It was the early 90’s when the company I worked for introduced my nervous colleagues and I to the wonders of the computer including Email for the very first time. A momentous occasion in my business life on reflection and little did I realise the long term impact of my response to the trainer’s request to “switch your computer on”.
A salutary lesson as well. When I opened up my machine in the training room with a newly created personal log on I found 431 Emails sat there with my name writ large across them. Head Office in London had enjoyed their launch some weeks earlier, the city team quickly getting into playing Email tennis before the process was eventually rolled out to their country cousins in the shire.
It was my first terrifying introduction to the enormity of the digital age proper with colleagues in various departments copying me in on all that binary rubbish for no good reason. Sadly it became a major part of my working life.
Imagine my joy many years later when retiring from another job in a singular act of cathartic revenge deleting over 13,000 Emails in my final week. No one died, the world kept turning and everything carried on as it always had so what had that been all about?
That said, these days of course, Email and being on-line with the lap top and mobile is second nature to me. Whether I like it or not I find myself strangely attracted to what I can achieve down that slender cable, this blog being a perfect example.
The digital revolution has moved on a long way since my first tentative prod on the unfamiliar training mouse. My first mobile phone, impossibly futuristic at the time and pictured at the top of this post being a perfect illustration.
Nowadays, I can take a photo on my aptly named smart phone and send it to a client direct from a potential new home I am viewing on their behalf. That mobile can do almost anything and in my case it is limited only by my imagination.
Also, as you might imagine, I am not against using the major digital platforms such as Rightmove and Zoopla to help me in my search for suitable property for my clients as well as searching agent’s offerings on line. The information available is vast and can save an awful lot of time and mileage.
But it has to be said I am still a great believer in face to face interaction. Going on-line isn’t always the answer and there is a lot of knowledge that can be gleaned being in an agents office in addition to the conversation or talking to people who live near a property I may be interested in.
The digital window doesn’t always tell the whole story with regard to a properties location either. Skilled photography can hide a multitude of sins and physically visiting a property will reveal any unfortunate warts in most cases.
For example a local commercial Pheasant shoot out three times a week on the land surrounding a house from the beginning of October to the end of January may be acceptable to someone who enjoys the shooting scene and everything that goes with it but could be a problem for a client with young children and pets. It is not something that would show up on Google or an OS map but talking to locals or being in the area would reveal the fact.
Of course it is impossible to ignore the benefits modern technology has bought to the property world and the business continues to evolve at an incredible rate but call me old fashioned, I believe that good old verbal communication is still key combined with covering the area using local knowledge on the ground. Add to this the digital benefits and you have an almost unbeatable combination.
But I feel sure you were expecting me to say that…