We have had a rough ride through the “valley of the shadow of death” for almost 4 years now. We have suffered the paralysis-of-analysistrying to gain an education into irresistible cause and effect, and understanding of the relationship of so many industries and entities all interconnected. It has been painful and exhausting, and at some level fascinating!
We have entered the New Year with attitudes which likely match the variety of opinions about the future. One school thinks it is REALLY bad and we have more and worse tribulations ahead. They are pessimistic, depressed, and fearful. Others think the worst is behind us; they are soberly optimistic and mildly energetic. The truth may lie between the poles but I know of no one who thinks there is a quick fix or sudden recovery just around the bend! Whose predictions should we rely upon?
Perhaps there is a better way…
Some months ago, a friend of mine went to a seminar with an audience of financial planners and investment consultants. A well-known national speaker (I am sorry to be light on details but am recounting this from memory at age 55!) engaged the audience something like this:
“You are all industry experts; how much time do you spend in research, analysis, and educational activities trying to stay up with the trends to be able forecast the future for your clients?”
The consensus was 25% of their time was dedicated to this pursuit.
“How many of you predicted the financial melt-down in the fall of 2008 with the attendant bankruptcies of almost all of the nation’s investment banks, and the steep plunge in the stock market?”
No one took credit for that.
“How many of you predicted the fastest and most dramatic recovery of the stock market ever in the spring of 2009?”
The room was quiet and still.
The speaker then peppered them with several other such events related to their industry in recent history and when they were sufficiently embarrassed he said this:
“Your work and your value are not in predicting the future for your clients! Your calling is to serve your clients by utilizing the proven fundamentals of sound management to protect your client’s wealth and grow it for their future needs. You who have been faithful to these over many years and had a commitment to long-term fruitfulness, even after the worst implosion since the Great Depression, have been successful in achieving excellent results for your clients. You need to continue to do what has made you successful and what will, in the long term, benefit your clients most- just practice the proven fundamentals consistently regardless of the daily news.”
What great wisdom!
How We Will Face the Year!
As we start the new year, we re-commitment ourselves to the fundamentals of our trade. We will do what is best for our clients in the long-view, and assist them in making the best decisions for their futures. We will be faithful to our promises to those who entrust their sales to us. We will be diligent to practice the fundamentals for successfully selling your properties and in helping buyers make wise choices in market conditions with which few have experience.
For four years we have been adapting to new conditions, adjusting to changing markets, learning different principles for this economy, and forging novel practices which fit the new realities better. We have relentlessly expanded and improved our services while most others have pulled back and laid low; we have never given up. We make our decisions on what is best for getting the job done, not on the state of our pocketbook. We believe that if we keep our clients as the highest priority we all profit in the long-term. We are upgrading our skills and education, to meet new challenges. We have been humbled by the losses and suffering that has been experienced by so many in our communities. Our focus is what can be done today; our hope is that if we all stick to proven principles of practice that the future will take care of itself and we can all make up for the losses endured. We ask each of our clients to continue to trust us and remain loyal in spite of the long and difficult road we have traveled together.
And Now My Predictions???
I am incorrigible. My goals flow from my convictions about the future so here are my opinions for 2011 laid gently on the chopping block of ideas! I find myself in the more optimistic sector. The stock market has returned 14-17% in profit (and more) in 2010. Businesses adjusted and are now very profitable. Banks and businesses are flush with cash waiting to utilize it when prudent. Unemployment has surely slowed and surveys give reason to expect the unemployment trend will soon begin to reverse itself. Buyers no longer deny that property values are exceptionally low, and interest rates and inventory are wildly attractive. There is pent-up demand to move, and we currently have a net loss of housing this year making the time ripe for new construction to jump start. We have opened a second office in Newberg and are eager and energetic. We are re-visioning strategies for 2011. We expect to have a much better year for us and much happier clients. As testimony to our faith, we have refused to change our tag line. We will insure that regardless of challenges and threats, our clients can expect to…