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CAREERS: TRAINING MANUAL | EXAMPLES FROM LIFE /Jo Marie
Harrington, mid-50s, Northridge

Computer Keys to Success

May 19, 1997

When I first started in real estate in the mid-1980s, I had no knowledge of computers at all. There was not much demand for computer skills--the machines were housed in temperature-controlled buildings.

As the use of computers increased, I started getting serious about taking extra classes. I picked up some information from my husband and children. I started out with basic computer classes at the San Fernando Valley Board of Realtors. They taught me how to find homes for sale by using the computer. I learned how a computer functions and what to input to get the information I wanted.

The hardest part was the change. I was comfortable with what I was doing and then I had to change the way I was working. Now I don't know how workers can do without a computer.

It takes so much longer to find information without a computer. You lose a lot of sales listings that way.

I use a computer in my office at Fred Sands Realtors in Northridge and I have one at home too. I use my Pentium PC daily for several hours. I can do a comparative analysis to know what a house is worth on the market.

I also use it to compose letters, and it helps me to prepare for customer appointments. We can design fliers and show customers how we are going to market their property and give them background on our company. We are on the Internet.

I've taken classes off and on throughout the years to stay on top of it. Computers continually change ways of inputting information. If you don't keep up, you won't go anywhere.

In this business, it's imperative that you have knowledge of computers. If you don't, you are lost. You are dead in the water.

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