Land Covered with Land

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the March 1974 issue of the Real Estate News Observer.

Many educators are saying things like, “Twenty to twenty-five years from now, over 90 percent of the jobs will be ones that have not yet been created.” It has also been said, “They are not making any more land.” There seems to be an exception to this last comment, however.

In one of our states, land covered with water is being sold to people from other states with the seller saying, in effect, “This is the type of property to buy because after one owns it, he should cut a canal down the middle of the land, draining all the water into the canal, and creating waterfront lots.”

Things change and things are changed, but unless we have a world catastrophe, there will always be people. This is why the writer has advocated for the last quarter of a century that the real estate business, professionally operated, is a “people” business and not a “property” business. Therefore, it would follow that if one learns to professionally indulge in the real estate business as a people business, he will only be increasingly busier and, for the most part, always over busy.

It is only human nature that misery loves company. When a person has a real estate problem, he is only too happy to have a professional counselor listen and help him with his problem. This is why real estate counselors and particularly exchange counselors are busy most of the time, regardless of whether the economy is up or down. One reason for this is that in solving people’s problems regarding real estate, a very wide field of business is opened, versus, for example, the main problem of selling a house. To sell a home listed at X number of dollars means that a broker or salesman must find someone who will pay an acceptable price, and pay acceptable terms. And usually he is subject to buyers and sellers satisfaction with acceptable financing. Finding all of these things seems much more difficult than to accept a problem from a ‘don’t wanter,’ as he is more amendable to a variety of solutions, which a competent counselor can present to him.

Every month and every passing year finds a new group of licensees anxious to learn real estate as a “people” business, and we now have representatives in over one-half of our states who can assist in real estate problem solving. Isn’t it too bad we are not well represented in all states?

In the 1950s, Richard Reno, founder of the Society of Exchange Counselors, observed that if people exchanged real estate it could solve many of the real estate circumstances existing in San Diego’s overbuilt market. He saw exchanging as an alternative to the unavailable cash buyer. He believed that people who owned real estate did not necessarily want to totally divest themselves of real estate ownership, but were uncomfortable in the circumstances surrounding their current ownership. In effect, the problem was not with the property, but with the people who owned it. In his opinion, there was no bad real estate, only inappropriate or untimely ownership. This premise led Mr. Reno to an idea that resulted in the modern real estate exchange (equity marketing) business we enjoy today.

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