed monthly? Then we evolved to the bi-monthly printed book that contained all of the available homes for sale.
Then came the radical idea of computerized data... on the DOS system. How fun was that? When updated windows based computers saw the beginnings of web-sites, some Realtors were skeptical about whether an online presence was really necessary. And email... who would need that, when we could just talk on the phone or leave voice mail messages? Then suddenly, email became obsolete, as social media forms of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others replaced the way we communicated.
This past week I attended an all day workshop on "Cloud Computing". Imagine a time when all operating systems are compatible to all computers and all information is readily accessible in a public or private cloud. The next 10 years will show massive leaps forward in how we do business locally & globally. The "Cloud" will be where we store, manipulate, and share data.
There's no question that the technical aspects of business is rapidly changing. The question now becomes... Will the real estate community embrace the next big change? Will we merge our local Grand Rapids, MI MLS data with other local MLS systems, evolving to state sytems, a national system? How will we store our data in the future? Who will have access to it? Is the real estate community positioning itself to be a global presence?
Cloud Computing photo courtesy of mansikka on flickr