Is Real Estate Technology a Big Deal? I find that it depends on who you talk to, and how you ask the question.
When I left Real Estate to become a Virtual Assistant for Realtors® in my area and beyond, I didn't really understand the impact of what I was doing. Really, I just wanted to shift gears in the downturn and earn a real paycheck by helping my fellow associates through the rough patch. And for a long time I still did not realize how important my job was.
When I started this journey, I had one client, and then second and a third. After three years I can now say I have about 30 clients whose Real Estate lives are touched by me in some way or another every month. At first I was just working with close associates I had come to know over my years as an agent, but then something happened. Word got out that I was the go to person to get people out of a technical bind. Who, me? Who knew I could come to a place of figuring out pretty much any mess. OR, better yet, know who to call to get assistance for getting someone out of a sticky situation. :=)
Over the last year my newest clients are agents who have been in the game for a very long time, and I mean like 30+ years. I am having a blast working with them because I am learning their mode of operation, and it has been an eye opener for me. So when I started to hear things like, "I quit!" behind tears and frustration I was always shocked. These are the people I looked up to and admired for all of the big deals they did. The tough ones who stuck it out in multiple downturns and bad times.
The issue at hand? We have many agents in our office, and I would dare say in almost every office across the country, that are people who never had to touch a computer to be successful. These are agents who are and have been the best of the best. With all of their experience and understanding of the subtleties and not so subtle issues in real estate, they are the agents we need to keep in the office, in the industry. I have always believed in this idea, and still do more than ever today.
So when I hear these very agents throwing up their hands in frustration, I am concerned. My gears have shifted. My ears are persistent in hearing these cries, because I can't bear the thought of a great agent leaving the business out of being overwhelmed by the technologies. Sure for the younger and those tech savvy people, all of this technological progress is grand. I know I look at it all, and think, WOW! This can make people's lives so much easier. But for a different generation the constant changes mean more fear, more frustration and a desire to just walk away from something they truly love. The last year has shown me so many broken hearts.
So with my ear to the ground I am sniffing out those agents in our office and I am joining them in an assault on the technology. We are conquering it together, one battle at a time. We get on board with the paperless system that makes life so much easier, right? Not to the non-techie. We tackle the online presence and the endless ways to get the most out of the things they know nothing about. Now instead of hearing, "I Quit!", I am hearing, "Without you I will Quit." I am waiting for the cry that they no longer need me. That would be the best battle cry of all!
I thought I was in it for the steady income and the ability to work from home. Boy was I mistaken. I see now that I am in it for saving those great Realtors® from leaving the business before they leave a positive mark on those who come after them. And before they are ready to step down for good on their own terms.
And I for one am a better person for knowing each and every one of them.
Technology may not be a big deal to learn for the majority, but for the less fortunate and less techie, it is a fearful and frustrating game they don't want to play, but have to. Now, what I thought was not a big deal has become a mission for me. It is a huge deal for me. When I see an agent that was threatening to quit have a great closing and grin from ear to ear, I grin with them. Because their success is my success! And That Makes Me Smile!
Jerri McCombs, Advanced Virtual Assistant
828/553-5190 or info@JerriMcCombs.com