Traditional Thinking vs. Creative Thinking

Traditional thinking is about “what is” — Creative thinking is about “what can be.” The news headline recently said “Double Dip Recession Possible.” The media enjoys seeing the “glass half empty” and it’s not the first time we’ve heard “the sky is falling.” In fact, it has happened numerous times in the past.

Over thirty-six years ago, I started in the real estate business in Oklahoma. Not long after I started, we found ourselves in a market with runaway inflation of over 10% annually with long-term interest rates climbing to 13%–14% and the prime rate at 22%. Developers and builders were scrambling because their profits were eaten up in about 5 to 6 months if they didn’t sell or lease their property. Then within 10 years, we had a banking crisis and a major recession with the Feds dropping the bottom out of the market through the RTC fire sale auctions that depressed prices for all properties. To add insult to injury, Congress changed the tax laws to the detriment of the real estate industry in the middle of this recession. Eventually, we recovered from both of those long-term events.

I tell you this not to heap on bad news, but to let you know there have been financial crises before, and yes, every crisis is different, but we have always “corrected the ship” in due time. I bring this up to encourage you to keep pressing forward, knowing that we will not be in this recession forever. One of the things we in the Society have going for us is the Society itself and the experience, expertise, energy and even capital we can draw on within the group and our contacts. Most of the rest of the real estate industry must go it alone and that is very difficult in an economic recession. I speak from experience since I went through the two episodes mentioned above before I found the Society.

In a capital-starved market like we are currently experiencing, it is encouraging to see more people being receptive to our way of doing business. I attended the NYSCAR (New York State Commercial Association of Realtors) meeting in Turning Stone Resort in June. Their meeting was very impressive, particularly the one-and-a-half-day marketing session that Bob Giniecki has nurtured for a number of years. Through Bob’s leadership, the marketing session (and the conference) has grown to be one of the premier state/regional conferences in the nation. It is good to see so many people in the real estate business using many of the S.E.C. techniques and learning how to think creatively as well as counseling their clients to think about how they can help expand the market for their property.

We are at a crossroads in the Society. The future of our Society is in our hands. We never accept the “traditional” thinking of “what is” — we take the creative thinking of “what it can be.” It is challenging times like these in which we thrive. When other timid souls in the business hunker down and try to weather the storm, that’s when our group’s creativity and problem-solving expertise is in demand by a market that is looking for solutions. It is incumbent upon us to be proactive in helping other groups who would like to embrace our philosophies and methods by assisting local/state/regional marketing meetings succeed and to introduce those participants to some of the S.E.C. approaches to marketing. You will probably find people at those meetings who “catch on” to how we do some things and who want to learn more about our methodology.

Our next meeting is in the great city of Indianapolis. I hope to see many of our members, candidates, and guests in attendance. AND I also hope our members will extend an invitation to one or more of their colleagues who would benefit by attending our Indy meeting.

See you in Indy.

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