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My Annual San Francisco Real Estate Holiday Letter
The following is this year’s annual holiday letter that I send out to my real estate clients and friends. Thought you might enjoy!
Thank you for taking a peek at my 10th New Year’s letter. As many of you know, I’ve been a full-time San Francisco real estate agent for over a decade, having obtained my California real estate license at the ripe old age of 24. The combination of my age and the time at which I entered the business gives me an interesting perspective. Simply put, things have changed!
Looking back, I am struck by the changes in the business of real estate, and in particular, the role technology has taken in helping people buy and sell homes. In 2002, when I became a Realtor, the San Francisco MLS was a file you had to download and it was not very accessible to the public. Pretty much, you had to have a real estate license and be a member of a local real estate board in order to figure out what was for sale and certainly, to figure out what things had sold for. Ascertaining market value, even an estimate, was pretty tough if you didn’t ask an agent.
Let’s not forget that in 2002 there was no Zillow, Trulia, SocketSite, Curbed, or RedFin, to name a few popular real estate vertical search engines. However, there was a little HTML page called SFhotlist, with a cartoon of a blond real estate agent and sassy ‘Zagat-style’ reviews of San Francisco listings…but that’s a story for a different letter.
My point is that there have been dramatic, disruptive shifts in the business of real estate thanks to technology and the freeing of information online. The consumer has vasts amounts of data at their fingertips. As I often say in an initial consultation, “the information is ALL out there.”
If all the information is out there then why do I still have a job?
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I went to see Skyfall, the new James Bond movie with my family. My Dad and I have seen many Bond films together and this latest installment, the 23rd, did not disappoint. In the film, 007 & all of MI6 battle the ultimate cyber-criminal. Their business is no longer about bad guys with bowler hats that can kill, it’s about bringing down entire economies with the perfectly coded virus. Bond’s wit, grit, and muscle are up against evil hackers who use the power of technology to control the world. I know it sounds corny, but I could definitely relate to 007 in this film.
Now to answer the question as to why I still have a job as a San Francisco real estate agent. As it turns out, technology can do a great job of stream-lining the real estate process and empowering the consumer, but the human touch is still needed to help people decipher the data, understand what’s most important to them, and to ultimately pull the trigger (pun entirely intended). It’s been an honor and pleasure to be your Agent on the ground – sorry, it had to be done – for the past 10 years. Thank you for your business, your advocacy and your friendship. I’ll see you…in the future!
Happy Holidays & New Year,