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Don’t Mess With the Ancient Ones

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Prehistoric

Prehistoric- Photo by T

Wow! a Netflix Account

A few of years ago I was showing houses to a rather chatty twenty something.  She noticed the Netflix envelopes sitting in the back seat of my car waiting to be mailed. She commented on how cool it is that someone my age knows about Netflix.

A couple of years ago a very young local Realtor was all impressed because he sent me a text message and I responded quickly. He seemed to believe that only generation Y uses text messaging which makes me wonder why he chose that method of communication in the first place.  His message tripped the arrogance meter that resides somewhere in my subconscious.

Who are you calling old?

I smile when people who are the same age as my children think that technology belongs to their generation.  I think of the ancient ones.  I can call them ancient because they are over 80 years old. They sit in their townhouse on cold winter days on their Macintosh laptops and surf the net.   They can stay in touch with friends and family and explore the world without ever leaving their home.

He has had a blog since 2002, and kept suggesting that it might work for a Realtor as a way of marketing. I didn’t listen I was too busy doing open houses.  He got his first iPod a year before I did and kept telling me that I should be pod casting.  They got their first home computer in 1980.  It wasn’t much of a computer compared to what we have today but it helped them get started and one of them can probably still program the dang thing.

When we were you age . .

They follow me on twitter and get all parental with me if they see a naughty tweet.   They are on facebook along with their teen-aged grand children. They are talking about getting rid of their home phone because they can get by with just a cell phone and save a buck or two.  The best way to reach them most days is by email.

They are not as mobile as they used to be so they don’t need an iPhone.  Only one of them drives now so they order their groceries and just about everything else over the internet, and one of them walks to the farmers market or the corner store for the rest.

They are a bit different from the younger people in that they have the disposable income to buy just about any tech toy they want. They have huge color monitors hooked up to their Macs and their desks are covered with a variety of colorful and expensive tech toys.

Watch what you say

Heaven help the youngster, and by youngster I mean anyone under fifty, who says anything about ancient ones being cute because they get technology. Heck in some ways their ability to live independently depends upon it. They exploit every tool they can find and they do it well.

When it comes to communicating with ancient ones I would never make the assumption that they don’t use email or surf the net. I would ask them how I can best serve them.

Full time REALTOR and licensed broker with Saint Paul Home Realty Realty in St. Paul, Minnesota. Author of StPaulRealEstateBlog.com, Columnist for Inman News and an avid photographer.

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Erion Shehaj

    January 21, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Let me get this straight. You have a Netflix account?! 🙂

  2. teresa boardman

    January 21, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Yes I do and I have to say it is a waste. I look at three movies a month at the most.

  3. Erion Shehaj

    January 21, 2009 at 8:32 am

    I have to agree that Netflix is only a good value for hardcore movie renters – And I’m not one of them.

  4. Elaine Reese

    January 21, 2009 at 8:36 am

    As an “old fogie” myself, some of my highest tech clients are the over 50 crowd. My last under-30 client didn’t have a computer or email. Age has nothing to do with it!

  5. Kristal Kraft

    January 21, 2009 at 9:56 am

    It’s nice to know the ancient ones are alive and living a relevant life. Would you please thank them for inventing technology for us? I can’t imagine what I would do without it today. 🙂

    kk

  6. Shar Rundio

    January 21, 2009 at 11:01 am

    I’m a Redbox movie fan myself. I get the text each Monday for Free Movie Monday Otherwise it’s just a buck/night. There are about 10 within 3 miles of me.

    As far as the ancient ones go…my 92-year old grandmother-in-law lives across the street from us and when she needs assistance with her computer she just emails “Tech Support” aka my husband. She prints to our networked printer and we deliver. I keep encouraging her to start a blog. I’d love to see her stories captured that way!

  7. Vance Shutes

    January 21, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    It certainly helps to have teenagers at home still to keep up with the ever-changing means of communication among the “younger” set. Age is all relative, anyway. I’ve met “old” twenty-somethings (who act with the fear of the elderly) and “young” octogenarians (who act with the fearlessness and bragadocio of teens). It’s all in how you adapt to change, and it strikes me that most 2.0 Realtors are so adaptive to change that they will always be “young”. At least, we hope so!

  8. Suzanne Gantner

    January 21, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    This is so true…my 83 yr old Dad would be lost with out a computer and email. Funny also was when my son got a text message from me – he was quite impressed. I just laughed cause I text most of my clients. Good Post!!

  9. Karen Highland

    January 21, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    I love this post! My kid’s adopted gradparents moved 1000 miles away, if they didn’t have Facebook and text messaging, they know that their relationships with my kids would have all but vanished. You are absolutely right, don’t underestimate the old folks!

  10. Karen Highland

    January 21, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Oh yeah, have you all tried http://www.hulu.com? We can watch 24 without being slaves to Monday night:)

  11. Matt Stigliano

    January 21, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Teresa – A texting ancient one? You mean they don’t write letters anymore? I’m shocked.

  12. Danilo Bogdanovic

    January 21, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    I was just thinking about this very topic, but with the roles reversed…

    I have been exposed to many instances, especially recently, where “ancient ones” have wrongly and rudely judged us “young’ins”.

    They’ve flexed their “years of experience” and “things have been done the way they’ve been done for years” muscles in my and fellow 30-ish year old faces.

    What I get from your post and the point I’m trying to make in my comment is that you should never judge a book by its cover nor assume.

  13. carole cohen

    January 21, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Of course you are right, T. The whole idea that technology belongs to the under 29 crowd is egocentric; which is what you’d expect from someone that age lol

    90 % of everyone I know is on line, regardless of their age. Same with clients.

    As a former teacher I enjoyed watching some of my younger colleagues discover Twitter and Facebook last month. They were gleeful; just like I was a year ago when I found it, old bag that I am lol.

    One thing could be true, and want to know what you all think; just as it’s easier for someone to learn a foreign language the younger they are, learning the initial basics of technology may be more of a snap for 15 year olds than even someone 29?

  14. teresa boardman

    January 21, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Danilo – yes it works both ways. We need to have respect for people of all ages, races and heck while we are at it lets throw in gender. I have to say in my own case I have surprised more than a few dudes with my tech knowledge.

  15. Dan Connolly

    January 21, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    I was showing property about 20 years ago (when I was 37) and the Gloria Estefan song came on the car radio and my young buyers told me they couldn’t understand the lyrics. I said “she is saying come on baby shake your body do the samba you know you can’t control yourself any longer” One of them whispered to the other one “Wow an old man like that knows the words to that song”. It was a real wake up call for me. Old man at 37.

    What most 20 somethings don’t know is how time speeds up as you get older and that they will turn around one day (soon) and realize that they too are “old”. The funny part is that they won’t feel any different on the inside than they did when they were 16.

    I know some old school agents like to pretend that they are smarter and somehow better than their younger counterparts. But lots of younger agents think that they know more about technology or somehow have more going on than their older counterparts. Stupidity is multi generational.

  16. Brandie Young

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Teresa, first, I have to say a BIG thank you. According to your definition – “a youngster is anyone under 50” I am a youngster! Yippee!

    PC’s in real estate really started becoming really mainstream 8 – 10 years prior to my dad retiring from being a broker. While not of “his generation’s tools” he certainly embraced the value and brought in a trainer to accelerate his learning. Is there an age when you’re just too old to learn something new, particularly when you want to learn? I don’t think so.

    8 years post retirement, he is pretty savvy and uses the internet and other online tools frequently.

    I’ve found the same “age-ism” in music. When the teen kids of my friends discover I like the same artist … “you’ve heard of them?” Sheesh.

    Then again, sometimes it’s fun to be underestimated!

    Brandie

  17. Missy Caulk

    January 22, 2009 at 6:48 am

    I had to explain to my 25 and 27 year olds at Christmas, what a widget is.

    The text ALL the time but just didn’t know what it was…

    Age is relative as far as knowledge. I have been taking classes at the Apple store. Shall we say gray headed and 60’s in all my classes.

  18. Linda Davis

    January 22, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    The Platinum Rule, as it pertains to real estate, is to treat your clients how they want to be treated. I think assuming someone wants to be treated (or communicated with) based on their generation is a ticket to failure. Your commentors said it very well.

  19. Paula Henry

    January 22, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Well, I just passed being a youngster. I was never really a techie and admire those who are hard core. I get by with help of both the youngsters and the “over the hill” group. Learning isn’t limited to age.

    We are never too old to learn something new – look how much those in our industry have had to learn in the last 5 years alone. It’s part of what makes this professioon exciting.

  20. Vicki Moore

    January 22, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    My 80-something year old client just bought her first computer ever – a laptop. I’m so impressed!

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Business Marketing

“House has spark” – burning up the MLS with typos and other bloopers

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The year is starting a march toward its natural ending, friends…and it seems a few real estate careers may be also. This week I found some real head-scratchers in local real estate ads and the MLS.  However, I get submissions from all over the U.S., so no one is safe from the eyes of  the Blooper Scooper. Check out these blunders:

Do You Smell Smoke?

“House has spark” (Apparently your real estate career isn’t the only thing going up in smoke.)

“Big pep area in kitchen” (Is that the cookie jar where Mommy Dearest stashes her uppers?) 

“Dull Viking ovens” (Methinks there’s something in the cookie jar that will perk up those dull Vikings.)

“Large greenhose in back” (Large, naked Jolly Green Giant in yard.)

“Mush added to this house” (Was that the overflow from between your ears?)

I Think I See Flames

“Beautifully remolded guest” (Another cosmetically-altered Barbie hits the Hollywood party circuit.)

“Enjoy a drink poolslide” ( Hell, if the pool is sliding, I’ll need a whole pint of Jack.)

“Each bedroom has own bedrooom” (Hello-o-o, Alice, how are things down there in the rabbit hole?)

“Separate pod to build GH” (That should please my pea-sized buyers.)

“Play room for the kiss” (Something tells me this is the back seat of a ’67 Chevy.)

Still Smoldering…

“Ideal for gusts” (That’s great…if you want to live in a wind sock.)

“Impaccably detailed” (Incredibly challenged)

“Stylish pewder room” (Try burning a match.)

“Stone pillars flake driveway” (Flakey agent got stoned in driveway.)

Nothing But Embers (This Week’s Fave):

“From a bygone error” (You have just written your own epitaph.)

 

 

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Point & Purpose

What makes a top producer in real estate?

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What makes a top producer?

Stop and think for a few minutes about who the top producers are in your market?

Ok, now think about what they doing that has allowed them to continue to consistently produce in a down market, when everyday REALTORS are throwing in the towel.

Every day I scan the MLS to see, what has sold, what is active, and what went under contract (I assume that is something most agents do every day.)

Over and over again the same names pop up as the listing agent with the home that sold or the actual buying agent that sold the home.

Teams

Except for one agent in my area, all the top producers have teams. Now it may be a two person, husband and wife team or a well oiled team with a team leader, several assistants, a listing coordinator or a closing coordinator. But, they all have HELP.

In my area, the names that keep popping up are on Teams. I believe it is virtually impossible to be a top producer without help. Well, you could do it alone but if you do how is that effecting time with your family? Realistically how many transactions can you juggle and give good service?

Running a Business

The second thing I notice about those top producers is the fact that they treat their business like a business. Real Estate to them is not just selling a house, but something they brand, allocate resources for, grow and manage. Not only are they thinking of ways to grow their business but they also thinking of the future and how to sell it down the road.

I remember being told by a entrepreneur friend of mine years ago, “all businesses are built to be sold.”

Far to many REALTORS, think of Real Estate as a job they do and someday when they retire then all the hard work of creating and nurturing relationships they have built is gone. (I’m outta here)

Focused and Positive

One other observation I have observed with top producers is they are focused and positive. I never see them “hanging out at the office”, or attending broker opens, or really for that matter, serving much at all on their local boards. Oh there are a few, but really very few.

Finally, I don’t see many top producers in my market on Twitter, Facebook, Empire Avenue or other social media sites during the day. I don’t see them at every conference known to man around the country.

What I do see is they work everyday, on their business and in their business.

How ‘bout you?

Think of the top REALTORS in your market, what characteristics do you see?

Flickr Photo Credit

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Business Marketing

“New bd pans inc” – Making a Splash on the MLS

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I have two things to say this week: 1. When you drink, you can’t think. 2. When you drink you can’t- … uh, what was I saying? Oh, yes – the MLS.  It was so full of bloopers this week that I am led to conclude that happy hour started Monday and never stopped. Read these and tell me if it is any wonder I was driven to throw back a few martinis myself:

Booze ‘N’ Fools

“Free membership to gin inc” (It seems someone else beat us to it, Martini Mary.)

“Grab now use imagination” (That’s what Arnold said to his housekeeper.)

“House has new edition” (Agent lacks erudition.)

“Babblying broke runs in back” (Bumbling buffoon runs amuck.)

“Drop by for cocktail ho” (Oh, is the Sunset Strip for sale?)

Puff ‘N’ Stuff

“Near Sacramento airpot” (I believe his name is Jerry Brown.)

“Claw me for selling” (I’m too busy clawing my eyes out over your spelling.)

“Reduction on mid-century ner Holywod” (Another mid-sixties porn star is looking for work.)

“We can sake your home” (Can I get fried rice with my sake?)

Proof or Goof

“Nice streem” (Said Grandma to Grandpa after his diaper  exploded.)

“Nice for dog kids” (Uh, they’re called ‘puppies,” pal.)

“New bd pans included” (Thank you, Nurse Nancy – can you warm those first?)

“Good stable in neighborhood.” (Have you contacted Mary and Joseph?)

“Drawing for plasma” (Is this a blood-bank?)

And This Week’s Winner Is:

“Good school in areola” (Thanks for keeping me abreast of things.)

PROOF OR GOOF, FRIENDS – I’M WATCHING EWE 🙂

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