Real Estate by Debbie Reynolds: Throwback Thursdays- Real Estate in the 80's

Throwback Thursdays- Real Estate in the 80's

Throwback Thursdays- Real Estate in the 80's

Back when I entered the real estate business, there was so very little technology. There were very few mobile phones (they were so very expensive) and no lockboxes. We did real estate the hard way and spent hours collecting keys for showings, taking film to be developed and handwriting contracts on the hoods and trunks of cars. We used carbon paper and got it all over our hands. Remember typewriters? We used them, too. MLS books were considered our bible of listings. We had to keep the information confidential and a buyer was not to get hold of one of our books. 

Real estate in the 80's

We didn't know we had it hard and did our jobs with a smile. Getting into the Million Dollar Club was a great achievement as the average sale price was around $35,000. There were much fewer agents and fewer companies. In the photo above from our entire association's Million Dollar Club, only 4 of us remain in the business. I am on the back row, second from the right. Agents come, agents go.

We celebrated with dinners, galas and award ceremonies. Education in real estate meant you attended seminars, rallies, bought and read books on selling techniques, and listened to taped recordings. There were very few tools easily available. To improve our skills I remember role playing with other associates in my office and standing in front of a mirror to put a smile into my voice. Practice, practice, practice.

The business has changed in many ways. One thing that hasn't changed is that it is still a service and a people business. People want great service, want to know they are important and that we care. They still need real estate agents.

Throwback Thursdays- Real Estate in the 80's


I have great systems and tools in place to help my clients today. I still consider service the number one thing I have to offer and my clients are Number One. Contact The Real Debbie Reynolds in Clarksville TN, 931-320-6730.

 Centruy 21 Platinum Properties2130 Wilma Rudolph Blvd.

Clarksville, TN 37040

When you need Real Estate services in Clarksville TN

                  it would be my pleasure to assist you!                             

Debbie Reynolds
"The Real Debbie Reynolds"

Check out all Clarksville TN Real Estate on My Website

931-771-9070 Office | 931-320-6730 Cell

Clarksville TN Homes 


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Comment balloon 14 commentsDebbie Reynolds • April 27 2018 12:50AM


It may sound crazy but there are parts of the way real estate was conducted in the “old days” that actually sound very appealing to me.

When I got into real estate, I thought the Million Dollar Club meant you made a million dollars GCI. LOL. O

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) 11 months ago

I actually remember all that! I've been around real estate since 1982 officially and unofficially all my life. Mom, Dad and all the Grandparents were brokers. And guess where I worked summers, holidays and so on? Yep!

You forgot to mention Martinis, 1/2 page contracts and handshake deals!  Love the post, good job!

Posted by Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D, & Host of Postcards From Success Podcast (Big Block Realty 858.232.8722) 11 months ago

Hi Debbie,
Yep... things were sure different back then. 

Posted by Carol Williams, "Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services" (U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business.) 11 months ago

I purchased my 1st home in 1972 and I don't remember a single female in the industry in the whole Fargo/Moorhead area at that time so I'm surprised to see the bulk of your agency was women in the 80's Debbie Reynolds .

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor (Ward County Notary Services) 11 months ago

Hi Debbie,

Good post. I agree agents had it a lot harder back then. I remember looking for my first home and going through the book. I just started in the biz the end of 2011. I have to say it is one of the best jobs I've had in my working career.

Posted by Steve Higgins (RE/MAX Kelowna) 11 months ago

Hi Debbie, Long timers in our office mention the good ole' days also and how writing offers on the hood of cars was common with only 2 pages!  Amazing that there are still 4 of you left out of that happy bunch!  I'm not sure which person is you in that great photo....I want to say on the far left, but you could be in the back row....  And many of you have corsages!

Posted by Gloria Todor, & Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA (Century 21 Absolute Realty ) 11 months ago

Thanks, Debbie, for sharing some of your memories.

You can imagine what it was like when I opened my first real estate office in 1961 before there was an MLS in the area.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) 11 months ago

Hi Debbie - prior to my home in Flordia I last bought and sold in the 80's.  It was pretty much as you said.  I wish I had known about interview listing agents then.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) 11 months ago

Hi Debbie: I started in the 1970s, just a young pipsqueak. By 1979, I owned my own company and ran 3 offices. So I had to laugh about your comment on the million dollar club. I saw an agent advertising last year that he was in the million dollar club. That's like 2 1/2 sales in Sacramento. Back then, though, that was a huge deal!

And let's not forget how excited we were to use a fax machine with thermal paper.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) 11 months ago

Oh the memories! I remember it all, and we didn't know we had it so tough. I also remember the first computerized MLS in our area, and the BOOKS! Thanks for the flashback... Now, which one are you in the photo?

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) 11 months ago

Wow! I enjoyed reading your post. I totally agree with you service to our customer's should be number one. Thanks for sharing a trip down memory lane. I hope you enjoy your weekend.

Posted by Pat Champion, Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs (Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty) 11 months ago

Debbie I had to smile as I do remember the Million and Multi Million Dollar Club was a big deal back then! Where I lived prices were higher probably the low was 80 and on up to 600+ so it was a bit differnt than selling a ton of 35K homes. I do remember one at 38K and it was a single wide mobile home for first time home buyers - and they were so excited to be able to buy their first home. I remember this sweet couple to this day!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) 11 months ago

I wasn't selling in the 80's, but I do recall high interest rates when I bought my first home. Ha.  Sounds kind of fun way back when...

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) 11 months ago

Love the photo and yes how times have changed, average home at $35K ... wow!

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) 11 months ago