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The Future is Already Here: How The Us Navy Prepared Me For A Career In Real Estate And Real Estate Technology

Written by Posted On Thursday, 02 July 2020 17:16
The technologies that will change your life tomorrow have probably already been invented.
I began to see the future of technology when I was a Midshipman and then as a young naval officer.
When I left the Navy and got into real estate, technology was just beginning to rear its head in the real estate industry...and I had already seen the future in the Navy.
First Image - USS Mount Vernon and my flight deck crew off the coast of Subic Bay:
Upon graduation from the United States Naval Academy, I was assigned to a brand, spanking new ship...USS Mount Vernon (LSD 39) as the A (Auxiliary) Division Officer, with a collateral duty as Flight Deck Officer during flight operations. (Mount Vernon had a helo pad on the aft quarter of the ship).
We deployed to the South China Sea/Cambodia/Vietnam in 1973.
Mount Vernon, as I said, was brand new. She was:
Steam driven - as were most US Navy ships of any size at the time (to this day, our carriers are steam driven, with the heat source being nuclear instead of fossil fuel).
No Computers except fire control computers, which had specific purpose (aiming the guns).
After leaving Mount Vernon, I reported to the Pre-Commissioning Crew of the USS Elliot (DD 967) as Navigator.
Second Image - USS Elliot Commissioning Ceremony
When a US Naval vessel is commissioned, the "Watch is Set" and it runs continually until the ship is decommissioned. Tradition has it that the ship's first Navigator sets the watch.
Elliot a new class of Destroyer and we commissioned her in January of 1977, the fifth ship of the Spruance Class.
The concept, plans, and design for the Spruance Class Destroyers were conceived in the 1960s, and I studied about what the future warships might look like in 1968 when I was a Plebe.
Elliot was:
Gas turbine driven (DC 10 engines adapted for marine use...LM 2500 Gas Turbines.
Variable pitch propellers - for ease of control and maneuverability.
Fully computerized, which included electronic navigation systems which negated the need for celestial navigation, just for starters.
The next class of warships is already here. Technologies used by the defense department often gain commercial viability in following years.
The technology that will advance the real estate industry, and your career, is probably already here.
There is a period of time, between the discovery of something, and mass awareness of that discovery. This period of time is sometimes referred to as Lag. Lag is often where you will find the greatest opportunties.
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Saul Klein

In 1948, doctors told my father that his life aboard submarines on war patrol in the South Pacific and the depth charging he experienced had rendered him sterile. Although controversial and not widely applied, he was treated with an Ayurvedic therapy called “shivambu.” If you are unfamiliar with this term, I recommend you Google it because against all odds, I came to exist.

That was a loony segue into my life but is a fitting precursor to a career that would be just as incredible.

Like my father, I joined the Navy. However, due to a medical inconvenience, I was honorably discharged after 6 years of commissioned service, all on Sea Duty. This was an opportune misfortune that led me down the path to a successful career in real estate. Both my father and grandfather flirted in real estate brokering and flipping part-time, and I followed suit but making a lifelong career out of it.

With over 40 years in real estate, it is impossible to talk about my experiences in this small window. But I can proudly say that I am well-recognized as an industry pioneer, especially in real estate syndication and education, and one of the few luminaries that paved the way for real estate’s transition to the online world.

Some highlights of my life’s work:
● Co-created ePRO, technology certification course that certified 70,000 students
● Created the first online communities for real estate professionals to network, learn, and sell
● Created "Opt Out" Listing Syndication, aggregating over 1.4 Million Listings in 18 months
● Built the #2 National Listing Syndication Service, Point2 Technologies, sold to Yardi in 2010
● Founder of the California Association of Buyer’s Agents
● Member of the first Team, pre-IPO, responsible for obtaining first 500,000 listings
● Helped Zillow and Trulia build up their MLS data inventory

Today I continue to lead efforts that bring new technologies to the real estate industry. Feel free to reach out and learn more.

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