Over the weekend I received an unexpected acknowledgment from RE/MAX International congratulating me for reaching my 15-year mark as a RE/MAX Affiliate. Yes, I started in 1991 at a local firm in Vienna and made the switch in 1994.
Now this may not seem like a big deal, but it started me thinking about the last fifteen years and where the world was in 1994. Also, what has been the biggest change in the way I work and how the real estate business ran 15 years ago.
Back then, I had to convince my business card printer to put my e-mail address on my cards so that clients could send me e-mails at my AOL account. My car phone sat in a mounted cradle in my car, and my lock-box key resembled an over-sized car key. The Dator system provided MLS information printed out on dot-matrix printers. And my monthly newsletter was printed up at Kinko’s and mailed out at the start of every month to my database.
When I spoke with one friend, she reminded me that everyone had pagers so they could pick up a phone (or pay phone) and call right back. And our office phone messages were hand written and put in a circular tray with everyone’s name on it.
Getting my e-mail address printed on my business cards was cutting-edge
Yes, the Internet was out there but it was dominated by AOL and Prodigy when both companies mailed millions of installation discs to homes every day. And back then, we used to scramble and fax classified ads to beat the print deadlines at The Washington Post!
I guess this milestone should have some significance since the turnover rate for Realtors nationally, according to NAR’s web site, is over 50% every five years. A lot of my success has been working a business plan and keeping a focus on my clients and network of friends to give me exposure and referrals. Marketing is ever changing as consumers expect more… such as this blog vs. my old paper newsletter. But selecting the right broker to work under provided a synergistic relationship, and the affiliation with RE/MAX International gave me technical training and exposure that supported my efforts.
Yes, I know there are some agents who frequent my posts, so let me know what you feel is the biggest change in your business in the past 5, 10 or 15+ years?
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