Time for bit of give-and-take
I WISH it were 1991. I do realise, as we are now well into the bright and shiny new year of 2016, that referring to a time 25 years ago may seem rather strange?
To those of you who still recall the days of phones having to be plugged in, the quickest form of written communication being a facsimile and when “smoko” time was called in the typical office two thirds of the company headed out the back with their packets of Marlborough Lights coupled with the issue of never enough lighters to go around.
Life has changed in many ways for the better, but similarly for the plain inconvenient and ever so slightly annoying.
The title of this week’s literary masterpiece was created from a day of cursing modern technology and reminiscing of my days in real estate where instant communication was not possible, or expected.
Where you would leave a message and not expect a reply or response instantly.
My frustration this week was born from the fact our home and my office became a total wi-fi free zone, the equipment all displayed the same “not connected/no signal” message.
The printer also refused to communicate with everything and anyone, then once it did briefly wake up it jammed!
I’m sure you’ve all had one of those days and you too have wished it was 1991, but what on earth is the relevance with real estate in 2016?
Oh, by the way, after 24 hours off line, with children and adults wandering around as if they had no purpose in life and many experts consulted, it all started to work again. No one could explain why.
As frustrating as it can be for us mature types, modern technology, social media in its innumerable forms and the expectance of being able to access everything and everyone immediately 24/7 is now the norm, not the unusual.
We, and I include myself in this, expect to be able to choose, access and obtain goods and services when and wherever we want them and real estate is no exception.
I started my real estate career in 1984, with a UK brand that was pretty far forward thinking for its era and we stayed in our offices until 8pm five days a week and opened 9am-5pm Saturday and Sunday to accommodate buyers’ and sellers’ needs.
Outside those hours, home we went, maybe not straight away.
Perhaps a warm beer and a ciggy first, it was the 80s.
However we were not available, work was over, even our private lives were an unknown to our customers.
In 2016, real estate agents need to be available all the time, every statistic from their recent sale successes and failures are all out there, how much No. 12 sold for three months ago, even reviews from their customers are often only a click away.
To complete the total invasion of all things private, it is quite likely you could track down their private social media history and see how many times they were pictured in a collapsed heap outside a club or at their last big night out.
Conversely, agents can track you down too.
They can find out if you listed your home for two months last year hoping they wouldn’t know, and what you paid for your home.
So my point this week is to ask for a little courtesy and understanding.
Of course we all want everything now, instantly, in fact sometimes companies claim we need something before we even know we do!
Contrary to what you might surmise, agents are people too, they have families, kids, partners, friends, hobbies, they do need some time to recharge, rest and relax.
Could your texts, emails, calls wait until 9am the following morning rather than 10.30pm?
While I’m asking for courtesy to be shown to all those hard-working agents, there are some who fail to reply to calls/emails etc. and it’s very frustrating for the public.
Often it is because something has sold or been let, so you feel it is not worthwhile bothering to respond. I suggest you do!
So let us all work together, agents, sellers, buyers, tenants, landlords and show a little courtesy and understanding in 2016.