A Lesson From The Newsroom - Twitter and Real Estate Apps Don't Make You a Pro

Why are you reading this? I'm not a writer. I'm not a journalist, or novelist, or screen writer. I've never been paid a single cent for anything I've written. I’m certainly not Aaron Sorkin.

Before you ditch me and go back to Twitter, let me explain. It's the Internet's fault. The intertubes have turned us all into amateur ‘somethings’. I'm an amateur writer, but a real estate professional.

Every week, I look forward to making a cocktail and watching The Newsroom. I’m downright ticked off it’s over.

In one of the last episodes Jim and his girlfriend (I don't remember her name because I’ve never liked her and we all knew Jim would end up with Maggie someday anyway)… have a big argument about technology and the future of news. I relate to Jim’s disdain for what the internet has done to traditional broadcasting. News moves faster now. Instantaneous. But there’s no checkpoint for truth. An unauthenticated story can influence millions before anyone has checked it’s accuracy.

A mislead public is extremely dangerous. There has to be a professionalism to reporting the news. Steps taken and guidelines to follow to ensure that a story is accurate, newsworthy, and not simply sensational. Or at least there should be.

Just as twitter has replaced the 6pm news, realtor.ca has become a replacement for the REALTOR. I’m not jealous. You already know that I leverage every bit of technology I can to make buying a home a great experience. But the technology, at times, frustrates me to a point where I drink my cocktail too quickly and have to pause The Newsroom to whip up a second Papa Doble.

I was talking to acquaintance at a Christmas party about how he plans to sell his house on Kijiji. ‘I follow what’s happening on mls.ca and I’ve read a bit about how to sell a home…’ We talked for a while longer and then I had to rudely cut him off with unjustified praise for the sub par food. He’s going to leave thousands dollars on the table and have a nightmare experience. I couldn’t convince him, so I went searching for better hors d'oeuvres in the next room.

A camera phone and Twitter doesn't make a journalist anymore than the realtor.ca app makes you a realtor.There's a professionalism, and professional skills, required to do my job as well. Sure, not all REALTORS have great skills, but the successful ones do.

I don’t just show people houses all day and read the Calgary Sun. I follow the housing market with the precision of Sloan Sabbath. I research stats and trends. I learn about improvements in house design and renovation ideas. I keep an eye on city’s urban planning and

learn how other cities do it differently. I read about happiness and how your home contributes to that. I’m a professional. I provide a professional service. When I feel like there's something people need to hear, I write about it, or make a video like the one Karalee Foat and I made about oil prices and real estate.

The latest tweet is probably not accurate news. Don't trust the largest investment of your life to what you've seen on the internet. The internet, like the Calgary Sun, lies. Though my writing might not be as entertaining as Charlie Skinner, at least it's honest and accurate.

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