In this world of high-tech communication and online purchasing, I sometimes reflect on the way things were when I was growing up – back when personal interaction and personal service were highly valued. I feel lucky to have grown up in simpler times and I can’t help but wonder if those years were some of the best years to be a kid.
Today, most kids have a tv in their pocket with their cell phones, but I fondly remember my parents bringing home our first television and how revolutionary that felt – our first viewings included Captain Kangaroo and some show where you put a mat across the screen to draw along on it.
Today, we have to remind our children how important it is to get fresh air and eat fresh foods, but my aunts and uncles had land and raised cattle and had fresh gardens where we got the most delicious corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and more. We played outside for hours on end and got our recommended dose of vitamin D from the sun and not from supplements.
Today’s kids are highly attuned to what’s fashionable, but many of my clothes were hand-made by an aunt of my mother, and some were even made from feed sacks that were bought for the animals. To this day, my grown children laugh when I tell this story and tell me it has to be made up.
I’ve also seen a massive change in real estate in all the years I’ve been in the field and, actually, modern-day practices might be preferable. These days, it’s all about social media and online marketing, but when I got my license in the early ’80s, I had to go door to door in neighborhoods, introducing myself and handing out my business cards as it was the only way to really reach the public – we certainly did not have computers to help with that. In fact, I still remember watching the first fax transmission come through in absolute amazement.
Back then, houses for sale were printed in MLS books, which were largely outdated by the time they were available to agents. Routes had to be determined using Key Map books rather than GPS. Payphones had to be frantically tracked down if any changes needed to be made or you were running late for appointments.
Today, working in real estate is truly much easier, and so much information is readily available at the touch of a button. Cell phones have been the catalyst for the most revolutionary change – I still remember getting my first cell phone in the late ’80s and it was the size of an encyclopedia and nearly as heavy, and still, it did nothing more than make phone calls. Modern phones allow us to connect with clients, make appointments, find our way to listings, enter houses and even send contracts to clients for signing.
As much as I marvel at how far we’ve come, I still can’t help but wonder if some of the personal touch is missing and whether that is detrimental to the industry. That is why we, at Beth Ferester & Company, still believe in building strong personal relationships with our clients to ensure we understand exactly what they hope to get from us throughout the selling or buying process.