Saturday, November 24, 2007

But it's a tradition...

Thanksgiving is a time that we look back over the year and think of all of the wonderful things that we have to be thankful for. It is also a time for us to enjoy being with our families. And, being with family always gets the wayback machine firing on all cylinders...

So, while I was talking with my Mother about Thanksgiving meals, a few interesting things came up... not the first time.

I have spent my adult life being less than traditional. My ex-wife and I used to host our "Orphan Thanksgiving" feast every year. We had all of our friends... and their friends... that didn't have other family in town over for the Thanksgiving meal. We had some pretty big crowds. In order to satisfy the numbers, we often had other things with the turkey... like hamburgers, hot dogs, and lasagna. We would have a lot of the traditional foods, but there were always some "bonus foods."

After we divorced, I kept that little tradition alive for a while. I had friends over, but we skipped the turkey altogether. Pizza was the most prevalent dish served. Of course, the grill was fired up on occasion as well. Nothing says Thanksgiving like a grilled hamburger or hot dog.

Fast forward to this Thanksgiving...

The rest of the extended family was out of town. So, my lovely wife, beautiful child and I sat down for a Thanksgiving meal of... breakfast burritos. Not even turkey sausage in the burritos.

Of course, once again, my Mother was convinced I had committed a sacrilege. But, this is the same woman that used to make 20 courses for Thanksgiving... half of which NOBODY would eat. All in the name or tradition. Nobody wanted the mincemeat pie... but she made it for decades. (She goes out to eat with my step-father now).

"So, Lane, does this have ANYTHING to do with real estate?"

Since you asked... yes, yes it does.

There are a lot of things that real estate agents do because they are traditional. I do some of them occasionally, too. We hold open houses, place newspaper ads, fax things to people, and talk about being number one in customer service in our ads.

But, those aren't always productive. Open houses don't sell houses. Newspaper ads are shown to be a weak draw for a property (at best). I am working to be paperless, since all of the faxes make more paperwaste than anyone outside of this business can imagine. And, "1 is NOT the loneliest number" anymore... every agent in the country is number 1.

But, that is the way many agents have always done business.

According to the NAR, about 4% of us blog. Despite attending the convention last week where EVERYONE was talking about blogging, I don't think more than 10% ever will. And that will take a decade.

Customer focused websites? Client focused marketing? Rare at best. As an industry, we have gotten in to the habit of putting ourselves at the center of our universe.

It's a tradition.

If you are looking for a non-traditional agent, one that isn't afraid to turn things upside-down for better results, let me know.


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