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Take cues from real estate history lesson

Technology gives us tools that weren't available in past downturns

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As the story goes, a herd of buffalo stampedes across a wide-open range under a cloudless sky when the herd's leader suddenly stops in his tracks. One of the herd's older members lumbers over to the leader and asks why he stopped. With his big brown eyes, and deep and whispering voice, he turns to his fellow buffalo and says, "I thought I heard a discouraging word." The first time I experienced a real discouraging word in real estate was during the 1973-75 recession. I had been in real estate for two years, serving as project manager of a 778-unit condominium project in St. Petersburg, Fla., selling about 25 units a month. Seemingly overnight, we jumped from the real estate fast-track to a housing train wreck. It is not easy waiting in gas lines wondering what your next move needs to be because sales went from about 25 units a month to fewer than five, especially when unused construction cranes were nicknamed the Florida state bird, and unfinished high-rise condo...