www.LandandLatte.com: Who Needs a Parachute!

Who Needs a Parachute!

After 16 years of practicing real estate in Oregon... I'm feeling a little girlhood giddy about the future outlook of my business.   

Some of my colleagues may be thinking... she's an adrenaline junkie who's lost her mind (if it ain't broke, why fix it?!).  Okay, I confess, I've pushed the adrenal envelope a few times, having crash landed parachute sailing and hot air ballooning.  This chicky digs tempting fate ;-)  hee, hee. 

My latest venture exudes a different kind of rush.  In 2015, I took my real estate brokerage virtual and paperless.  What does the new office look like minus the bricks and mortar?  Totally mobile and digital for sure, with a cool cafe-style conference center to meet and greet clients.  

The inspiration for my latest leap... comes from a very cool REALTOR®, Tony Enderli, from South Africa.  Our fateful meet in 2013 at a Habitat for Humanity build provided the confidence I needed to take the plunge.  There's something divine about receiving affirmation from a complete stranger across the Pacific Ocean... touched by an angel I suppose ;-)

I've always been a chicky for change.  The real estate industry is being swept off it's feet by a whirlwind of change navigated by Mother Consumer.  Some of us have been slow to adapt, while others have morphed and evolved to meet the changing winds.  I'm prepared to take the next leap and hope that I land on my feet.  Hey... with the big guy on my side, who needs a parachute!



Melinda Peterson - Real Estate Cafe LLC




Melinda Peterson ~ Principal Broker

The Naked Blogger

Curator of Happy Endings


Serving Central & Southern Oregon

Ashland - Bend - Grants Pass - Medford 



© 2019

Comment balloon 34 commentsMelinda (Mel) Peterson • January 09 2015 11:13AM


Mel-It sounds exciting. I wish you all the best in this new virtual reality. I see good things in your future. Happy 2015

Posted by Sharon Lee, Retired and loving life (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) almost 5 years ago

Hi Mel - It just makes sense and the market is ready for it. Clinets don't care about offices - they want the benefits of technology and great service. You'll do fine, just like you always have.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) almost 5 years ago


It has never been about the office...how big, how beautiful how small.  It is always about the service.  It is a good idea however for a large brokerage to have space in a busy, but not necessarily large space. A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) almost 5 years ago

Hey Mel, who needs an office? Conference rooms are always nice but gotta agree with Ron & Alexandra Seigel that it is all about the service and however you can deliver it both seamlessly and professionally, they will come.  Bricks and mortar do not deliver service.

Posted by Joanna Cohlan, Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes (Fresh Eyes For Your Home) almost 5 years ago

Thanks Sharon!  I'm excited about the possibilities ;-)  Happy New Year Sweetie!

I think so too... Dick.  Our clients are more mobile than ever... why shouldn't we be?!  Excited about the change ;-)

Couldn't agree more Alexandra ~ Good service never goes out of style... no matter how it's delivered ;-)

Our conference center happens to be in the same lot where thousands of visitors take a jetboat tour down the wild and scenic Rogue River.  No doubt, the fish will be jumping come Spring/Summer Joanna ;-)

Posted by Melinda (Mel) Peterson, Curator of Happy Endings (Real Estate Cafe LLC) almost 5 years ago

We are going to see lots of changes in our neck of the woods this year. Surivival of the fittest, baby.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) almost 5 years ago

I have no desire to go down that rabbit hole.  I wish you the best, but I 'll be keeping my brick and mortar and paper.  If I worked from home, I'd never work at all.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 5 years ago

I think so too... Tammie.  The consumer and the cloud have opened Pandora's proverbial box ;-) 

LOL Tammy!  I'm working from Cloud 9 ;-)

Posted by Melinda (Mel) Peterson, Curator of Happy Endings (Real Estate Cafe LLC) almost 5 years ago


Congratulations, that's very exciting. I don't think bricks and mortar matters all that much to most people. It really is about the person and the service, not where it might be delivered. And with todays buyers and sellers being so "on the web" it makes much more sense. I had new seller clients yesterday tell me, when asked what was MOST important to them, customer service. No surprise

Keep us posted.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) almost 5 years ago

Congratulations on taking such a big step that seems to have been sent from a guiding force Melinda (Mel) Peterson

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) almost 5 years ago

Mel this is fantatic news!  And I too know that most clients could care less about a brick and mortar office.  They want top level service with high tech ease.  Congratulations!!!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten - Phoenix Homes Sales, 603-380-4886 (Phoenix Property Shoppe) almost 5 years ago

I find most people just want good honest service, no hassles, and their transaction closed. Which works very well for me and my sellers. I don't keep much in paper around, and I run my entire business pretty much online. You'll do just great!

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) almost 5 years ago

Of course you will land on your feet, Melinda. I've been paperless since January 2012. I've gave up my brick and mortar because I never needed to use it. I meet clients in their home for listing appointments and buyers at a local coffee shop. It works. Not one client has ever ask to meet me at my office.

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) almost 5 years ago


You will surely love the digital move.  I did deals this year in UK, Germany, South Africa, and China and completely digital and have never met the clients.  

It is an amazing improvement to the business.  

Posted by Florida Tolbert Team Keller Williams Advantage, Keller Williams Land Division Specialist (Keller Williams Advantage III Realty in Lake Nona) almost 5 years ago

I am confident you'll do fabulous. Conversely, we're becoming part of a larger firm in the near future and will have an office - mainly for training purposes, but still, part of me wonders why?  I know you're a chicky who will not only land on her feet, but fly. 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) almost 5 years ago

OK, here's the thing.  I have a bunch of amazing colleagues and I love the energy level in my office.  It's incredibly well-equipped and this year I'm planning to spend a lot more time there - I get so much more done when I work there than when I don't.  But for anyone who has the discipline to stay focused without this kind of environment, I don't think consumers really care where you do your work.  Whatever it takes to get the results they want is what works.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 5 years ago

Hi Melinda, I share in your enthusiasm to accomplish this. Our office is switching over to a full paperless office as we speak. The company they are using is called Skyslope. A CD of the  transaction paperwork and all communications will be then given to the client at the end. 

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) almost 5 years ago

You'll do great! I haven't had a brick and mortar office in almost a year and it hasn't slowed me or my clients down one bit. My clients are more than willing to stop in to my home office which is very well equipped to handle anything I need done. Plus all of my agents are digital and mobile themselves. They have no need for a traditional office. 

Posted by Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert, Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com (Zion Realty) almost 5 years ago

Hi, Melinda!  You can find this post on today's "Last Week's Favorites". 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 5 years ago

Mel, I would love an update on how this goes for you.  I would love to go paperless, and in fact my office has been talking about morphing into this.  One thing is for sure, there's a lot less clutter, and with less clutter there's more production!

Posted by Jayne Esposito, SRES, GREEN (Coldwell Banker ) almost 5 years ago

I meet clients all over town at different coffee shops, at their homes or mine. It has never been a problem at all.  Now for all the paper stacked on my desk...I just like the feel of it.

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) almost 5 years ago

I have a small office for my brokerage in the heart of town which is great for meeting clients or for me since I don't work out of a home office in Carmel-by-the-Sea. This is actually fairly new to have a brick and mortar office and I love it! It's a great place to regroup when I've been out seeing clients. When I worked from home, it seemed like I was never "off work". Although I still do what is necessary and answer calls and emails outside of the office. Having everything electronically makes this easy.

Posted by Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®, Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea almost 5 years ago

I have an idea that it matters where you are. In our small town we're always about 15 years behind whatever is going on in the world, so an agent without an office would probably not be found. People still want to walk in and talk to someone, and to stand outside in the evening and read the property posters in the windows. 

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) almost 5 years ago

Best move I ever made.  I don't go paperless, paperless since I have my buyers sign their offers.  Too many times I went with Docusign and their lenders based in back waiting wet signatures.  I can understand that from the buyers side, the ones making the offer, the ones loan committing.  Best of luck.

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) almost 5 years ago

Mel, love this song! And I think you will be hugely successful going paperless and virtual. We are all practically virtual anyway as far as our buyers and sellers are concerned. How many of them come to the office anymore? It's a very small percentage. They hire us for us, not for the bricks and mortar. Yes, with the Big Guy on your side, you don't need a parachute :)

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) almost 5 years ago

Let us know how this goes.  I think I will adopt a hybrid approach until I am confident that paperless and mortarless is safe.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 5 years ago

Melinda (Mel) Peterson our office became paperless about couple of years ago. And yes, this is the step in right direction - no parachute needed.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) almost 5 years ago

Good morning Melinda,

There is no doubt in my mind you will land on your feet! I loved reading the comments..our office is using Skyslope just like William Johnson and it's working out very well.

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) almost 5 years ago

Our office just became paperless January 1 of this year.  We are now almost 3 weeks into it!!  Everything is online in the 'loop'.  It feels crazy going to closing with no file.  Good luck.  I'm sure we will all adapt!

Posted by Barbara Calwhite, 417-438-7387 Specializing in Relocation (Keller Williams Realty of Southwest Missouri) almost 5 years ago

When I was first licensed in 1981, real estate transactions were a mere one page contract with no disclosures.  We were almost paperless.  From there we quickly went to the multitude of contract pages and an abundance of disclosures.  It takes a lot of paragraphs to close a contract.  BUT, increasingly, we are finding ways to become paperless.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) almost 5 years ago

Hooray for paperless!  You are going to be just fine.

I had a SPQ (seller property questionnaire... 4 pages of small type for the seller to fill out, not super fun for them) Fly out my car window on the freeway.  I had to ask the sellers to fill it out all over again, I was embarrassed, they were sad.  It all worked out, but now I scan those puppies the minute I get them.

So again, Hooray for paperless. (and also for Divine reminders that everything will be OK)

Posted by Kathleen Frawley, South County Sacramento, 916 730 4404 (Keller Williams 916 730-4404 Elk Grove, Wilton, Folsom, Sacramento) over 4 years ago

Adrenaline...not for the weak.

But then, you aren't weak.

Smart. Stong.  and within a few months, you'll wonder why you'd not gone fully mobile earlier.

Posted by Claude Labbe, Realty for Your Busy Life (Real Living | At Home) over 4 years ago

Combining the use of the paper and paperless works well for me.  It also gives me the peace of mind of having a "back up" just in case. 

As for not having a "brick & mortar" office - I love it.  I have been working that way for almost 15 years.  I love the freedom and the people I work with love feeling that they are important enough to me that I will meet them at a location that is convenient for them instead of them having to go out of their way to come to me or my office.

With your enthusiasm and faith, 2015 looks bright for you.  Good luck in your new adventure!

Posted by Cynthia (CJ) Sleppy (Cynthia J Sleppy Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Mel, I was thrilled to meet you today, since I never followed you it was a special surprise...the benefits of AR living proof positive, loved your reaction of discovering that Dick Greenberg  also showed  up at our gathering....  I also loved your motto,  your slogan and most of all your attitude. I am confident you will succeed and exceed expectations,. Look forward to get to know you better, Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) over 4 years ago