Long ago, in the dark ages when I started in Real Estate, our bible was the MLS book. We carried it everywhere. I would study that book nightly. I would keep it with me while watching TV. No, it was not allowed to go to bed with me!
The purpose of all of those hours of constant studying was to become informed on the current market. It was the same for most realtors who were or wanted to become the best of their profession. It was our way of staying ahead of everyone else.
I remember clearly when the book was going to be discontinued. There was a feeling of doom as it was now time to learn something new and I have been told by my beautiful and loving wife that I do not like change! I have no idea why she could think that, but nonetheless, there it is, and yes, she is right.
It was time to embrace the changes coming and for all of us in the real estate industry, we either embraced the change or we would be totally left behind. That is not something I wanted, so I learned new skills, embraced the coming technology, added a computer and cell phone, I-pad, Laptop, Bluetooth thingies for talking and listening and much more, you get the picture.
Things like SEO, AI, IA, Metrics and a multitude of other acronyms were sneaking in and before you knew it, alas, Zillow, Realtor.com, Redfin, Movoto and a multitude of websites came into being, all creating a huge mass of information and misinformation available to our treasured customers.
Our tried and true line of "Contact me for a free market evaluation" was being overshadowed by a multitude of online estimated valuation metrics including the dreaded Zestimate! Consumers had at their fingertips all of the information I would have spent hours, if not days, to acquire.
It all leads to the question of where will our value lie now as a realtor, a trusted confidant, a valued negotiator and a service professional? What would we do now? Some of these sites offer "Buy it Now" buttons, click if you want to list your home, talk to a professional realtor, schedule a showing, apply for a loan, you name it. It was just a click away. Oh my, things have changed! So again, we, as realtors must change as well and, as always, the good ones have.
The COVID "Era" also created further changes and advancements for our industry. Video Walk-thru, Zoom meetings, video conferencing, video sales meetings and what seemed to be the end of another era and the hardest part for me was no hugs! I believe with the changes and the inclusion of Matterport and video walk-thru for our listings, it helped our customers narrow down their home search and for sellers, helped display their homes in a more complete light.
For me, with all the changes and advancement, learning the requirements of the different consumer demographics including The Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Millennials, Gen X, and much more, we were still missing something. It was something I believe all good Realtors would agree with. You see, at least to me, we are not a profession of sales people.
We are service providers, problem solvers and trusted confidants with the ability to help our buyers and sellers navigate through what is the largest and most emotional acquisition in their lives. Their home. Their safe haven. Their sanctuary and their pride and joy.
It is for the prosperous and professional agents everywhere a privilege and honor to be the chosen professional for that transaction. No online metric can understand the importance of the emotional support, unparalleled level of service commitment, trusted and open communication and overall rapport and personalization we bring as your ally.
The best of the best want one thing and one thing only, what is best for you, our clients. You may become friends, but for sure, some of you will become neighbors and an added benefit to our communities and neighborhoods. It is that personal touch that creates the best of times for the real professionals.
Please do not click a button. We prefer you to reach out to the local professional you were referred to, or whom you have researched and believe can be all of that for you. All of us would like to be chosen, to greet you and welcome the opportunity to shake your hand, meet you in person and to start your process in your way and on your timeline.
Embracing technological advancement is our focus at Ken Follis and Sharon Robinson Group. It is also true that while we embrace technology and have led the charge in our profession to design systems and tools that fuel efficient transactions and increase sales, we ultimately consider what is best for our customers. We embrace high tech and high touch. The human element in the real estate sphere should never be discounted and that will remain so as long as we use new technologies intelligently to fuel what we do, to make us better, and to make the lives and quality of service for our clients better.
Ken Follis, 760-803-6235 and Sharon Robinson, 949-295-1161 can also be reached at their downtown location at 100 N. Main in Fallbrook.