How a broken laptop got me thinking of how technology has changed real estate

Last week was a rough one.  My computer died…yep just died without notice or warning! I still had my iPad so I wasn’t totally lost but life is just not the same for me without my laptop.  As I watched my tech savvy husband set up my new laptop and pretended to listen as he explained what he was doing in a language I don’t speak I had a chance to reflect on how technology has changed the real estate business over the past 15 years.

In 1999 when I first started real estate there was no emailing the contract and there certainly wasn’t DocuSign, which I seriously don’t think I could live without.  We printed out the contract, had the client sign it and then faxed it over and sat by the fax machine waiting to get that confirmation receipt to print out, then called the other agent and tried to figure out why they didn’t receive the fax only to have them say wait I think its coming in now. Today I can have a client sign all their paperwork on my iPad & send it to the other agent in an email, how things have changed.

Back in 1999 it was also perfectly okay for an agent to take out a personal camera and snap a few pictures of their new listing since they were only going to be viewed by a handful of tech savvy shoppers, other agents and on a flyer. We then moved into the smart phone era and again since the pictures would still have limited usage us agents could just snap away. At that time the most important pictures were those that went on the in the flyer box in front of the home because that was how most buyers got their information.

Fast forward to 2014 and the explosion of technology has changed not only how information is gathered by buyers but also dramatically increased the quality requirements for real estate related media. The reduced amount of time buyers have to look at homes and the increased usage of the internet to select which homes to see means the media better go beyond the basic and compel them to want to see your listing. No longer can I snap my own pictures today they have to be professionally shot and there is a growing importance in creating a unique and compelling video tour that makes a potential buyer want to see your home. All of this media now gets uploaded to around 1,000 different websites including the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) my website, You Tube Channel, individual property website, Zillow, Trulia, etc. Today flyer boxes are as obsolete as the home telephone, which though still around hardly anyone uses and the video tours in particular are the driving force for many buyers in deciding which homes to spend their precious time seeing in person.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that being a Realtor today means having access to, an understanding of and utilizing all the latest technology to make life easier for your clients whether they are down the street or in another country.  One recent client summed it up best when he said:

“Sherry helped us buy our dream home in the end of 2013, she was very knowledgeable, helpful, flexible and available. We especially liked that she was very tech savvy, and except for the final signing, we did all approval and signing of forms, applications, contracts and agreements with our iPhones, no matter where we were, sometimes in a different country, allowing us to move fast and get the property we wanted” Greg Rome.

Now that my husband has my laptop up and running feel free to contact me if you have any real estate related questions, I am here to help.

Sherry Swift

Broker Associate


949 599 6860

Article Name
How a broken laptop got me thinking of how technology has changed real estate
A broken laptop had me reflecting on how technology has changed Orange County real estate since I started in the business back in 1999
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