I recently received my official notice of 15 years of licensing with the Calgary Real Estate Board. I was also an assistant to a realtor for a year before then, so I’ve seen a lot of changes in the industry from 2005 until now!
Much is the same in my tasks and routines every week – searching for homes for my buyers, setting up showings, property inspections & open houses, marketing my listings, communicating with clients, suppliers, other realtors & referral partners, continuing education, administrative tasks. But the way things are done has certainly changed!
When I started: I had my very first smartphone – a Blackberry with a button keyboard. I got VERY fast at typing on it and it was basically just used for email, not any type of apps, photos or other internet use.
Now: iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air are my weapons of choice. I’m still fast at typing.
When I started: I would bring along a little device that you would have to point at the real estate lockboxes (like a remote) and enter a code to be able to open.
Now: A realtor-specific mobile app uses facial recognition and connects via Bluetooth to our lockboxes.
When I started: To book a showing, you would call the listing realtor’s office and send them a page with the property address and time frame (yes page, as in a pager, but we could receive them on our cell phone). They would respond by phone call or a return page to confirm.
Now: We use an app to book showings that saves important instructions and can suggest smart routes.
When I started: Paper copies of each house listing and any offers or other documents were kept in a manila folder for each client. If buyers saw a LOT of houses, the folder would bulge and start to tear on the seam 😉 A large filing cabinet held all of these in my home office!
Now: All client documents are securely stored on the cloud for easy sharing and retrieval! I bring house listings along with me on my iPad.
When I started: To submit an offer on a house, you would either bring a physical offer to the seller’s house and present it to the sellers and their realtor OR you would send a fax of the offer to the other realtor. For counter offers, you would strike out, re-write and initial any changes and then fax back. Between all the faxes, changes and initials, the final copy would often be almost illegible! Oh and if I was getting initials from clients a long way away from the office, sometimes I would have to pop into a nearby Staples to get the fax sent.
Now: Offers are signed electronically, much of the counter-offering is done via text message and phone call and the final changes are re-written and e-signed on a perfectly legible PDF!
When I started: I took my own photos on a point & shoot camera, as was standard at the time! I completed my own measurements using a laser measurer and designed & printed my own feature sheets.
Now: I use the top photography, virtual tour & measurement companies in Calgary to showcase my listings in the most professional way. Features sheets are done by our in-house designer.
When I started: The market was booming with a strong economy in Alberta. Competing offers were very common through 2006 and 2007.
In the interim: Free-falling prices in 2008 with a long slow recovery, building back up to another peak in 2014. A second big recession and a struggling Alberta economy for about six years until Covid hit.
Now: A surprisingly busy 2020 and 2021 that were shaped by different fundamentals than previous boom times – pandemic-related lifestyle changes.
When I started: I loved the human aspect of the real estate business, walking alongside clients through the big moments in life – wedding and divorces, births and deaths, relocations and reunions. The excitement of finding the perfect place for a buyer or getting a great offer for a seller was always very rewarding.
Thank you so much to all of my clients that have supported me over the years and I look forward to continuing to work with you in the years to come!