How my Passion for Tech Shapes my Real Estate Career

Earlier this week I was talking with someone about my personal passions. I actually have a few passions which we discussed – my family, travel, and more recently (now that I’m in my 50s!) I’ve really gotten into health, fitness, diet, exercise – and my Peloton.

And today, as I was burning through another 800+ calories on the Peloton, I thought about that conversation I’d had, and I realized that really I have another passion that tremendously impacts with my work as a Silicon Valley REALTOR.

It’s something I’ve loved – and frankly been passionate about – since childhood. I’m talking like since 1981, which seems like the stone age now – at least, that’s what my kids tell me.

The best thing my Dad ever did for the family was buy an Apple ][+ computer. He bought it because he wanted to do word processing, since he was a writer. He didn’t use it all day every day, which left a lot of time for me to play around on it. I was about ten years old at the time.

Of course, I played games on it (the original Oregon Trail!), and then I started writing basic programs on it. A few years later, probably around 1986, I bought a “Fat Mac” – a Mac 512Ke, which was a Mac 128 upgraded to 512K. That started my work on the Mac platform – and I still use and love Macs today. I’m typing on my 14″ M1 MacBook Pro right now (it’s bliss. Go and get one).

When I was in college, My coding bonafides and my experience with the Mac got me a job developing a database application in 4D (something like FileMakerPro or FoxPro, but much more powerful) for a local business. But that experience with 4D led me to work on a variety of projects, big and small, all over the world.

Everyone wants to know…

I worked in Silicon Valley, Alaska, Malaysia, Belgium, Bali, and other places for big and small companies. I did high-tech consulting for about 12 years or so. It all came to an end (mostly) when I was working at a “dot com” startup in Palo Alto, when I noticed that I was slaving away for 12-16 hours a day, but the folks in sales and marketing worked maybe 8 hours – selling a marketing a product that didn’t actually exist, all while noshing on bagels and gourmet varieties of cream cheese.

It was then that I decided I didn’t want to sit behind a computer all day, every day, grinding out the code. I wanted to get into sales, because I thought I knew something about it. One thing I knew about it was that salespeople make more money than anyone – more than doctors, lawyers, or software engineers.

How I got into real estate sales is another story, but I got my licensed on February 20, 2003. I immediately started to leverage my high-tech skills, building a database of Internet leads and squeezing sales out of them. Over the past 20 years, I’ve built numerous websites, I had my own custom CRM (customer relationship manager) built in PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript (jQuery).

Take all your equity when you move

My custom CRM has gone by the wayside, and I don’t use my WordPress sites much anymore. I’ve gone to off-the-shelf technology products and services for the most part. But of course, using these rich tools is in itself somewhat technical, because there’s still a lot to understand about how these different systems can work with each other to really get them to do what you want.

A lot of my clients today work for high-tech companies….but by no means all of them. Many of my clients are even older than me, and have little experience with technology. Yet everybody these days – almost everyone, anyway – has a smart phone. You know what they say: there’s an app for that, and there’s no shortage of real estate apps out there either.

But I don’t want my clients to feel like they have to use an app to work with me. I meet my clients where they are with technology. If they are super tech-savvy and want to pour over Google Sheets with me over a Zoom call, I’m there. But if my clients prefer to sit with me, in person, and go over printed copies of the offers I’ve brought them for their home, I’m happy to do that too.

Regardless of my client’s personal comfort level with today’s technology, I leverage my own background, skills, and expertise to use these products, systems, and services to help my clients make their next move their best one yet, in a way that is unmatched by most Realtors, even in tech-savvy Silicon Valley.

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About the Author
Seb Frey helps long-time Bay Area homeowners make their next move easily the next one yet. If you're looking for a minimum of hassle, maximum net cash on sale, and certain results, contact Seb today.