Recently, at the conclusion of my workday, I made a trip to the fabric store to pick up a piece of material for a project I’m working on. I pulled up at about 6:05 in the evening and to my surprise, the fabric store was closed. The Monday through Friday hours posted on the door read 9:00 am-6:00 pm. I just stood there peering into the darkened store. I couldn’t believe it was closed.
Throughout high school and college I made nearly all of my clothes, so I used to be a regular visitor to fabric stores. Back then, they were busy places. You could visit any fabric store any evening and find the place alive with shoppers searching for ideas and looking for bargains. When the store would flicker the lights at 9:15 pm to signal that it was almost closing time, you could hear the barely audible groans of the shoppers who hadn’t yet found what they were looking for and weren’t ready to leave. Those were the good old days.
Today, there aren’t enough people interested in buying fabric or making clothes to keep the store open past 6 o’clock. For a long moment, I stood there feeling sorry about something that no longer was. Then I realized it was time to move on.
And so it is with real estate agents. Times have changed and so has the flow of business. Gone are the days when you were busy with clients from sun up to sun down, when it took hours rather than months to sell a home, and when it was easy to find clients because everybody was buying something.
When things change like that, it’s easy to get stuck and wallow in nostalgia. But that’s not the best response. Rather than standing there staring into the darkened store, push yourself to move on. This is a great time to retool and learn new skills. Use this slower period to reinvent yourself so that when the market returns, you’ll have mastered the technology you’ll need to meet the challenge head on.
Here are seven tech-smart things you can do right now:
- Start writing a blog
- Redo your listing presentation and learn to give it in PowerPoint
- Visit websites that let you market homes online or via smartphone applications and learn how to get your listings included
- Become active on a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter
- Take an online class to learn more about Internet marketing
- Create a free Internet flipbook about yourself or one of your listings using Issuu
- Visit a site like docusign or ESIGNcontrol to learn how documents can be signed and sent electronically