Tim’s Two Cents – “The Times They Are A-Changing,” Bob Dylan 1964

As our sunsets begin to occur earlier and the children are back to school we wonder where summer went and prepare for fall. In San Diego there is a lot less preparation for fall than in Maryland where I was raised.

The market continues to roll along. Interest rates are holding extremely low, for now, inventory, in most areas, is still sparse and we are seeing heavy traffic at the open houses we are hosting and multiple offers on our premier listings. The market is strong!

My business, like most others, is always changing forcing adaptation constantly. When I began my career in 1995 it was my job, as a buyer’s broker, to find the door knob and navigate all the intricacies of the real estate transaction as well.  I used to drop a copy of the MLS Listing Book off to my clients, personally, with properties highlighted and paper clips denoting the pages that I wanted to bring to my client’s attention. The clients would review and make arrangements to tour with me afterwards. We, the brokers, controlled all of the information.

We advanced to a time of having an office computer that we could register in the morning to use/borrow during the day to research active listings and property data. This was great!  It became a lot easier to research sales records and provide accurate assessment of current fair market value for a property to list or one that a buyer was seeking advice on value as it relates to writing an offer. At the same time the fax machine became an affordable staple in every office. This cut down on delivery time as I could prepare a fax cover sheet and send listings to my clients for review.

The Internet and personal computer era erupted and with it came the cellular phone advancement. The MLS Boards worked to make property data contained in the MLS available to outside websites access through the internet. Then email became acceptable for personal and business communication and my clients began to have duel access to information both from me and online resources as well.  

Never did I think I would see the day that someone could execute a multi-million dollar contract to purchase through an electronic signature program on their phone! Again, adaptation and acceptance of change for a fast paced world with consumers who demand ease of execution when it comes to purchasing and selling all goods and services. 

Today, consumers have access to most of the listings in the market place. Most of the real estate sites do not provide the most accurate info though. Understand that Zillow, Realtor.com, Redfin…are all generating income from capturing the consumer’s personal information and selling it to real estate agents as a lead. They are not in the business of providing the most accurate information, read my January 2016 Newsletter ” How Reliable are Zillow’s Property Valuations (aka Zestimates)?”

Often times, Kristine and I still enlighten our buyers of areas they may not have thought of or we locate appropriate communities to look into based on communication that they provide during showing tours even though they have online access to properties as well.  

Our contracts and disclosures have grown tremendously.  The industry has become more complicated which calls for more continuing education for all in the sales roll who are interacting with consumers to advise with regards to, what amounts for most to be, their largest asset. All the more reason to work with experienced, full time real estate brokers who have demonstrated longevity in both good and challenging markets.   

No matter what, with the experience that Kristine and I have amassed, how we run our business and who we are as people I know that no matter what the futures holds in terms of changes that we will always be able to add value to what buyers and sellers are setting out to accomplish with their real estate goals.  Possessing a mindset of continual adaptation, not being resistant to change and continually educating within the industry has always been at the top of our lists! 

The times are always a-changing and I am excited to see where the next 21 years of advancements take us!  

As always, I welcome your feedback and personal stories! Thank you for reading.

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