I am a genuine "Baby Boomer" who remembers laying eyes on my first computer 40 years ago. It was a behemoth-like contraption ensconced in an entire room of the Arts & Science building where I attended college. I was fascinated by the lightning speed at which this "monster" could spit out punch cards and eventually create individual class schedules for the 5,000 or so undergraduate students. What a feat!
As a matter of survival, I have had to become technologically savvy in my past and present careers. Yet, there is an "alphabet soup" of technological expressions and linguistic adaptations that swarm around my head every day which escape my understanding. It should come as no surprise that I learned the meaning of the word "blog" only a short while ago. The word sounded odd to me- a cross between "grog" or "bog" or "frog." I resisted learning about blogs although everyone on TV broadcasts seemed to be using them.
About a month ago, I became enlightened about the concept of blogging through a course designed as an elective for REALTOR. To tell the truth, the main reason that I enrolled in the e-Buyer course was to fulfill the classroom requirements for my Accredited Buyer's Representation (ABR) designation. The instructor, Melanie J. McLane, co-authored the course which was offered to real estate, appraisal and mortage professionals through the Pennsylvania REALTORS® Institute.
Upon hearing from Melanie the importance of integrating technology into every aspect of my professional responsibilities in order to "work smarter, not harder," my ears perked up! For the past year or so, I had been feeling overwhelmed by the long hours spent on data management, ongoing communication with clients, advertising, transaction management, prospecting and more. Additionally, my annual budget had climbed out of sight. Simply stated, I was frustrated by minimal returns after such a comprehensive (and expensive) effort! Now I was determined to learn about Web 2.0 and other tools of the trade.
Instead of viewing e-buyers and e-commerce as something transient and not really applicable to me, I began to see that my survival once again depended on adapting and adjusting- this time to the Second Generation of Internet Users. The e-consumer's notion that ownership involves three basic steps- search, find and buy- needed be clarified by who else than a professional REALTOR®. This would involve a paradigm shift from the REALTOR® as chief controller of the real estate transaction, i.e., the sage with the information and data. The new role of the e-savvy REALTOR® would be to analyze and interpret the vast amount of information available on the WEB to facilitate a smooth, seamless and skillfully managed transaction.
Where does the blog, or Web log, fit into the picture? "A blog is a simple, cost-effective way to create a professional online presence and to create a conversation between REALTORS® and the people who matter to us," according to Teresa Boardman, from St. Paul, Minnesota, an expert on blogging. A way of sharing and exchanging information, blogs allow agents to converse with Web site users, something that is extremely exciting for me, a former classroom teacher.
In the blogs to come, I hope to spread messages of importance and to connect with groups of interested readers. Additionally, my goal is to contribute something of value to my colleagues in cyberspace. A social creature by nature, I enjoy writing and sharing personal experiences which may help others down the road. If I had bought in to the concept of blogging two years ago, I would probably have spared myself some disappointments with fallen transactions. Perhaps I would not have floundered as much or caved in to as many sales individuals promising sure-fire leads or brand name recognition for a considerable up-front fee.
With blogging, I hope to prove the age-old saying, "You can't teach an OLD dog new tricks," completely wrong. No longer kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, I'm ready to adopt the moniker, "Roseann, the Baby Boomer Blogger." I hope that my content platform will demonstrate a consistently higher level of expertise and leadership.
After all, by gathering my thoughts about real estate sales and service, striving to communicate in a cogent manner and receiving constructive feedback from colleagues, I'm sure to get better...and better! Thank goodness for laptops and Smart Phones!
Prudential HomeSale Services Group