Both sides now

Sign in front of office

I strolled by this office with my family while on a short spring break getaway.

My wife’s take: “They bought the sign twenty years ago and just keep putting it out.”

My take: “Wow, I guess it works.”

Think about it:

Mike and Linda, Boomers on vacation in this neat little beach town, pull over and grab a list just to see what a second home would cost.

Amy, a Gen X-er relocating for a new job, has half a dozen real estate search apps on her iPhone, but grabs a list because, somehow, a sheet of paper just seems easier.

Not far-fetched, right?

Of course, these scenarios will become less plausible over time, but for now they are part of the strange duality of real estate life.

The industry is responding to massive technological and cultural change at the same time stuff from the days when people drank “Riunite on Ice” while watching Dallas still works.

Go figure.

Lately, I have been feeling we’re close to a point at which the practice of real estate as we know it will collapse like the floor beneath a gallows, bringing a swift end to a long drama.

But it’s things like this photo that remind me why I may be wrong, why we may be straddling old and new for a while yet.

If that is the case, caution is in order.

Sometimes, outside innovators seeking to disabuse the industry of its more antique notions are shocked by the recalcitrance they encounter. A fair number of agents and brokers will themselves to sleep in the face of change and hope everything gets back to normal when they wake up.

They both want something that isn’t wholly real. I find myself in this place a lot, too, thinking “That’s just stupid” or “That makes perfect sense” when in fact the opposite is true. It’s a form of blindness.

So, sometimes, it’s good to catch a glimpse of the other side.