Real Estate Agent with Your Friend in Real Estate, LLC

Many of us remember a very serious question: "What in the world would I ever do with a personal computer?"  We’ve come a long way in 35 years or so and many of us have accumulated a lot of real estate experience.  In the process of becoming wiser, we’ve gotten older.  (Did NAR report that the average Realtor age is now 92?)  And one can't teach old dogs new tricks.  If you believe this, you've seen the handwriting on the wall and are already headed for retirement.  But no, you've bought yourself a modern computer, gotten the software (i.e. programs), and perhaps have taken a few courses to learn the basics.  You've found that personal computing is no more complex than doing an MLS computer search.


If your computer skills remain questionable, programs like Top Producer or PREP Prospecting might be made for you.  This type of program simplifies your learning and frequently provides "cookbook" letters that can be modified to suit your needs, along with a database and task-scheduling format, sometimes called a contact manager.  But what you gain in ease of use, you will give up in flexibility and the capability to tailor the system for your specific requirements.  For those with reasonable computer skills or willing to accept the learning challenge, an integrated set of programs is for you.  There are several suitable choices but as of this writing, Microsoft Office, including the ACCESS database, is the most popular.  Rest assured that Bill Gates needs the royalty to pay his real estate taxes, not to mention his legal bills.  Whatever programs you decide to run, they’ll make you more effective and save you loads of time.  Chances are good that you will love your computer once you get acquainted.  Of course, most of us already have experienced computerization, either personally or through our assistant.  But if you have left the entire job up to your assistant, you are missing all the fun.  Worse yet, you have a potential problem if your assistant gets sick or becomes disgruntled.


And what about the information superhighway, alias Internet or world wide web (www)?  This medium has evolved at the speed of light and changed the way we do business.  The techno-savvy among us already cannot remember life without the Internet or email.  Most agents have Internet "home pages" for themselves and for their listings.  The NAR site,, lists well over one million homes for sale.  But remember that most Internet "surfers" are searching property listings as opposed to agent home pages. 


Just when we’re technologically exhausted, virtual reality (not to be confused with virtual realty) rears its ugly head.  Virtual reality proponents suggest that buyers of the future will come to your office and don a special headset through which they can, in effect, tour a home right in the comfort of your office, thus eliminating the need to actually visit more than one or two homes.  The subsequent phase of this technology would appear when we all have virtual reality headsets at home and prospective home buyers can eliminate even the trip to the real estate office, touring homes through a next-generation Internet connection.  But there is no time saved by not seeing the home; the virtual reality tour will take at least as long.  Any time saved is merely the travel time between homes, which is frequently minimal.  The great loss for the buyer is in not actually seeing the home.  It is expected that this is an experience most buyers will elect to pass up.  They will ultimately find that there is no substitute for "real" reality in realty.


If there IS any future for virtual reality, it will bypass the real estate office.  Forward thinking builders will offer the virtual home: A 10 foot by 10 foot home at a real bargain price, with all the luxury essentials packed in.  It will be enjoyed through the virtual home headset that will make the 100 square foot "home" seem to be 3000 square feet.  Now that's technology!  Grab your headset and adjust your mindset.  The pace of technological innovation keeps accelerating and there is no end in sight.



This article is excerpted from David Rathgeber's AGENT'S GUIDE to REAL ESTATE which is free online at

Posted by

David Rathgeber 

Your Friend in Real Estate, LLC

Broker / Owner and NVAR Lifetime Top Producer

703 434 0773 / /

Serving the Washington DC metro area since 1987

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