To continue this FUN discussion of how real estate agents worked back in the age of the dinosaur, let's talk today about the GPS... or lack thereof.
We didn't have one. We didn't even have Mapquest. Nope, the best we had was the handy-dandy Pierson Guide which was a big book of maps for the Denver Metropolitan area, divided into 270-some inter-related pages. If you didn't know how to get from place to place, you referred to your Pierson Guide, figured out which page was relevent and planned your route.
Which, as you can imagine, is difficult, not to mention dangerous to do while driving (perhaps this was the 1990's version of texting and driving). Yeah, I did it. But perhaps worse than being difficult and dangerous, it was also kind of embarrassing when you have clients in your car! I mean, you're a real estate agent! You should know your way around town! Right??
Well, along comes the GPS which makes the Pierson Guide obsolete. Whew!
Not so fast.
One of the benefits of not having a GPS was that it put pressure on real estate agents to actually be able to navigate their way around town, especially with buyers in the car... or risk looking like an idiot (or worse). Compare the credibility factor of an agent who is constantly pulling over to look back at her map versus one who effortlessly drives from property to property, making intelligent conversation about the various parks, shops and landmarks as they pass by.
Now, sure, taking instruction from the GPS isn't quite as disruptive as pulling over, but it still gives the clear impression that the agent doesn't know her market all that well.
But there's more! When you don't rely on your GPS, you are forced to develop a mental picture of your town - how it lays out, how the parks, shopping centers, major highways and byways relate to each other. To this day, I can draw a fairly accurate picture of the City and County of Denver, placing all neighborhoods, major cross streets, parks and shopping districts. I understand how the neighborhoods, highways, attractions and commercial districts relate to each other geographically which gave me tremendous credibility and confidence when talking with buyers about their location preferences and needs.
So, the moral of the story... if you do rely on your GPS when showing buyers, try to, well, not do that. For a month. TURN IT OFF and force yourself to get around town the Old Fashioned Way!