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How Much Will You Tolerate?


Too much is too much

I have three main priorities in my life. The first is my spiritual belief system. The second priority is my role as a husband & father and the final is my career in the real estate industry.

In all three areas I am fairly well read. I see and hear a tremendous amount of rhetoric and diatribe. Very little of it is nefarious in nature, but every once in a while, too much is too much.

As many others are equally or greater read, than I; I’m sure you can attest that there are some folks who are way off base. There are opinions and interpretations that frankly are absurd. Many are simply devised to spark comments and controversy to get more attention.

We all have influences in our lives

I’ve tried in certain instances to comment or educate about my impressions. I am left asking however, in many instances what makes my impressions more important or more correct than another’s? Certainly we all have influences in our lives that shape our perspectives, but honestly what should be our tolerance for disreputable literature?

I think there are those who write more like a gossip columnist, just trying to get a little controversy on their blogs, magazines or books. However, even these folks have useful information and are occasionally valuable.

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I have a friend, who I refer to as an “Activerain Warrior Princess”, she’s very intelligent and uses those perceptive skills to “fix” incorrect statements and stand up for those who aren’t very good at doing it themselves. Personally, as much as I admire her; I have given up trying to change minds through comments on blogs.

I’ve learned to tolerate

So, I’ve learned to tolerate some bad to get to a greater good….my own peace. If there is no solace in the task, than I simply unsubscribe from the magazine or blog; and delete the podcasts. My tolerance has little to do with if I disagree with an author. I have no problem disagreeing. Great truths are found from debate from opposing sides. My issue goes back to nefarious intent. That, no amount of debate will result in gain.

Many Realtors have been pointed in their feelings about NAR’s constant assertion that it’s a good market for buyers. I have mixed feelings about this, but agree that only a certain portion of buyers will actually benefit from this market.

How long did Realtors and consumers tolerate the “Good time to buy” campaign? Not for very long…. But how long are we going to tolerate the media’s constant attack of our industry and assertion that the sky is falling?

We all need to take a stand

At some point, we all need to take a stand. I’ve see too many newspaper articles with speculations being used by practitioners to justify their practices and how they deal with their clients, I’ve heard demonstrative blogs being included to a listing presentation to scare the Seller into getting the selling price an agent wishes to get.

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Here’s the thing – all real estate is local. A Realtor should not rely on these intolerable articles and publications in lieu of actual market knowledge. Sellers and buyers should seek out professionals who know the market and who to use market information and accurate statistics.

Tolerance is a funny thing, and I don’t believe that consumers will tolerate fear based marketing practices and practitioners should stop tolerating and focusing their efforts on how “bad” things are. Garbage in….garbage out; as they say.

Written By

Matthew Rathbun is a Virginia Licensed Broker and Director of Professional Development for Coldwell Banker Elite, in Fredericksburg Virginia. He has opened and managed real estate firms, as well as coached and mentored agents and Brokers. As a Residential REALTOR®, Matthew was a high volume agent and past REALTOR® Rookie of the Year & Virginia Association Instructor of the Year. You can follow him on Twitter as "MattRathbun" and on Facebook. Matthew's blog is



  1. Teresa Boardman

    March 24, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    In my market area it is a great time for some people to buy. People like me who don’t owe much on our homes and could sell them easily. We could take our equity and buy a home, and find one at a bargain. I openly disagree with anyone who says now is a good time to buy, or now is a bad time to buy. It really depends upon the buyers circumstances and the local market area. I never have liked those kind of blanket statements.

  2. Missy Caulk

    March 24, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I try to be as positive as I can be about our market. There is enough of that out there. The market is in favor of the buyers now and from a historical perspective if you want to buy a home, or move up it is a good time to buy in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County.

    If someone is only going to be here a year or two then no I would rent.

  3. Aria Schoenfelt, Austin Real Estate

    March 24, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Well said, Matthew! I feel like a broken record telling my contacts that our market is different than those they hear about on the news and that we are, in fact, still experiencing economic growth in our market. I’d say it’s a better time to buy here than it was in 2006 only because sellers are much more realistic after hearing of all the national gloom & doom headlines. In times like these, I feel my job is more of that of an educator than anything else. With so many conflicting stories, I have made it my career focus during this period to find the facts and present them in ways that my contacts can understand. Thank you for reminding me that I’m not alone!

  4. ines

    March 24, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Choose your battles! isn’t that what we do when disciplining our children? I apply it to the business world as well.

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