So Much has Changed...

Real Estate Broker/Owner with FITZGERALD Real Estate 9500521

A lot has changed in the world of Real Estate over the years. As I move into my 36th year of helping buyers and sellers reach their goals of buying and selling their homes, I can't help but reflect on all that has changed. October 1, 1986, was the first day I began this incredible career and what a ride it has been.

In 1986, we had black and white MLS Books that we anxiously awaited to be delivered every two weeks. It had one photo per listing and bare-bones basic info. To get the new listings, we had to call the Association Office every morning to listen to a recording of that days new listings. It was called the "Hot Sheet". The line was busy quite often because "call waiting" wasn't invented yet.

We advertised in newspapers with black and white print and communicated with buyers and sellers by telephone and snail-mail. I remember when we got our first fax machine and right around the same time our first computer. They were "dumb terminals" with thermo paper and no screen. It was life-changing!

As quickly as the fax machines and full-screen desktop box computers like Macintosh came in,  they promptly went out. In came the bag phones. Then flip phones went to handheld "smartphones" with a stylus to write "graffiti". It was revolutionary!

By then, the MLS books were on their way out because more of us were using computers and handheld phones and color photography was being introduced and accepted. Then came the internet, and it changed the industry forever.

Today’s information are at buyers and sellers fingertips 24/7. There are many ways to communicate, and signing docs can be done with a keystroke click. The industry continues to evolve and change every day. We've come a long way, Baby!

Posted by

FITZGERALD Real Estate  

Corinne A Fitzgerald
116 Federal Street
Greenfield, MA 01301
413-320-9509  cell/text
413-376-4433 direct office line
 2015 President - Massachusetts Association REALTORS®
         2012 President – REALTOR® Association of the Pioneer Valley

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Comments (16)

Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


What a nice retrospective on the evolution of real estate and all the changes.  Wishing you continued success. A

Oct 08, 2021 03:49 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Corinne- we certainly have come a long way thanks to all of the advances in technology. I was an agent for one year in 1985-ish and we all had pagers so we could stay connected to our offices. 

Oct 08, 2021 06:52 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Oct 09, 2021 06:23 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Corinne - I can remember how different working in an office was in those days too.  So much progress in such a short time.

Oct 10, 2021 04:17 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Corrine. Indeed we have come a long way baby to get to where we got to today. Memory has me thinking the previous sentence was part of a cigarette ad many years ago. Enjoy your day.

Oct 10, 2021 04:36 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I wasn't in the real estate business until 2010, so didn't participate in the manual nature of real estate in the 1980s+. This was a very interesting read!

Oct 10, 2021 06:20 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Things have certainly changed since I opened my first real estate office in the summer of 1961. There was no MLS in our city, we had no computers, fax machines or cell phones. We used carbon paper for making copies of contracts.

Oct 10, 2021 06:36 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Corinne, When I first got my license, we printed listings on a dot matrix printer. It was all black and white. We all had the same key that fit every lockbox. There have been some good changes in technology. 

Oct 10, 2021 06:36 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Corrine - there have been changes-a-plenty in real estate.  Most have been evolutionary but still catch many "by surprise" even today.  Now, where is my MLS book, map of the area for navigational purposes and people in the back seat as we head to that next property on the list of homes to see for sale from last week???

Oct 10, 2021 08:30 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good afternoon Corinne Fitzgerald ,

Loved your post and so glas Kathy Streib featured it in her "Ah-Ha" moments for the week. We have come a long way baby in Real Estate!!

Oct 10, 2021 10:39 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Corrine I go so relate to your post!  I started in May of 87 and remember everything you're talking about.  We have come a long, LONG way haven't we!!!

Oct 10, 2021 02:54 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

I had to LOL Michael Jacobs' comment - it's so true! We have come SO far in this business and it is ever-changing...even in this past one short year!

Oct 10, 2021 09:59 PM
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Thanks for the stroll down memory lane - the good ole days that were not always good, lol.   I remember the days prior to those old MLS books; mimeographed pages of listings with B & W polaroids stapled to them.  NOTHING could leave the office so we scribbled down pertinent info.  What I liked was the control we had and that we became expert very quickly at matching homes with buyers rather than have them scour the internet and attempt to send us on wild goose chases wanting to see everything!   We quickly fine tuned the search !

Oct 11, 2021 10:16 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Those listing books were the way many a neighborhood agency got larger as that was the only way for people to find out what was for sale.  We have come a long way as virtual offices are accepted

Oct 12, 2021 06:58 AM
Linda Metallo DiBenardo
RE/MAX Impact, Lockport, Illinois - Lockport, IL

There are some thing about selling real estate 30 years ago I miss. But here are a few I don't, sitting in smoke-filled office meetings on Monday mornings and running around to get contract changes initialed no matter how late or whereever you had to drive to.

Oct 12, 2021 12:49 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

It's amazing how things have changed in the business, especially from a technology standpoint. I didn't get licensed until 2002 but bought a number of homes "the old fashioned way" before then!


Oct 16, 2021 07:45 PM