Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It’s Darkest before the Dawn

By Jonathan Hipp

It is very easy to justify why it’s okay to be mediocre in today’s real estate market when you listen to the news in its various forms. And then there are all your colleagues and competitors validating all your fears. Markets like this require you to adopt the champion’s creed if you are going to succeed and grow even when all common sense seems to justify the opposite way of thinking. I believe that misery like’s company and it’s easy to become involved in those types of conversations and relationships with family, friends and associates. The thought and attitude used to be that the good times would never end as capital was flowing relentlessly and it seemed everyday that somebody was flipping a property for a big profit and brokerage commission even before they had gone to settlement. It was so easy; we all had keys to the castle. Many brokers and investors made big money by just showing up and playing the game. So here we sit today licking our bruised wounded egos and reflecting and asking where we go from here. I find this from Roger Staubach, former chairman and CEO of the Staubach Company, very fitting for the challenges our industry and ourselves face today.

“To me success is being able to feel good about how you’ve done things. You have to have balance in your life. You can’t think only about ‘what’s in it for me?’ You have to give back and ask for help and say you’re sorry and contribute to the success of others. And you can never give up. Athletics taught me that. You must work hard, prepare, learn from your losses and continue to fight until the very end.”

It’s very true we don’t know how long this cycle will last and we probably haven’t reached the lowest point yet. But I can tell you that it’s always darkest before the dawn.

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