This week, readers commented on the future of virtual reality, 3-D and smart home technology; the importance of background checks for licensing; and the path to starting your own brokerage. Check out the highlights below, compiled by the Inman editorial staff.

Robby Robertson · Commented on Things no one tells you about real estate

I am a little hesitant to be a lone wolf here, but maybe this will help some one looking for an alternative. First, I have never worked hard, or long hours in this business. My first 13 years were as a RE/MAX agent and I was never not in their 100% club. I almost never worked a weekend in my entire career (now at year 20). What I did do from day one was get all the education I could. I earned both GRI and CRS early on and not for the bragging rights, but for the knowledge. I put that knowledge to work in organization and going deep, not wide in my focus. I have never had a desire to out sell every other agent in my area, but just wanted to make a comfortable living with lots of time to call my own. For the most part I played golf, but I made it a point to enter all the events surrounding our area golf courses and meet lots of fellow golfers. It worked very well and I never considered work to be work. The same would work for those of you that like to fish, play a sport or go to church. Just get out there and always be a real estate agent, not a secret agent (wear something that says real estate agent). This business can be very easy, but you have to work at making it easy and you have to know when to say NO. Difficult people are everywhere. Just walk away. Don’t chase every possibility out there. That will ruin your day and the next thing you know you will be working weekends. I never sat floor duty or open houses in my career either. What a waste of golf time. Learn to enjoy every day and learn how to spend a little extra time with your good prospects finding out about them, not informing them about how wonderful everything is in your life. Now, put on your happy face and go enjoy one of the best career choices a person can make!!

Jim Smoak · Commented on 9 ways to blaze the real estate virtual reality trail in 2017

3D and VR are great tools, but it’s so early for them, they must only represent a very small percentage of listing viewing opportunities for buyers. While it definitely carries a great gee-whiz/shiny object factor, I don’t see this “come to our office and lets virtually walk through all the properties” moment. Maybe in a few years. In the meanwhile, let’s grow the market by providing a 3D experience on listings for the masses that sit behind their laptop or tablet at home on a Sunday morning looking at listings. Someday, we’ll reach the place on the industry’s adoption curve where remote viewing listings as a practical function will become reality.

Sam Jackson · Commented on 9 ways to blaze the real estate virtual reality trail in 2017

You must remember when smart phones were first introduced. They said “It’s too early for this tech, why would someone want to look at a screen so small when they can you use their desktop”. The agents who learn the tech and get ahead of the pack will be rewarded handsomely.

Cory L. Kammerdiener · Commented on Bill would require background check to renew license

I am in favor of this bill. Just last year I had a Broker join my firm who has been a broker since 1979. When he joined my firm, I did not know he was charged with a money launderer scam back in 2011 which he was finally indicted and sent to prision in the summer of 2016. He went through a minimim of 2 renewals which Texas Commision of Real Estaste could have caught his charges before I hired him.

I also had several agents throughout the years get arrested for dunk and disordely conduct, failure to pay child support and driving on a suspended license. Realtor are people too and they can be just as bad as any other person.

In 2017, my firm will start doing background checks on agents who have been in the business for more than 2 years.

Patti Gray Whann · Commented on How to start your own brokerage in 2017

Good Points! I went on my own after working for Century 21 for 4 years in 2008. After I did the market died…I was grateful since it gave me the time to make mistakes and to think about how I was going to run my boutique business….I had a wonderful broker who owned a small brokerage mentor me at Starbucks for a few months over coffee. Your own broker when you leave is not going to help you…mine told me I would never make it….you now are a competitior….My business was mostly past clients and friends who took a chance on me to get the job done…My plan shifted a few years ago to be a Zillow preferred agent for a couple of my geographic areas to pick up more buyer leads. I only focus on a small area no more than 10 miles around my community and one small lake area…Zillow gave me the boost I needed and I am holding my own in an area with a lot of big box real estate offices and independents are folding or merging with the big boxes. I am planning to be a buyers agents only business in the next couple years. I make referrals out of area to other independents. I love being on my own and would never change that…I also named my business as an area and not my name for selling when I retire.

Mark Weber · Commented on What Mark Zuckerberg’s smart home means for real estate

Looks like we all need to become “Smart Home Experts” in 2017 and beyond.

Email Caroline Feeney

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