As published in the Conroe Courier, these articles written by Claudia Hohlt address various real estate topics in and around Montgomery County.
I was watching a TV program the other night and saw something that actually made me stop and think for a minute. It was a story about the late Ruth Graham that was told by her husband Billy Graham. It seems that years earlier, they were driving home from an event and encountered a stretch of road that was under construction. When they finally worked their way past it, they saw a sign that said “End of construction. Thank you for your patience”. Mrs. Graham remarked to her husband what a marvelous epithet that would be and directed that it be put on her tombstone after she died. It was told with great admiration and was a great reminder that we should never quit our personal quest in becoming a better person as there’s always something to learn or to do.
OK, I’m a realtor and not a motivational speaker. But Reverend Graham’s story made me reflect not only on my own personal life, but also on my career choice. The real estate profession is continually under construction and has changed drastically in recent years. Like most professions, technology has advanced at breakneck speed and Realtors have had to stay abreast of the changes. This technology has enabled agents to produce a much better product, but at the same time, buyers and sellers of real estate expect much more than ever before. So Realtors have had to keep up or lag behind.
As an example, in just the past few years, smart phones and tablet computers have enabled agents to have a fully functional mobile office while on the go. They can conduct business in a parking lot and give their clients the same information that they could if they were in their office. Agents can respond to their clients more readily and don’t have to wait till they’re back in the office to address their concerns. Or they can be touring the county with clients and download information on properties of interest on the fly. Right outside of a home for sale, an agent can upload pictures and let their clients view them to determine if they want to make an impromptu appointment to tour the home. This makes the task of showing houses so much more productive for clients as well as agents.
Another recent advancement is the QR (Quick Response) code. I suspect many folks have seen the odd little square ink blots but didn’t know what they were. These QR codes have a unique imprint and serve several purposes, but most often represent a website address. Anyone with a QR reader (an app that is resident in many smart phones) can just point their phone at the QR code, and a designated website pops up on their viewer. I recently listed a home that had a number of very unique features. I simply created a QR code for each feature and incorporated it into a flyer placed next to each feature. The QR codes were linked to either a manufacturer’s website for the product, a video about the product, or a customer testimonial. It turned out to be a powerful sales tool.
So what is the next big breakthrough? Many of the things we routinely use today could not have been imagined by most of us just a few years ago. But as sure as the sun will come up tomorrow, I know there will soon be something that will make my profession more exciting and lead to a more satisfying experience for both buyers and sellers.
Obviously, Mrs. Graham was thinking in more grandiose terms that real estate when she chose her epithet and it is certainly more meaningful when thought about in a spiritual, moral, or humanitarian context. But I believe the meaning of the story is relevant in all important aspects of one’s life. Even real estate.