I love technology, and I appreciate it every minute in this job. Being a realtor before there were cell phones, before the MLS was on-line, and before my best friend Docusign was born, must have been a different job entirely.
Maybe it meant you could get away from the job from time to time, but I doubt it. The flip side of having all this great technology, allowing you to get work done anywhere, is of course, that you can get work done anywhere. But if it means I can open escrow from a beach in Costa Rica, my glass is half full.
I just returned from Costa Rica and the best vacation ever, and I was determined not to have my phone to my ear the entire time. One family vacation album that isn’t full of shots my kids take of me sneaking into a corner to answer my phone, that’s what I had in mind.
One phone call to Verizon before we departed and I felt highly motivated to realize my goal: $2.89/minute for my phone calls; text messages could be received for a nickel, but would cost 50 cents to send.
It was the first trip out of the country for my kids. My husband tends to be one of those people that arrive on the (far) early side for any plane anyway; for this flight we arrived at the airport a full 4.5 hours before our flight. I did not smirk or mock him: I wanted to, but I lost that privilege when I missed a plane to Chicago in September. Now I just follow his lead and bring something to do.
In this case, I arrived at the airport with a fully charged battery on my Mac, and after checking in and being the very first people at the gate (by over an hour), I was back at my “desk”, picking up right where I left off before I packed my bags. That is, I received two offers on my new listing in Danville: www.58LaGondaCourt.com. We sent out a multiple offer counter in the afternoon, and from the airport gate, I was able to write an addendum, send that and the winning counter to my sellers for their signature; receive their signed documents back (all via my BFF Docusign), and mark the property pending.
Docusign is everyone’s friend, it’s not just me. My sellers in this case were in two different places: both were able to interrupt what they were doing for a moment, and click their signature from their iPhones.
Next, I addressed the two offers I received that day on my listing in Alamo: www.391CastleCrest.com. Again, we had sent a multiple offer counter, and again my clients were able to select a buyer, electronically sign the counter offer, and I marked the property pending. I hopped on the plane, a red-eye, with two freshly pending sales.
I also received 2 offers for my new listing in Pleasant Hill (152 Crescent Plaza, priced at $498,000, newer home in the downtown area). Yes, if you’re counting, in the 24 hours before my plane took off, I received 6 offers on three properties. It’s things like this that make vacations a trick in this job. And I don’t know how anyone got away before technology made it easy.
My new listing in Pleasant Hill was a popular one; before I left the seller instructed me to set an offer date for Monday afternoon. So on Monday, after zip-lining through the rain forest and admiring toads and tarantulas on the night hike, I excused myself to call the seller ($2.89/minute) and review the 8 offers we had received.
That phone call and one other to that client, plus one to my assistant who was feverishly receiving the offers and counter-offers, were the full extent of my use of my cell phone for voice conversation.
My phone buzzed with many text messages during the week, mostly from my assistant; I would (for example) duck behind a tree in Costa Rica’s beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park while the guide was pointing out a sloth waking up in a tree and spend fifty cents responding to questions about how to answer each counter offer.
By Wednesday evening, we had selected a buyer from the group and marked the Pleasant Hill property pending. On Thanksgiving Day, I left my phone in the hotel room and enjoyed white water rafting with my family.
Our photo album of Costa Rica won’t have a single photo of me on my phone, but it’s amazing to think that I left the house with three escrows, and boarded the phone with five, and came home with six. This job never stops, and I’m sure that’s one reason why I love it. It’s constant activity, never boring.
Costa Rica was like that too—so much to do, so much to see. A great place for the whole family, and a country full of friendly, wonderful people!
But back to work today, and I have the inventory numbers for you. Alamo continues to float in the 40’s, steady there for the last few months…but Danville dips low, and Pleasant Hill goes from low to half of that (from 24 to 12). If you can stand to have your home on the market over the holidays (and it isn’t easy, so consider this carefully), the competition is thinning even more each day. Inventory is down in every area I track except Rossmoor.
Inventory numbers today (vs 10/21):
Alamo – 42 (down 5)
Danville – 68 (down 34!!!)
Blackhawk – 33 (down 6)
San Ramon – 34 (down 11)
Dublin – 34 (down 12)
Pleasanton – 51 (down 28)
Lafayette – 25 (down 14)
Orinda – 35 (down 10)
Pleasant Hill – 12 (down 12)
Walnut Creek – 57 (down 3)
Rossmoor – 32 (up 4)
Antioch – 77 (down 22)