Steve High and Recent Technology
Agent Spotlight: Steve High
This month’s miniListings spotlight is on Steve High, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Previews International in Newport Beach. Steve has been in the business for 25 years, all of them in Orange County. His experience has allowed him to develop an extraordinary knowledge of the many different neighborhoods of Orange County, and he is known for selling luxury properties along the Newport Coast, from Newport Beach to Dana Point. Steve currently works with Evan Corkett as part of the OC Previews real estate team that also includes Debbie Johnson, Midge Torre, and AJ Olson Whitfield.
We talked about a wide variety of topics including what he likes about real estate, how the business fundamentals haven’t changed in 25 years, how technology is making agents not only better but also smarter, and what he likes about miniListings.
You’ve been in the business for 25 years, what do you like about it?
Every real estate deal is like putting a puzzle together, about putting the right people in the right properties. I really like that part of my job, and I never get tired of it. I’ve also been very lucky to work in a part of the market that I really enjoy. I’ve always had an interest in the high-end of the market, and I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to work in that area throughout my career. It’s one of the pieces of advice that I give to new agents – it is important to find a portion of the market that you’re comfortable with and that you enjoy.
How has the business changed over your career?
To be honest, the business itself, the fundamentals, haven’t changed over the last 25 years. To be successful you still have to work hard, even harder these days than when I started. You still need to do all the things necessary to reach clients, whether it is networking and meeting people, marketing to new clients, communicating with clients, or helping clients through a transaction. The means that we use and have at our disposal to do these things have changed substantially over time, but the fundamentals haven’t.
The technology is one means that has changed a lot. What impact has it had?
For starters, it’s made some tasks a lot easier, liking delivering offers. I can remember having to drive to the listing agent’s office to deliver an offer. Then we started using fax machines. The first fax machines would print the offers on a roll of paper, and you would use scissors to cut the pages. Now, we deliver offers electronically via email. And this is just one of the many ways technology has made things more efficient.
In addition, it’s provided us with more and much less expensive tools to do our job. For example, when I started out you had to be in The Daily Pilot. If you weren’t, you were effectively dead. Now, there are many different options you have to market yourself and your listings, and many of the options can be done for a much lower cost, if not free.
Technology is making agents better and smarter, too. Given the amount of information a buyer or seller can find on their own on the internet, we, as agents, need to be more educated about our business than ever before. In the old days, before the internet, if an agent tossed out a statement, the client wouldn’t have the means to verify it. Today, if you don’t do your research and homework, a client can know as much or more than you do. You need to be prepared at all times.
The latest technology is mobile, what effect is it having?
It is raising expectations among buyers and sellers. The expectation is that clients can have instant access to information as well as you. It is really making the business move faster and quicker. On the other hand, it also gives you freedom. It used to be that you were afraid to go on vacation. Now you can be practically anywhere and still communicate with clients and keep up to date on the status of a transaction.
What mobile phone are you currently using?
I switched to Verizon a couple of years ago and have been using the BlackBerry Tour. I’ll probably switch to the iPhone, but I’m waiting for the iPhone5 to come out.
How do you use your miniListings app and what do you like about it?
As I mentioned earlier, buyers expect instant access to information. miniListings is a great tool that I can give to a potential buyer so they can instantly get the information on a property that they are in front of or they can use to see what’s for sell around them in a neighborhood. I really like that it is easy to hand out and doesn’t require any downloads. It’s especially useful for those buyers who like to do a lot of property searches on their own.
Before you go, I see that you’ve stayed current with technology throughout your career, how have you done it?
You can’t be afraid of technology, especially new technology. Today’s new technologies are mobile and social media. These are having a lot of impact on our business. It’s a challenge to keep up, but you have to keep an open mind. You need to acquire knowledge about the technology, understand how to use it, and figure out how to harness the technology to make it work for you. If not, you can get left behind.
It was a real pleasure to get to talk to Steve, and I’d like to thank him for spending the time with me to share his experience and how technology is impacting the real estate business. It was also great to see how he is using miniListings as a way to use mobile technology to enhance the service he provides his clients. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Steve and the rest of the OC Previews team.
You can learn more about Steve and the OC Previews team at http://ocpreviews.com, and to see their miniListings web application, just load the same site using the web browser on your mobile device.