I received my real estate license in January of 1982, yes I know that's a long time. In 1981, I was going to school and working at Sears trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. My mom mentioned real estate and it just happened that Century 21 was going to be doing a introduction class about real estate that week. I attended the class and thought it was interesting so I decided to sign up for the class that preps you for the state exam. A few months later I was taking the exam and passed.
Now what?? I called a local Century 21 office and told them that I passed the exam and they had me come in. Within 2 months that office was closing (interest rates were 16-17% and it was a tough market) and I followed my manager over to another Century 21 office which was the best move ever for me. I was taught the basics of writing offers and doing presentations. I learned how to use the Realty Blue Book (those of you who were around know what that was), we had our MLS books delivered twice a month and received our Daily Hotsheets for the new listings, expireds and so on. I went to a few seminars about prospecting and sales that helped my production. In 1983 I went full time which was a scary thought. We presented offers face to face with the sellers (both agents were there). Almost forgot, the lock box was opened by this little key and if you lost it anyone who knew what it was could use it. Oh yeah, the purchase agreement was 2 pages:)
A few years passed and the next training was the Dial Up MLS, this is where you dialed into the mls and put the phone into this box thing that printed out the mls (killed a lot of trees back then).
In the late 1980's came the computer that stored less data than my Iphone I currently have but it was wonderful compared to the Dial up box. Even though you had to dial up to get to the MLS at least you could see the information on the screen. The next fun thing to learn about was the mobile phone which weighed about 10 pounds and the cell bill was crazy high. Throughout this time I continued to build my business and had some highs and lows with the business. I decided to try something different for my business and that was to hire an Ad Firm to promote myself. The agents in my area thought I was crazy but it brought a lot of referral business from other areas. I believe the purchase agreements were now 4 pages.
Into the 1990's, I moved to a different company after 10 yrs with the same one. The next learning curve was about the Web (Internet). First was the web page then the web sites and so on. I was also going through the second recession of my career but this time I was married with two children but we got through it. The MLS was getting better and the computers faster and my cell phone I could actually hook to my belt and not worry about my pants falling down. By the end of the 90's the technology was incredible. It was common practice to either drop offer an offer you wrote or faxed it to them instead of meeting face to face (I do miss those times). Lock boxes became electronic and purchase agreements were about 6 pages now.
Going into the 2000"s the market was heating up and the technology was even better. We had 800 #'s to use and we were emailing more and finally started to email offers instead of faxing. Then came property web sites to promote your listings. By 2006, the market was overheating and I told my wife that it seems just like 1990/1991 before the market fell. Boy was I wrong, it was much worse.
The last few years we have learned to use Social Media to promote our business and use Electronic Signatures for contracts. The latest that I am learning is going paperless, do my presentations on an iPad, and actually writing an offer on it and the client signing their names from the iPad, no electronic signature. We also have paperless transaction platforms like Skyslope to help track paperwork online.
It's been an interesting 34 yrs with it's high's and low's but what a ride. I hope to be learning for another 15-16 yrs. before I retire.
Almost forgot, the purchase agreement is now 10 pages, now that is crazy compared to 2 pages when I started. I'm sure I've missed a few things during that wide span but I'll blame it on having a senior moment.
Me in the late 1980's Pic from a few yrs ago