Change is really one and the same with my middle name 'Banana'! When I think back and reflect to my early days in the business I have to smile at the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of changes I've make due to the Internet and beyond. The picture above was taken at my first real estate companies grand opening of our new upscale office at the country club. At that point there were no computers in the office or in my home. No pagers, no faxes, just stuff being done the old fashioned way and building long term relationships along the journey. And this has proven priceless to this day!
We had one of the best brokers I've ever had in those early days. This man was a genius business man and mentor. He was light years ahead of the competition in town and always had a flare for creating new ideas for all of us agents. I learned how to build and maintain referral business from him. I still do these same things to this day. He mentored us that it's all about relationships - and it truly is to me and always will be. One other important thing I learned from him was to always do the right thing for your clients.
Always make things right for your clients - always!
Many of our clients going back to 1987 are good friends to this day. We just happened to enjoy lunch with one of my very first clients. What fun it was to talk and reminisce about all the changes from then and now. It's amazing. Their now 20 something son is thinking of buying his first home. What did they tell him? Call Anna Banana!
Here's a a few old style things we did. in my early days in the biz. Every new listing had paper flyers with photo of the home. He upped the game and had 100 or so color photos made and each agent pasted them on their flyers within an hour. It was a stand out marketing edge above all others but of course, others quickly followed. He also was a huge proponent of networking and being a participating member of the Chamber of Commerce. We had personal photo shoots with a variety of photos for events or marketing piece. That was always fun to have professional photos taken! People would stop me in the street and say - we saw your picture in the paper! Or they'd show up at an open house and say - you are so creative. But I had my broker to thank for all of that!
In 1988 we had the first (and only) computer in the office, dial up of course. And I think pagers and faxes came in about the same time. Wow now that was exciting! We were able to send and receive contracts rather than having to personally drive it around and/or Fed X them for signatures. But still, the whole process was cumbersome between title company, lenders, clients etc.
In 1989 I was fortunate to have a genius friend that hooked up a computer in my house and I could dial into MLS. Now that was so awesome, albeit slow. I was hooked and started to learn all I could on how to create a better flow of information. As for emails, I remember having lunch with a church buddy (engineer) when I first heard the word. I had no idea of what he was talking about and of course he was kind enough to clue me in, thankfully. And then my first cell phone, somewhere around 1993, I think. I bought it at Sears, can you believe that! I had that same number for many years. When blackberries came in I was hooked on that right away but that was much later, 2004 maybe. And then my favorite, the iphone. I still have one today but of course it's got a ton more bells and whistles and basically is my office away from the office. One last techie thing....my first 'website' if I can even call it that was in 1995. Somebody said - hey spend $50 and you can have a 50 word 'website' to bring in clients from around the country. Why not I thought! You'll never believe within a month or so I had my first client calling from FL, moving to Phoenix to work with Intel. Of course the reason was two fold of which at that time I didn't realize. There were very few folks on the web and to top that off - one that called themselves Anna Banana which stood out to this whiz of an engineer guy. I was hooked on this new web thing!
Did I lose anything to the Internet. Not really. I still conduct business and life on a relationships basis. I love the changes from 1987 to now and look forward to many more changes. It's exciting, isn't it?!
This is getting long so if you've read it to this point - thanks! I appreciate that! I could go on and on but that will be for another contest.
Speaking of contests, a big shout out to Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI, SRES and Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist for hosting this very fun contest! If you haven't written a post yet you still have up to Jan 31 to so do. Get cracking!