Close your eyes. Relax. Think back to a simpler time—a time before cell phones, before email, before PDAs and internet search engines. Think back to a time when real estate agents had glamour-shot photographs on their business cards and online was not around.
Now, ask yourself these questions: How did real estate agents look up properties in the MLS? How did they know a house was for sale? How did they know which house was for sale or a bank foreclosure? How did they know if the house had 3 or 4 bedrooms? The answer to all these questions could be found in an invaluable source real estate agents called “the book.” Yes, the Austin MLS published a book once each month that contained all the listings. So, if real estate agents wanted a virtual tour, they had to drive to the property to take an actual, visual tour themselves, take notes with pen and paper, and then run to the nearest payphone to call their clients to let them know they had found a house for them to preview. Talk about putting some miles on your car!
This lack of instant connection did, however, work in the favor of the real estate investor. Less-than-serious buyers were quickly weeded out of the system; and, rather than having the convenience of viewing hundreds of homes from the comfort of their own homes, real estate agents had to actually drive to a house to preview it