When I had been a journalist for about 15 years, I got hired to launch a new Saturday section at the New York Post, one that would be entirely about real estate.
With the help of my deputy Andy Wang and a really talented team of people, we created something that was part sports section, part personal finance advice, and part dream-home catalog. The section was new and different, and sales of the Saturday paper shot up. For two years I covered real estate so closely that I lived and breathed it, and that changed my outlook.
I thought of people’s life stories in terms of the buildings that they lived in, or could possibly live in. As I put it at the time, "When you have a hammer, everything looks like a house."
Then I just couldn’t do it anymore. You try working on the same thing over 100 times and tell me how much passion you have left. Besides, I was pretty jealous of the people I was covering, glamorous super-brokers who wore fancy suits and made millions. I decided that I wanted to quit, and right around that time I had dinner with Brad Inman.
To those of you who read Inman News without having a mental picture of Brad, let me say this: he is courtly and fast and funny all at the same time. If his intentions were ill, you’d have to watch your wallet, but since his intentions are good … well, I ended up working — let’s see — six Real Estate Connect conferences and writing a column for him.
The idea was that the column would be called "Diary of a Real Estate Rookie," because a similar column had been written for Inman News once before, and been popular, but the writer had ended up quitting real estate.
The way Brad explained it, I would just have to do the things I was doing in real estate, and tell my stories once a week, and hopefully not quit. …CONTINUED