It was Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams who said “If you build it, he will come.” But does that apply to real estate today? In an economy where many can’t even begin to visualize the roadmap, I
decided to start with where I’ve been.
Let’s see… for the first 25 years I lived out my childhood dreams as a flamenco guitarist in Los Angeles and Albuquerque. But when music went south to the ipods, I decided I really liked photography. I jumped in with both feet to real estate photography… bouncing lights, enfusing this… high definition that! I became very passionate about every shot and could see myself as an architectural photographer down line. But in Albuquerque the tool of choice for MLS photo listings is the cell phone. So, puzzled I decided to offer a product repairing agents photos nationally online.
That was my lead into streaming technologies involving live broadcasting with video and computers… a dying industry because the internet is just not stable enough across the board, and the technology is very costly. So, from there I started using streaming webcasts to train real estate agencies how to market online with virtual tours, SEO management, photography and videography.
So, I thought… after all this I’ve gotta be well-prepared to be a real estate agent, right? Great interest rates and 5,000+ homes in the MLS in Albuquerque alone. Yet no one qualifies for a loan since the banks are punishing themselves (and the rest of us) for their sins from the 90’s and early 00’s. Offering great rates and not making loans is kinda like offering kids a free dip in the candy jar but making sure to empty the jar first…
So here I am at 52…. a “hybrid” business owner. Yeah, a real estate agent who can passionately photograph all his listings, is an expert at virtual media, writes and records all the music behind the tours and can do live remote webcasts from his open houses about the property. Did you get that, because I really don’t. I just know that agents keep telling me my pictures and tours really help them sell their listings.
Frankly, I could not have afforded the fees I would have paid my therapist to explain all this to him; except that I trade out my time for studio time to record his current album which will ccompany his book and speaking engagements. This supplements his therapy practice. Are you starting to see a theme to all this?
He tells me “hey what a great opportunity for you to practice patience.” Presumably this skill leads to happiness. One of my best friends really seems to have this whole recession thing down with business. He tells me “Jim, what a great opportunity to help other people.” My wife and business partner says to me “you have such a great opportunity here to really help your family.” I think it’s the perfect opportunity to combine all my passions into one niche that can help people, my family and teach me patience…
See the reality is this is how business in America is being reshaped. Small business owners like me, the ground cover that was burnt down in the recession, are coming back with a totally hybrid version of skills and services to create a niche that no one else is doing. So my advice is to look carefully for some very interesting businesses that will be launched out of this recession in response to what the new market place is craving. The ones that will survive will be the ones that (when you take money out of the equation) truly help other people.
What are you craving? Is it out there yet? The next time a homeless person asks “hey man, can I write your business name on your rear car window with colored lasers that etch a glow-in-the-dark font?” maybe you will see the opportunity and put them to work, because it might be me asking.