Ichiro, Newspapers and Real Estate
Posts on Active Rain that consistently draw a multitude of comments are posts about quitting the business. This week it was Brittany's turn. She's been an agent for nine months and gets nauseated when the phone rings, yet she describes herself as a problem solver. Perhaps she is, but it doesn't seem to be the kind of problems that confused home sellers and home buyers have that are in her realm of expertise, at least not yet anyway. Should she decide to give this business a few more years, she may learn to handle those problems.
Now newspapers have a problem. As the age of electronic media grows and grows, traditional methods of news distribution are a thing of the past. I do still subscribe to the Seattle Times and read it daily. Four headlines caught my eye today. "Grim state forecast spurs 6% buget cut" and "More in U.S. living in poverty," were in the front page. Then buried in section B, page 3 is a small article "L.A firm will re-open pulp mill" in Grays Harbor. Grays Harbor is a rural county in western Washington and this is fantastic good news for that area and for the state. I can't help but think that news like this on the front page would stir more business to open or expand. Good news doesn't hurt.
I don't expect the newspapers to be Pollyannas, but they don't need to be Pandora's boxes either. No wonder people go to the Web for their news. The selection is larger and readers see what they want to see, not what is thrust at them in 72 point type.
What does Ichiro have to do with all of this? In the sports section the headline read, "Bittersweet record within Ichiro's reach." Well, he is on a team with one of baseball's worst records, but he has stuck with this team for 10 years. Each year he has had more than 200 hits, and when he reaches that mark again this year he will be the first player to have done so. Each day he comes to the ball park and does his stretches. He takes his practice swings. He jogs and he sprints. It's been said that he only keeps a pair of baseball shoes for 4 or 5 games. The shoes must be just so. He puts everything he has into each game, each chance in the field and each at bat. It's no wonder he is so continually successful.
I don't have a solution for newspapers. They seem to be digging their own grave. But if you are in real estate, or want to be, it is time to get back to the basics. Go to work everyday. Do the stretches and the sprints. See homes and know statistics. Be the expert in your office, in you neighborhood and in your city. Do everything that the productive agents around you are doing, and then do a little bit more. I got into real estate in the mid eighties because I had two friends who were doing well. Construction was in a downturn. Everything else was slow. I didn't even know that real estate was slow that year, and I've learned since then it is not what the nation or the state is doing; it's not what the industry or your office is doing; it's all about what you do. Just do it. Shooosh.