The Digital Revolution...and Real Estate

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Realty NRDS # 146013739

The Digital Revolution

We have been given a wonderful opportunity to look back through the years at the digital revolution through the eyes of many of our ActiveRain Partners as to the very beginnings of the tech explosion.  

Living History First Hand

I thoroughly enjoyed reading so many blogs about this because I also experienced it. I started working as a teenager in the late 1960s and by 1972, I was looking for my first residence.  My future husband and I decided on buying a townhome. How did we find it?  We went driving in the area we wanted to live.

New Developments Were Everywhere

 In California, there were new developments popping up everywhere. You would open the Sunday LA Times paper and see the ads for new home developments and drive and see it. We upgraded homes 4 times in the Inland Empire before buying our current home in Sedona Arizona. The process was always the same. Look in the paper for developments or drive the area. 

Buying and Selling - and Resale

I sold 3 of our 4 homes.  How did I do this? My brother-in-law got his degree in commercial real estate and ended up owning his own Commercial Real Estate Brokerage with a partner. So he guided me in the process.  He was my Internet!

When I started selling my own homes, the paperwork was just a few pages. In fact, If memory serves me,  I got the contracts at a stationery store.  It was shorter than a car sales contract of today.  Of the 6 homes we have owned, only a couple of buyer agents were utilized and the first and last California home we sold with an agent.  

Fast Forward to 2006

PC vs Mac Computers - Why Switch?

A Mac Computer

Up until 2006, our business career meant using a PC.  Macs were not an option.  So in 2006 when Macs started using Intel processors, my husband who is the tech person of the relationship, decided we should switch to Macs.  He bought a desktop for himself to see how easy the transition was. 

The process with the PC was the constant maintenance and upgrade and issues with security.  Macs were less susceptible to hacking back then.  My husband spent more time fixing issues than using the computer.  He found the process easy to change.  Once he knew what he was doing, he trained me.  The change over was much easier than we thought.  Rick only had 4 months left until he retired so there was no conflict with using a work computer. 

Fast Forward to 2011

This brings us to the start of my career in Real Estate.  The big issue I had was using a Mac in a PC real estate world.  The Internet was starting to take off but in my Sedona real estate world, all the programs for real estate required Microsoft Explorer.  At the time Microsoft was proprietary and wasn't available on a Mac operating system. So I had to have two operating systems on my computer. This was cumbersome, to say the least! There had to be a better way.  

Enter...The 3rd Wave of the Digital Revolution

What is the Cloud?

The Cloud - How it got the name

From the research I did and picking my husband's brain, the symbol on the flow chart that represented the Internet was a cloud.  Looking at the Feature Image above, you will notice the symbol for the "iCloud Drive" is a cloud. Look at the image below and you will see that cloud as well in many spots. 

ActiveRain Cloud Logo


Why is the Cloud So Important?

Without making this a book instead of a blog...

The 3 Waves of Digital Transformation are:

  • Business Processes
  • Business Offerings
  • Customer Needs - Bingo!  This is where we are now.

You may have heard of an API. If not, it is an Application Programming Interface.  ( I didn't know this either! haha)

Any time you open your smartphone, iPad, or desktop and check your weather, Facebook, email, etc., you are using an API.  There are thousands and thousands of these.  They are considered products or (Apps) now more so than just code. 

Because of the Cloud, we can use the operating system of our choice.  We can store all our files in the cloud.  We can access just about anything we want from any computer using cloud-based APIs or Apps. 

Why Do I Care About This?

Print Web iPad Kudos

My husband created my first website which was also a responsive website, in 2011 (see below).  He used an API to do this on his Mac desktop.  We have to send images through an API to a company that does our print ads.  Just about everything I do or you do, requires the Cloud in today's world.  I even have a real-time backup for my files on my USB that go directly to the cloud from my computer. 

Sheri Sperry old website

As a side note:

Also in 2012 - Rick had an app created by Cevado for smartphone use.  There was only one issue.  Very few people were using smartphones for their real estate needs back then.  It was about 1% of the hits for my website, so we got rid of it. 

Sheri Sperry Smart phone App

Below is a chart in 2018 of how many people use a mobile device (probably an iPad) to find real estate. 

chart for mobile device look up of real estate.

I am not sure where I would be without Rick's help.  He is a shout away in the other room and helps me with everything technical.  This would be extremely hard to do without the "Cloud".  

This is an entry for the challenge "Things We Have Lost To The Internet".

Thank you to Gary Frimann and Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist for hosting this challenge. 


Comments (21)

Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo

We all though the digital age would lead to less work and an easier life.  It has proven to only increase the pressure and create more competition.

Jan 30, 2022 04:38 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Sheri- excellent post and entry. I have thought about switching to a MAC since I have an iPhone and iPad but my tech person (Larry) is familiar with a PC and can work on them so I'm still with a PC. I too love the cloud and have most everything there. I still have different backups just in case...such as an external HD and use Carbonite. 

Jan 30, 2022 04:59 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate Brokered by Real - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Thank you for sharing your digital internet journey Sheri. I also prefer Apple products and thank goodness for iCloud and it's many uses!

Jan 30, 2022 06:07 PM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hello Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, although I used an iPhone and iPad, never made the switch to a MAC, maybe one fine day. I can't even think of running my business without all the fine tools we have today but then again, if there are no other choices, you do what it takes to get the job done.

Jan 31, 2022 03:32 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Sheri - I enjoyed your look at the challenge this month.  On a side note, you likely wouldn't recognize the Los Angeles Times these days.  Weekdays and especially the weekend editions where it was once so common to see a huge newspaper have disappeared.  Carrying the paper into the home from the driveway was quite the workout decades ago but now it is relatively easy to toss (typically into the recycling bin if one still subscribes since newspaper vending machines have nearly vanished.  Anyway, life continues to change. . .    

Jan 31, 2022 04:35 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Sheri... aren't you lucky to have Rick to help you! My husband is useless when it comes to anything digital... he counts on me to help him! One thing I have noticed is that these days we still generate "paper," just more of it and faster.

Jan 31, 2022 05:08 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

So many changes and most of that tech talk went right over my head, haha.  I have never used the apple products much and likely never will.  Perhaps I am missing out.

Jan 31, 2022 05:25 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

I can remember a conversation with a friend about 10 years ago.  She was of the opinion that technology was about as far as it could go.  Judging by the meteoric changes since, I guess she was wrong.

Jan 31, 2022 05:55 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist - This was a fun challenge.  No doubt I could do the job but I would be paying someone for their expertise for all this tech.  I have learned a lot through osmosis.  

Jan 31, 2022 06:47 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Tony Lewis - Thanks for stopping by.  I have found ways to manage this so that it is not taking over my life. 

Jan 31, 2022 07:03 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Kathy Streib - I know I would never have switched to a Mac if Rick stayed with the PC.  I was shocked at how simple the learning curve was once I changed over. 

Jan 31, 2022 07:15 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Sheri, you are lucky to have Rick with your technology.   I have to learn it on my own, but do enjoy it.  Still a PC girl, but love the cloud.

Jan 31, 2022 07:17 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can! I like how everything meshes well.  I have a laptop and iMac as well as an iPhone, iWatch, and can seamlessly go from one to the other. 

Jan 31, 2022 07:20 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Beth Atalay - I so agree with that!  We can conduct business from anywhere. 

Jan 31, 2022 07:24 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Thanks, Michael Jacobs for that info about the Times. It is the insight that I would not even think to ask my friends or relatives about so I appreciate it!  I am sure I would be shocked if I saw the paper today.  My husband went right to the funnies! 

Jan 31, 2022 07:28 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Nina Hollander, Broker - What a great observation!  Printing docs and keeping hard copies is the one thing I have not changed. I even print my daily calendar off the computer and put it on a clipboard to log everything I do. I do scan those after a year and keep them in a digital file.  If you are talking to a client on the phone, I need something to write notes on and I found this works best for me. 

Jan 31, 2022 07:34 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® hi Sheri... I keep certain documents for easy reference in hard copy but have seriously cut down on how many.

Jan 31, 2022 07:40 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Brian England, I only understand some of this through osmosis. Rick trains me and then I forget. So he comes over to help the next time. I do know the MLS and my apps very well though!  Tech is all about your comfort level.  

Jan 31, 2022 07:38 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Myrl Jeffcoat - For the consumer, (A.I.) Artificial Intelligence is in the infant stages of development right now.  I remember Tomorrow Land at Disneyland in Anaheim.  There was a "House of the Future".  It looked like stuff out of Fantasy Land!  It was completely outdated decades ago.  I won't ever forget that.

Jan 31, 2022 07:44 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Sheri - I liked you discussion about PC's and Macs.  I have a Dell Laptop and 2 years ago have a MacBook.  The Mac has all the programs and boots up and runs much faster.  And the cloud has made portability of computing so convenient.

Jan 31, 2022 09:40 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Grant Schneider - I bought a new one right before Apple changed to their own processors.  I have an iMac which my husband got for me because I have limited space on my desk. He liked my computer so much, he got rid of this huge Mac Pro Tower and bought an iMac for his desk.  It is really fast. He has 3 monitors for all the pics and videos he processes. 

Jan 31, 2022 05:11 PM