Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection

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A Realtor Giving Thanks

My family just left, and Ms. Super Organic Heritage Turkey is a carcass that is going to turn into some fabulous turkey soup. 

I have been totally blessed with an amazing family and friends who constantly give me reasons to give thanks.  And when I’m sitting looking at the remains of today’s feast, I’m thinking about some other things that all Realtors can give thanks for.  So let’s look at a few of them.

 Supra:  when I was a new agent, they didn’t have lock boxes.  When we prepared to show a bunch of houses to a buyer, we had to go by a bunch of real estate offices to pick up the keys that might or might not be checked out by other agents.  Then, after the appointment, we had to go back to return them.  What a pain!  So, I’m thankful for those wonderful electronic lockboxes you open with a magic keypad.  It’s a magic little tool of the trade!

The Multiple Listing Service: 
when I got my license, there was one funny little computer for the whole office that printed out information on the inventory on paper that turned brown when exposed to any sort of light.  There was basic information – address, number of bedrooms and baths and lot size.  To get a clue to what a property looked like, you had to hop into your car and go preview (first running by the listing agent’s off to get the key, if it was there).  That was a huge improvement over the old listing books that were two weeks out of date.  Today’s MLS systems give us lots of information as soon as a property is listed.

Digital Cameras and Virtual Tours:  this is part of the MLS systems that make it possible to figure out what a place is likely to look like without driving for a preview.  It’s something that anyone in the business for less than fifteen years takes for granted, and the old-timers totally give thanks for every year in late November. 

Email:  it’s not just a way to communicate, but it’s a way to get contracts, HUD-1 forms and other documents around town.  We used to have to hand deliver a lot of this stuff.  Email is a freaking miracle that totally simplifies our jobs.

Blackberry: 
cell phones are amazing.  But my Blackberry lets me read your comments when I’m on a train, having dinner with my sweetie (I have to sneak), or whenever.

Macs:  I switched from a PC to a Mac about three years ago and haven’t looked back.  There’s the big Mac on my desk and my little MacBook that has become my vade macum.  What I like best is that I needn’t worry about viruses or worms or other nasty bugs

Navigation System:  I'm no longer humiliated getting lost driving clients around the burbs. 

Piers:  He’s this guy in my  office who photographs my listings and  does the fact sheets and mailings.  He’s the god of Photoshop, and he’s been great about teaching me how to take better photographs. 

Active Rain:  You guys came into my life last spring.  You’re fun, you’re informative, and you helped to cure me of a serious Tetris addiction.  That’s something to be thankful for - trading a non-productive addiction for a good one!

So, this Thanksgiving I gave thanks to God for family, friends, all of the other blessings in my life.  And this year, there are a lot of things in the other blessings category.

Comment balloon 15 commentsPatricia Kennedy • November 22 2007 10:04PM

Comments

Patricia,

Great post...the electronic world has certainly had a major impact on our industry...now if they could only make 'cheap gas'!!! Thanks,   Fran

Posted by Fran Gaspari, "The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ (Patriot Land Transfer, Inc.) over 12 years ago
I am thankful for my country and the folks fighting for it this evening in the armed services as well as my family friends and business.
Posted by Cartersville Real Estate (Solid Source Realty) over 12 years ago
Patricia - What a terrific post! I can see where we have a lot to be thankful for. Technology is so wonderful and I'm not sure what I would have done if the MLS was still in book form!
Posted by Linda Scanlan (A Fan of AR) over 12 years ago
Patricia - I loved this post.  I have been doing this for 11 years now, and I have seen lots of technology changes, but not as many as you outlined here.  I hope you had a terrific Thanksgiving today!
Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 12 years ago
Patricia, what a great list!  I had to laugh when you mentioned Tetris.  2 years ago, I received a little hand held Tetris game for Christmas.  Eventually, I threw it up in a tall kitchen cabinet so I would stop playing it.  After climbing up to get it, I eventually had my kids hide the darn thing from me!  I agree, at least AR is a productive addiction!!!!!!!!
Posted by Natalie Langford, Winchester, VA Real Estate (Realty Negotiations) over 12 years ago
Good post Pat!  I've been in real estate for almost 20 years...I remember well the way things use to be and I'm so thankful things have evolved to where they are today!
Posted by Mary Warren over 12 years ago
Hi Patricia:  I recognize the Supra box in your picture.  We had to trade those in about six months or so ago... perhaps it was even longer ago than that.  Our local board MLS now uses an upgraded Supra key pad like the one in your picture, and a new version of the keybox that you just put in your pin and aim it at the box, rather than insert the keypad into the front of the box.  It works great.  Hope you had a great thanksgiving.
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 12 years ago

Patricia,

Like you I switched to a Mac earlier this year and I have since never look back! It's the best darn piece of technology. And for those that complain and say "you can't do what a PC does? Haha..." That's ok because I have parallels on mine which runs a PC. I have the best of both worlds :)  Anyway, just thought I would share my liking for Macs.

It's great to have you as a part of the network and I'm glad Thanksgiving went well!

 ™    

Posted by Ricardo Bueno (Diverse Solutions) over 12 years ago
PATRICIA:  This was a really interesting look at how much things have changed.  I noticed that you changed from PC to MAC.  Since I wrote about my computer problems, I've seen several people tout the MAC.  I believe them, but I never thought about switching because of the learning curve.  Could we talk about your change a bit offline some time?
Posted by Adam Waldman, Realtor - Long Island (Westcott Group Real Estate Company) over 12 years ago
Hi Patricia:  I kind of echo Adam's comments.  MAC has always had their very own group of die-hard admirers, and I have often wondered what the difference was.  I still have not bought a laptop yet... although I could really use one.  So... if you could please write a thorough post about the differences and advantages of a MAC over a PC... and tell me not to be "scared"... LOL... I would really appreciate it.  I bet that post would get a Gold Star, too.  Thanks so much...
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 12 years ago

Fran, how about a car that runs on air? 

Dwayne, I think all of us should be thankful for the people serving our country, and I hope they come home safe and sound and soon.

Linda,  Yeah, the listing books came out once a week with a single black and white blurry picture.

Jason, writing this, I sounded like my grandfather who had to walk miles in the snow to get to school because they didn't have trolley cars or buses yet.

Natalie,  ah,, yes!  My brother had to do a little intervention on the Tetris thing.  

Mary, that's about when I got my first desktop computer so I could get MLS at home! 

Karen Anne, we use both types of lock boxes, and the keypad opens all of them.  And about Macs, the big difference is that the operating system is not vulnerable to viruses.  The computers are also very well built.  My desktop is about 4 years old and my laptop about 2.  They are very easy to upgrade.  

Ricardo, I have Parallels but decided not to install it.  I got so sick of viruses and worms  and  my Mac will do pretty much anything a PC would do without virus issues.

Adam, there was a learning curve.  First, there are no manuals that come with the computer, and it would all be intuitive if you'd never used a PC.   They do have great tech support, though.  And there are a lot of good books in "The Missing Manual" series.  It took me about 6 months to really feel comfortable with it - but then I'm sort of old.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 12 years ago
Patricia- We have these really cool supras that just point using infrared to open the boxes. I remember picking up keys and bringing them back! I hated that! And the MLS books, do you remember those? I printed out expireds on that funny paper and funny printer back in 1981! No cell phones and no email, imagine we did it. We certainly take all this for granted! Katerina
Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) over 12 years ago
Patricia, Great blog and so much to give thanks for.  It is amazing how far technology has come.
Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, NV. Lic BS.507 (Simply Vegas Real Estate) over 12 years ago
It's funny that you mention that because now I'm thinking of un-installing it and buy a PC instead. 
Posted by Ricardo Bueno (Diverse Solutions) over 12 years ago
Patricia, most of these real estate tools that you mention here, I've almost always taken for granted, having just started in the business 6 years ago.  But even in that time, I've seen big jumps in technology.  Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) over 12 years ago

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