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Note to real estate brokers: Be paranoid

Guest perspective: 'Fear' is different from a dose of healthy paranoia

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Editor's note: The following guest perspective was submitted in response to an Inman News article, "Fear still rules real estate industry," published on Feb. 24, 2006. I'm not sure that the real estate industry "fears" new entrants, but I am certain that they are more paranoid these days. And for very good reason. Being paranoid is not all bad. Paranoia guided Andy Grove and Intel to incredible success in its early life. I have always lived with the clear understanding that if you want to understand someone's true intention, watch what they do, not what they say. Actions speak volumes over words. In another industry, JetBlue applied to lease airline gates at the Long Beach Airport in Long Beach, Calif., from the Port Authority many years ago – and secured the leases. American Airlines had good reason to be paranoid. This signaled that a new entrant had discovered a convenient loophole – unexecuted airport gate lease agreements -- and moved in to become a competitor. In the...