Okay - fair disclosure - I'm closer to 54 than 53. I'm finally approaching the average age of a REALTOR and it's taken me 20 years to get here. At this age, it means that when I went to University in the late 70's, I did my computing on a main frame the size of a bungalow, I used punch cards to input data, and when I went to get my print out it came out of a printer the size of a Smart Car.
In my first career, working at a land surveying firm, I used large programmable calculators, and a "desk top" computer which you had to run cards through to program and was the size of a desk top! Life was good and quiet and simple. Then, in the mid-90's, the PC and the internet invaded our home. With 3 children and a spouse in IT, those items were there to stay.
At first, I really wasn't an early adopter of technology. I used what I needed to do my job and no more. I rarely "played" with technology like my children did. It just wasn't my thing. I became quite comfortable in my role as technology challanged Dad. It wasn't to last.
In 2008, I attended a real estate conferance south of the border and I learned about this new thing called social media. REALTORS were using these tools to stay in touch with clients, and create on-line conversations about a host of interesting topics. Well, all the conversations were not interesting. There were posts such as, "I'm going to the store", or "I like toast", which didn't interest me all that much. But, on the whole, it was neat stuff. I like to write and here was a way to connect with past and new clients using some new technology. Awesome! Some of the older REALTORS down there said it wouldn't last. Same an that internet thing. However, I could tell a sea change was coming.
So, Facebook and Twitter came into my life, then LinkedIn and now I'm checking out Pinterest. There have been a bunch of others too, but I couldn't find a way to use them to help my clients, or make my life less complicated, so I dropped them. I generally still use technology as a tool instead of a toy.
Funny, I've never been a real techno kind of guy, but now I have my lap top, smart phone (which is smarter than me) and an iPad. I like Twitter and LinkedIn and I put up with Facebook. I'm sometimes an early adapter of some of this new technology. Who saw that coming?
Last week, along with 50 or so other REALTORS, I took a day and a half course about using technology in my business. It was sponsored by the local and provincial real estate boards and facilitated by internationally recognized speaker Doug DeVitre. It was a great couple of days and lots of lessons were learned. I personally picked up a number of ideas that I think will help my business, help me be more efficient and therefore a better REALTOR for my clients.
That's the point of all this training isn't it? To make yourself better at your profession and add tools to your tool box. I feel that is the only way to keep up in this fast paced world we live in. Life time learning, and contineously sharpening the saw. In many ways my business is still the same as it was 20 years ago. I list and sell property. However, the tools have really changed. REALTORS should be constantly taking course to keep them sharp. If you, don't you fall quickly behind.