Real Estate Ads & Glimpse Into the Past
“HOME is where the heart is, but today, the PHONE is where the Heart is!” – Rachitha Cabral
Every once in a while, friends and associates will send me old photos of individuals in the real estate industry (which includes myself which I am embarrassed to admit). It is interesting to see how we all have changed, and how real estate advertisements have evolved. It seems that agents holding a phone (whether it was a rotary, cell phone the size of a suitcase, or a Smartphone) represented the vast majority of ads. Nothing says I am a successful realtor like having a phone attached to your ear.
When I entered the real estate industry, things were much more antiquated than today. I had no email, fax machine (remember those?), cell phone or anything that made communication easier and faster. The one luxury I had was a pager. The Vancouver Real Estate Board wasn’t even computerized, and listings sent by courier each morning and we put the listings into 4 separate books. When someone called on a property we would have to cross reference those books to find it and determine if it was still available. The public seemed to accept the time it would take to research a property and get back to them, but it was cumbersome. In 1979, the market moved quickly and it was difficult at best for a new agent like myself to keep up, and by the time you located the property the buyer was calling about, it was often sold.
Advertising during this era was comprised of lawn signs and newspaper. The problem was that the properties advertised were often sold by the time the ad appeared in the newspaper due to the deadlines for ad submission being several days in advance of the newspaper being printed. Realtors said outrageous things in ads to get you to call. One heading I saw on a For Sale by Owner sign was “Husband left us for a 22 year old”, another was “Your friends will puke with envy” or another FSBO sign said “owner ready to croak – must sell – make an offer” and it even had a cartoon of a doctor with a stethoscope on it…really.
I remember the moment I was introduced to the “microfilm machine” in our office in 1979. It provided listing details and all you needed to do was sift through micro film for hours on end. I spent endless hours searching and analysing the data from the microfilm, and it provided me with useful information that I was able to share with clients and help to position myself as being an expert on the local real estate market.
Today, real estate technology has provided us with countless apps, software and online programs that provide agents and consumers with listing information instantly. It is now possible to reach someone across the globe in seconds who may be looking at your listing and responding while you are cozily asleep for the night. Buyers can view entire neighborhoods, ocean views, a Youtube video, or even the property from 100 feet above with drone videos. The options today are endless. These are just a few new ways of marketing that your agent needs to provide when you decide it is time to sell. I have a complete and comprehensive marketing plan that we apply to all our listings, so feel free to contact me with any questions.