I find myself at a bit of a crossroads these days. Why do I tell you this? Because I’d hate to think that I’m the only one who gets to feeling this way.
Self-examination is a positive step both personally and in business. I’ll focus on the latter here, at least for the most part. If you are not looking at what you do with a critical eye, if you’re not actively searching for what could be done better, then the stagnation is bound to catch up to you.
For me much of the problem is I tend to be too smart for my own good. And far too stubborn as well. I tend to make a decision and that’s the decision, even when circumstances dictate that a change is necessary.
Here are a few examples …
Oh, how I love ripping Trulia Voices. There’s an endless supply of tripe, blatant self-promotion, Fair Housing and Code of Ethics violations to be written about if only you take the time.
Rudy suggested a couple of weeks ago that I try to change the platform for the better by jumping back in, providing focused answers where possible, lead by example (not that I’m any sort of role model, lest that be read into these sentences.) And so I’ve tried, even as I’ve watched agents from elsewhere in the state try to convince buyers they don’t want to live where they want to live.
Ultimately, though, the question I had to ask myself is whether my frustration with the miserable answers should cause me to not participate at all. Is there value to answering questions there? I still lean toward no … but just in case I’m wrong, I’m back.
All Phoenix Real Estate.com
Here was a stroke of genius. I discovered that the domain allphoenixrealestate.com was not taken so I purchased it … it’s hard finding a keyword-rich domain name these days. Then I took the next step and changed the domain for Dalton’s Arizona Homes Blog to the new domain. Instantly, I fell from Page 1 and 2 on Google for Phoenix Arizona Real Estate to page 36 while the name seasons.
Call this a case of being too smart for my own good. Fortunately, I get enough traffic off long tail searches and my neighborhood sites that I’ve not doomed my business by shooting down my SERP at the height of the buying season. Or so I keep muttering to myself as I bang my head against the keyboard.
It’s Getting Crowded in Phoenix
Once upon a time I was the only agent regularly writing about absorption rate here in the Phoenix area. Now I’m one of five who are posting the same figures on a fairly regular basis. (Two now work for the same brokerage as part of Jay Thompson’s scheme to take over the world, but that’s another story.)
This was my hook … my bread and butter … the first and best routine post I had. And now it’s being done all over the place. Not exactly the way I do it, mind you, but after two years the absorption rate concept has been copied and repackaged and is becoming standard fare in multiple locations.
I need a new hook.
Enter the Phoenix Real Estate wiki, which at least will be difficult for folks to duplicate. It’s already managed to consume far more time than I imagined and it’s nowhere close to being complete. I’m not going to go into too many details but suffice it to say that when I’m done, I’ll be reaping the benefits of having longer tails than … well … an animal with a really long tail.
(My daughter suggests a raccoon or a lemur. We’ll go with that.)
Part of my re-examination also focused on my role here at Agent Genius. I was told not so long ago that I’m the guy who says what everyone else is thinking but doesn’t dare say, which is true to a degree. You can argue that I’m fearless or that I lack in discretion. I’ll accept either verdict.
Agent Genius has given me a platform from which to vent in the past … but the question I needed to ask myself was whether I was contributing as much as I was taking from the venture. Looking at the full body of posts here, I believe I’ve added more to the conversation that I’ve taken away with my tangential rants.
What I’ve found is in the middle of the ranting rage I often lose focus on what’s important. In the most recent cases, I cost myself the chance to have a cool orange monkey – a fact the Housechick tends to wave under my nose whenever possible.
The rants make me feel better for a time but they don’t change the things that aggravate me in the first place. And that in turn tends to aggravate me even more.
I can’t afford to be aggravated any more than normal. Real estate is stressful enough. Having a teenager come home with her first hickie is stressful enough. Being synagogue president is stressful enough.
Someone told me the other day you only have so many heartbeats and then you’re done. That’s a truly frightening prospect. (Maybe not frightening enough to get me to the gym, but still.)
Life has a way of telling you when you need to slow down, to get rid of the slow burn and to relax. My heart has been telling me this on and off for a while now and the time’s come for me to listen.
In everything we do, we’re either being productive and contributing or we’re not. And sometimes the things that once were productive no longer are so due to changes in circumstances, competition or whatever.
Believing … no … knowing that you’re always right is about as dangerous a thought process as any of us can have. Because no one’s right all the time. And even when you once were right, you may find out later that the rules have changed and what you once knew, you don’t know.