As the Internet Turns - Things Gained and Lost to the Internet I believe Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist’s post this month was the first one I read and she hit so many nails on the head, taking me a trip down Memory Lane! Remembering my first computer (Commodore 64) and how incredibly ‘cool’ that thing was, I was reminded about how darned fast my MacBook Pro is and how the information at our fingertips is unbelievably unlimited now. The Internet has changed our business and personal life in many, many ways... BUSINESSWe have lost a lot of face-to-face interaction due to the Internet. I believe in my heart-of-hearts that is why those who run their real estate businesses with that in mind are the most successful. Repeat and referral business is where the business is and those who embrace face-to-face, belly button-to-belly button relationships are certainly, quite often, the most successful. I obtained my LLC from the Secretary of State online, take continuing education classes online and ‘meet’ some buyers and sellers online via ZOOM or FaceTime now. BOOKSMy days hanging out at the library are over - now, everything I need for research is online. Books (for leisurely reading) are checked-out online. Book stores are far fewer than in previous decades but, boy they are still a treat to visit. Ahh, the smell and feel of a book-in-hand - there’s simply nothing like it! PHONESThe progression of phones is baffling! I remember talking on party lines as a child, visiting my grandparents. If someone else, not even in your own home - or even on your street - was on the line, you had to wait for them to get off before you could use the phone. If you think about it, there were no battles over who was going to use the phone - those on your 3- or 4-party line were incredibly courteous and respectful of others in their ‘party.’ I remember hiding in my parents closet with a super long cord so I could speak with my friends and boyfriend ‘in private!’ Thankfully by the time I was a teenager, my parents had a private line BUT, we had a phone in my parents’ room, one in the kitchen and one in the family room. SO, I would hope no one notice I was on the phone but, quite often got the pick-up on one of the other phones with someone saying, “Get off the phone, Debe - NOW!” As an on-call nurse, I was issued a bag phone. Any personal calls were billed directly to me. I don’t remember the exact cost but, it was DOLLARS per minute. Needless to say, I did not make calls on my bag phone - I used a pay phone if I didn’t have a landline nearby! Remember pay phones?! Then came the little flip phones - they were expensive but, we still remembered phone numbers back then. It wasn’t until the Palm Pilots & the Blackberry phones that we began to lose our memories! I joke that iPhones and Samsung smartphones have made us dumb! How many phone numbers do you remember? HOME BUYINGWho ever thought one would be able to look at a house online & take a virtual tour - all without leaving their desk. You can buy real property across the US without every leaving your living room - imagine that! And, you’ve researched that property (and all of its history) online before making a decision to buy it - including a FaceTime tour of all of the homes nooks & crannies! Disclosures, Offers and even Closing documents can all be signed electronically. DocuSign ROCKS! I remember traveling to an ActiveRain Rain Camp in Seattle over a decade ago, typing Offers during breaks in our sessions. Bob Stewart was so enthusiastic, watching me do that because he was ‘featuring’ DocuSign in the upcoming class! Electronic signatures have been game-changers for our business. We very rarely ever have to hand-deliver documents for signatures. Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) checks are not even picked up (or mailed) any longer. Online wiring services deliver the EMD directly to our brokerages or the attorney via our phones or computers - easy-peasy! HOME SELLINGFrom few photos in our MLS to 48 (and counting) and being able to post a real, live video and drone footage is a HUGE plus for my sellers. We can order amazing brochures online at midnight, send them to our local printer and in the morning, they’re delivered to either my office, home or the sellers. We can easily perform market analyses and promote our listings on a multitude of online sites. One week prior to showings beginning, I market my Open Houses online and have an unbelievable turn-out on the day of the open house. I meet new sellers and new buyers with each and every open house. Prior to the Internet, I was walking neighborhoods, delivering flyers (which I printed myself on my home printer)! Showings are easily scheduled and texts or emails deliver the news of each and every showing as well as feedback from past-showings. The showing service communicates to buyers agents and also is a portal for the buyers agents and me to communicate. Talk about gaining some time back - instead of phoning multiple offices to schedule showings or individual agents who may or may not return my calls in enough time to show the property! HOME LIFE Are the days of shopping at the mall over? Why pay mall prices when you can basically get the same thing online - and for less? While I do love touching and feeling clothes before I buy them, one could literally, never shop in a physical store again - and I’m sure there are some who do. Social media keeps us in touch - who ever thought we could keep up with out of town family and friends so effortlessly? While some believe it to be stressful, I have learned to ignore the nastiness and embrace kindness. I find it fun and relaxing - and wish I had more time to 'play' - especially here and on Facebook! You can do anything from home that you can do conventionally. Are we becoming a society of anti-social hermits? Cave people? I can grocery shop online, order medications for my husband via our online pharmacy, have a visit with my doctor, operate my business, socialize with my friends and participate in an online platform where the most amazing people ‘play’ & share every day - ActiveRain, of course. We now deposit checks online - we don’t even don’t have to go to the bank any longer. In fact, after COVID and Americans learning how to deposit checks online (as many banks have been closed or had limited hours), I believe more brick & mortar banks will close permanently. My grandparents’ phone number was (304)327-5064 - you know, the ones with the party line when I was a child! Today, I did a Google search of that number and found my PawPaw’s name associated with it - still, after all of these years. Did I mention, you can find anything, everything and EVERYONE online! Many thanks to Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist and Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI, SRES for hosting this month's challenge!
Charlotte NC Homes for Sale
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Charlotte NC Real Estate Agents
Debe Maxwell, Realtor®/Broker/CRS
CharlotteBroker@icloud.comDirect: (704) 491-3310
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