It was Abraham Lincoln who said, “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” This gets at the reputation of the real estate industry. The reputation is what it is, and it’s not good. It’s the tree. (Just look at NAR’s Danger Report.) But how you’re perceived, within the industry, is the shadow — open to interpretation based on your differentiation.
I don’t know if you share my passion, but historical leaders and the topic of influence — specifically, how great leaders communicate to create an aura of presence around them — fascinate me. Among Napoleon’s writings (the French general) is a passage from June 17, 1800. He writes of the enthusiastic cheers that he received from people who had never met him.
It lives inside of us, all of us. It’s a monster. “The entrepreneur’s enemy — it’s an invisible, repelling force that can overwhelm its opponent with fear, self-doubt, procrastination, addiction, distraction, timidity, ego and narcissism. It has no conscious. It’s aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work. It will fabricate, seduce, bully, cajole and deceive us.” What is this mighty enemy?
I heard a profound yet simple statement recently regarding storytelling, said by Ash Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project: Nobody “wants to be a cookie-cutter because if all the snowman cookies are the same, how do you make any meaningful distinction?” You can’t.
Skill versus passion — it’s a topic I’ve thought about and applied to real estate often. There’s a quote that has stuck in my mind for days, and it comes from Scott Adams, the creator of the long-running comic strip Dilbert.
If you’ve seen AMC’s hit series, “The Walking Dead,” in your mind you can muster the image of a zombie and the undead. They slink around, off-balance — no light in their eyes — moaning with outstretched arms, searching for, pursuing their next human meal. When I think about real estate, the industry as a whole, there’s a painful parallel.
Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has done something amazing. As a marketer, how could you not be impressed? According to the New York Times, Trump has earned nearly $2 billion dollars worth of free publicity in this election cycle. And he’s only spent $10 million dollars on advertising.