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Who Needs a Parachute!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Grants Pass, OR 199909023

After 16 years of practicing real estate in Oregon... I'm feeling a little girlhood giddy about the future outlook of my business.   

Some of my colleagues may be thinking... she's an adrenaline junkie who's lost her mind (if it ain't broke, why fix it?!).  Okay, I confess, I've pushed the adrenal envelope a few times, having crash landed parachute sailing and hot air ballooning.  This chicky digs tempting fate ;-)  hee, hee. 

My latest venture exudes a different kind of rush.  In 2015, I took my real estate brokerage virtual and paperless.  What does the new office look like minus the bricks and mortar?  Totally mobile and digital for sure, with a cool cafe-style conference center to meet and greet clients.  

The inspiration for my latest leap... comes from a very cool REALTOR®, Tony Enderli, from South Africa.  Our fateful meet in 2013 at a Habitat for Humanity build provided the confidence I needed to take the plunge.  There's something divine about receiving affirmation from a complete stranger across the Pacific Ocean... touched by an angel I suppose ;-)

I've always been a chicky for change.  The real estate industry is being swept off it's feet by a whirlwind of change navigated by Mother Consumer.  Some of us have been slow to adapt, while others have morphed and evolved to meet the changing winds.  I'm prepared to take the next leap and hope that I land on my feet.  Hey... with the big guy on my side, who needs a parachute!


Posted by

Mel Peterson

 Melinda Peterson, ABR, CRS

 Oregon Principal Broker

 Real Estate Cafe LLC





Discover Central and Southern Oregon 

Comments (34)

Debb Janes
Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
Put My Love of Nature At Work for You

I am confident you'll do fabulous. Conversely, we're becoming part of a larger firm in the near future and will have an office - mainly for training purposes, but still, part of me wonders why?  I know you're a chicky who will not only land on her feet, but fly. 

Jan 10, 2015 11:53 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

OK, here's the thing.  I have a bunch of amazing colleagues and I love the energy level in my office.  It's incredibly well-equipped and this year I'm planning to spend a lot more time there - I get so much more done when I work there than when I don't.  But for anyone who has the discipline to stay focused without this kind of environment, I don't think consumers really care where you do your work.  Whatever it takes to get the results they want is what works.

Jan 16, 2015 08:07 AM
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA

Hi Melinda, I share in your enthusiasm to accomplish this. Our office is switching over to a full paperless office as we speak. The company they are using is called Skyslope. A CD of the  transaction paperwork and all communications will be then given to the client at the end. 

Jan 17, 2015 03:50 PM
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

You'll do great! I haven't had a brick and mortar office in almost a year and it hasn't slowed me or my clients down one bit. My clients are more than willing to stop in to my home office which is very well equipped to handle anything I need done. Plus all of my agents are digital and mobile themselves. They have no need for a traditional office. 

Jan 17, 2015 11:02 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hi, Melinda!  You can find this post on today's "Last Week's Favorites". 

Jan 17, 2015 11:53 PM
Jayne Esposito
Coldwell Banker - Morgan Hill, CA

Mel, I would love an update on how this goes for you.  I would love to go paperless, and in fact my office has been talking about morphing into this.  One thing is for sure, there's a lot less clutter, and with less clutter there's more production!

Jan 18, 2015 03:02 AM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I meet clients all over town at different coffee shops, at their homes or mine. It has never been a problem at all.  Now for all the paper stacked on my desk...I just like the feel of it.

Jan 18, 2015 04:17 AM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

I have a small office for my brokerage in the heart of town which is great for meeting clients or for me since I don't work out of a home office in Carmel-by-the-Sea. This is actually fairly new to have a brick and mortar office and I love it! It's a great place to regroup when I've been out seeing clients. When I worked from home, it seemed like I was never "off work". Although I still do what is necessary and answer calls and emails outside of the office. Having everything electronically makes this easy.

Jan 18, 2015 06:34 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I have an idea that it matters where you are. In our small town we're always about 15 years behind whatever is going on in the world, so an agent without an office would probably not be found. People still want to walk in and talk to someone, and to stand outside in the evening and read the property posters in the windows. 

Jan 18, 2015 07:31 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Best move I ever made.  I don't go paperless, paperless since I have my buyers sign their offers.  Too many times I went with Docusign and their lenders based in back waiting wet signatures.  I can understand that from the buyers side, the ones making the offer, the ones loan committing.  Best of luck.

Jan 18, 2015 07:43 AM
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Mel, love this song! And I think you will be hugely successful going paperless and virtual. We are all practically virtual anyway as far as our buyers and sellers are concerned. How many of them come to the office anymore? It's a very small percentage. They hire us for us, not for the bricks and mortar. Yes, with the Big Guy on your side, you don't need a parachute :)

Jan 18, 2015 07:55 AM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Let us know how this goes.  I think I will adopt a hybrid approach until I am confident that paperless and mortarless is safe.

Jan 18, 2015 12:07 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Burlington, MA
Metro Boston Homes For Sale

Melinda (Mel) Peterson our office became paperless about couple of years ago. And yes, this is the step in right direction - no parachute needed.

Jan 18, 2015 01:06 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Melinda,

There is no doubt in my mind you will land on your feet! I loved reading the comments..our office is using Skyslope just like William Johnson and it's working out very well.

Jan 18, 2015 09:31 PM
Barbara Calwhite
Keller Williams Realty of Southwest Missouri - Joplin, MO
417-438-7387 Specializing in Relocation

Our office just became paperless January 1 of this year.  We are now almost 3 weeks into it!!  Everything is online in the 'loop'.  It feels crazy going to closing with no file.  Good luck.  I'm sure we will all adapt!

Jan 18, 2015 09:36 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

When I was first licensed in 1981, real estate transactions were a mere one page contract with no disclosures.  We were almost paperless.  From there we quickly went to the multitude of contract pages and an abundance of disclosures.  It takes a lot of paragraphs to close a contract.  BUT, increasingly, we are finding ways to become paperless.

Jan 19, 2015 09:30 AM
Kathleen Frawley
Keller Williams 916 730-4404 Elk Grove, Wilton, Folsom, Sacramento - Wilton, CA
South County Sacramento, 916 730 4404

Hooray for paperless!  You are going to be just fine.

I had a SPQ (seller property questionnaire... 4 pages of small type for the seller to fill out, not super fun for them) Fly out my car window on the freeway.  I had to ask the sellers to fill it out all over again, I was embarrassed, they were sad.  It all worked out, but now I scan those puppies the minute I get them.

So again, Hooray for paperless. (and also for Divine reminders that everything will be OK)

Jan 20, 2015 04:00 AM
Claude Labbe
RLAH / @properties - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

Adrenaline...not for the weak.

But then, you aren't weak.

Smart. Stong.  and within a few months, you'll wonder why you'd not gone fully mobile earlier.

Jan 20, 2015 02:02 PM
Cynthia (CJ) Sleppy
Cynthia J Sleppy Real Estate - Medford, OR

Combining the use of the paper and paperless works well for me.  It also gives me the peace of mind of having a "back up" just in case. 

As for not having a "brick & mortar" office - I love it.  I have been working that way for almost 15 years.  I love the freedom and the people I work with love feeling that they are important enough to me that I will meet them at a location that is convenient for them instead of them having to go out of their way to come to me or my office.

With your enthusiasm and faith, 2015 looks bright for you.  Good luck in your new adventure!

Jan 23, 2015 02:40 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Mel, I was thrilled to meet you today, since I never followed you it was a special surprise...the benefits of AR living proof positive, loved your reaction of discovering that Dick Greenberg  also showed  up at our gathering....  I also loved your motto,  your slogan and most of all your attitude. I am confident you will succeed and exceed expectations,. Look forward to get to know you better, Endre

Jan 24, 2015 03:34 PM