Starboard Commercial Real Estate

Hans Hansson | July 5, 2018

If President Trump follows through with his plan to institute tariffs in order to force more fair trade, then commercial real estate across the country will be affected in a very big way.  To understand how, we need to look at our history to see how trade imbalance came to be. 

 

At the end of World War I, Germany lost the war and was forced to pay serious reparations for all of the damage inflicted on the allies. Germany was forced into a major depression that eventually led to Adolf Hitler coming to power, thus causing World War II. 

 

In order to avoid the same mistakes after World War II, the United States incentivized the development of both Germany and Japan so that they could rebuild their countries faster and enjoy prosperity, instead of being relegated to a third world power.  The trade imbalance against the U.S. grew to a point in the 1980s when then President Reagan decided it was time to issue tariffs to put pressure on both countries to create fairer trade practices. 

 

Japan’s massive trade imbalance with the U.S. impacted industries from the domestic car market to the electronics market, including televisions, computers, cameras, and home goods. Germany’s trade imbalances included their luxury car market where BMW, Mercedes, and Audi leveled and initially destroyed our leadership in the luxury car market. 

 

President Reagan forced both countries to either create equality or build their products in the U.S by implementing tariffs or threatening to do so. This strategy led to the construction of major car manufacturing plants, building foreign brands here in the U.S. in areas that were once struggling in poverty, which created a building boom that turned southern states into new economic powerhouses for long-term growth. 

 

If President Trump follows through with a similar tariff, perhaps we can expect foreign countries to decide to build in the U.S., rather than lose market share altogether. Today, we already see tech giants like Apple and car brands like Volvo that are constructing new plants here in the U.S. 

 

We might see foreign countries build plants, too–– from steel to appliances and clothing.  This will lead to major growth in commercial real estate across industries.  

 

The challenge is–– what would it cost us?  We can certainly expect costs of goods to go higher, but we could also expect better quality goods to be built as well.  

 

I remember when the U.S. began looking to foreign countries to offer cheaper labor to manufacture our goods. At the time, I had asked an economist from Chase, “How will this strategy NOT create major job loss in the U.S. and NOT hurt our economy?”

 

His response was, “For every dollar lost in manufacturing jobs, we will gain back four times in buying power through the U.S. consumers’ ability to buy goods at lower costs.” However, when you look at the buying power of today’s consumer–– their incomes do not match inflation and we see that it hasn’t been in favor of the working U.S. citizen.  

 

Clearly, the erosion of our middle class is one of the reasons that President Trump got elected. They want real jobs back--and if they do come back, America will see one heck of a new boom in commercial real estate.

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Hans Hansson | July 5, 2018

If you are a golfer, you understand that golf is 90 percent mental and 10 percent skill.  My theory is that the power of your mind is what controls your ability to hit a good or bad shot. I’ve been playing golf for over 40 years now, yet at best, I am considered an “average” player. My goal when playing the game is to win, but I let my mind get bogged down by my low score rather than concentrating on making my next shot better.  

 

Recently, I tested out my theory by purposely thinking about negative thoughts before I took my shot. As I suspected, this led to a terrible hit. Following this embarrassing shot, I cleared my mind of everything and only concentrated on the ball, my swing, the weight of the club, and the direction I was going to hit. With a centered focused, I was able to produce an outstanding hit!  

 

I think about this analogy and how it can also be applied to sales.  We have the same issue– we constantly need to enforce positivity into each action– from the way we answer phone calls, to drafting emails, to showcasing a new space, etc. If we go negative, we get negative in return. 

 

I recently attended a real estate conference where the guest speaker introduced a new motivational sales training program called Ninja Selling. It was written by a residential real estate broker who entered the field with zero sales experience and a number of personal challenges that would not promote a long-term real estate career. 

 

With these setbacks, he was able to build a residential real estate company in Fort Collins, Colorado that currently has over 300 brokers and is now considered one of the most successful real estate companies in the U.S.(based on deals closed per agent).  On average, his agents close 27 deals each per year. The average deal closing across the country per agent is less than 4 per year. 

 

He has trained all of his managers and agents in the art of “Ninja Selling”– which is a lot like a religion. His program offers discipline, hope, and understanding of what a salesperson needs in order to be great. The program emphasizes commitment to serve your clients while also creating a reinforcement mechanism that keeps you focused on your business and personal successes. 

 

Every day, you are asked to start your day with a recommitment to the following: 

 

  1. Ask yourself, what are you grateful for today? Think about what makes you happy and appreciate that.
  2. Avoid negative thought and introduce some positive action to your day. For me, this was turning off the morning news and instead listening to a TED talk or reading an inspirational book on my way into work.
  3. Restate your business and the personal goals you’ve established for yourself. Rather than stating goals as if it’s a list of things you’d like to accomplish, you state your goals as if you have already accomplished them. For example, I say to myself “I weigh 175 pounds, I shot on average 85 in golf, I make 500k a year.” In order for these goals to actualize, you need to state them every day for 30 days straight. You cannot miss a day– period.
  4. Focus on helping two people in need each day.  It could be as simple of offering a positive thought to someone whose personal life is in turmoil that day. Or, it could be helping someone complete a project.  This recommitment focuses on giving back to others. 

The above will create a balanced approach to your sales career while also grounding you in life with an understanding that success comes with commitment, which also comes from serving others. The power of Ninja Selling can be found in all of us.

 

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Hans Hansson | June 13, 2018

Every new salesperson initially struggles to build their book of business. If they can create a solid base of clients, then they can begin to count on renewal business in addition to referrals.

 

I start off every year with approximately 40 percent of my business revenue coming from past business and/or referrals. I know that an additional 25 percent of my business will be lost for a variety of reasons– including companies get acquired, companies expand and now have national contracts with larger service providers, or companies are simply no longer in business. Ironically, 25 percent of all businesses that sign a lease for five years do not complete their lease term.

 

There’s still that 35 percent of my business lost in which I’m not sure what happened. Perhaps I have lost touch with these folks, or they chose to do business with someone else.  This is the 35 percent that I should be working on improving my ability to stay in touch with through better follow-up.

 

It’s a lot easier to secure past business then it is to start from scratch and secure new business with no prior connection.  Follow-up can be simple as long as you create a plan of action and stick to it. Here are some of some things to keep in mind for staying in touch with past happy clients:

 

Know and Be Known

In the earlier part of my career, it was common for the “decision maker” at a company to be there for the next transaction. Since the Dot.Com boom and bust of 2000, that’s changed. Today, the same decision maker I may work with at the beginning of a deal, 99 percent of the time, isn’t around at the conclusion of a typical five-year lease.

 

If you aren’t known because a firm changed management and the new hires have no clue who you are—that’s on you. You have failed to follow-up and monitor staff changes, which will hurt your chances of keeping them as a client.  You may have done a good job, but if you fail to be known by new folks or remembered by past employees, you miss out on future opportunities with repeat clients.

 

Add a Personal Touch

Upon the close of any deal, try to remember to send a thank you note and a small gift. That gift should be something can be branded back to you.  In addition, I’d also recommend setting up an automatic anniversary email. We do this at Starboard so that each of the agents get a notice to check in with past clients and make sure that everything is working out for them, and also to learn if there are any opportunities in the near future.  

 

No Time Like Face Time

It’s critical to pay past clients an in-person visit and see how things are going. But most importantly, keep your face in front of your past decision makers, as well as get in front of any new decision makers. I have learned the hard way that I could have worked miracles for a client, but if the decision maker has been replaced, a new decision maker won’t have a clue as to the great work done to secure their current office space.

 

Most real estate salespeople fail at follow-up for an understandable reason. They need to do deals today.  Once a residential agent sells a house to a family, there is no immediate future business with that family until they outgrow that house or have to relocate. In commercial, if you secure a lease, a binding lease locks that tenant into their obligation for an extended time. What we fail to realize is that changes are occurring much faster today than ever before.  Firms are reacting to changes in their business which requires immediate changes to their workplaces.

 

So, begin the process of improving your follow-up. Remember, it’s a lot easier to open the door to this kind of business then to open the door with a firm you do not know at all.

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Hans Hansson | June 8, 2018

When Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in September of last year, many here in San Francisco watched as the tragedy unfolded across newspapers and screens. One story from the disaster that stood out to me was about the cooks of Puerto Rico. When the hurricane first hit, agencies from the Red Cross to FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, rushed to provide relief. The agencies developed a major, multi-layered plan to handle the logistics of helping Puerto Rico recover. The plan would take an army of services and personnel to implement.

 

Finally, one man, chef José Andrés, asked the question: “How are we going to feed the people today?”

 

José saw the importance of cutting through the red tape of the extensive, complex plans that had been proposed so that the people of Puerto Rico would have access to food when they needed it. He created his own, far simpler plan:  José contacted every restaurant one by one and told them to start cooking. Soon, the plan José set in motion was feeding thousands, then millions of Puerto Ricans within the first two weeks. This was all accomplished through a loosely connected network of people that delivered no major plans – they simply passed the word along and got it done.

 

Today, San Francisco, the most liberal city and one of the richest in America, is faced with one of the largest homeless crises in the country, and the city can’t solve the problem. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco spends $305 million on the homeless population, and yet homelessness is only getting worse. 

 

 

To address the problem, San Francisco has created layers of bureaucratic redundancy in services, leading to more red tape then actual solutions. People are dying in the streets in their own filth and we are completely bogged down in our own bureaucracy. The city has also turned homelessness into a job creator. Serving the city’s homeless residents now accounts for thousands of jobs, which has in turn created a conflict of interest when it comes to implementing a true vehicle to reduce this problem and save lives today.

 

The current mayoral candidates know how important resolving the homeless crisis is to San Franciscans and are all running on similar platforms aimed at solving this issue by throwing more money and funding at it. This will only create more jobs while people continue to struggle on the streets as we wait for some new, bold plan to take effect.

 

San Francisco can learn from chef José Andrés and decide that we need to help the homeless today - not tomorrow, or next week or next year. 

 

So how can we do that? San Francisco has the capacity to house a significant number of homeless residents in buildings that are currently vacant due to state requirements around seismic upgrades. These buildings include the Laguna Honda Hospital, parts of the San Francisco Juvenile Detention center, and the Women’s Cottages, which are all centrally located in one place. These facilities could easily be converted to emergency housing today, aside from the liability of seismic concerns.

 

This is where we need to ask ourselves a very simple question: do we want to save lives right now and use these facilities, or continue to put lives in danger on the streets for fear of a potential earthquake?

 

As a former hospital, Laguna Honda is built with everything we need to consolidate our services in one place and help people today. It has the ability to feed a mass amount of people with its large kitchens. It already has the structural layout to accommodate the needs of San Francisco’s homeless, yet our own red tape and current laws prevent us from taking advantage of it.

 

Current law says that we cannot hold anyone more than 72 hours unless a series of tests determine that a person cannot take care of themselves. At San Francisco General Hospital, the homeless are brought in and then sent right back out onto the streets because they don’t have enough beds and legally cannot hold them. California law also does not allow Laguna Honda and similar buildings to be reused because they no longer meet current seismic codes, so the city would likely be unwilling to take on the liability of re-opening them for homeless use.

 

Yet, look at José Andrés, the chef from Puerto Rico. He went around big, bureaucratic institutions that were set up to address major problems in a disaster and simply found a way to address the needs of the people immediately, not weeks or months later.

 

San Francisco needs to be bold. The city needs to announce a public emergency and open buildings like Laguna Honda today. If it means creating a sanctuary policy, similar to the one in place to protect illegal aliens, then we need to implement that policy for the San Francisco citizens that are helpless and dying in the streets.

 

 

I challenge Mayor Farrell, the members of the Board of Supervisors and the future Mayoral candidates to not hide behind more spending projects that will take years to implement with only a small chance of success. Instead, save lives today and open those buildings, consolidate our current service providers, and create your own policies that address and help solve this critical emergency today. 

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Hans Hansson | May 10, 2018

“Never Stop Investing in Yourself or Retirement” – Jill Furtado, Berkshire Hathaway

 

As salespeople, we can get busy very fast.  If our business is going well, we go with the flow and close as many deals as we can and as often as we can.  If business is not so good, great salespeople find new ways to make deals and get those deals done. Unfortunately, what most salespeople don’t understand is the need to stay on top your game at all times– which means you need to constantly educate yourself on the changing industry trends and latest tools and technology that can be used give you the competitive edge.  You also have to make sure you stay in tune with what is going on in the market you are selling in.   Your sales could be doing very well for a while, but when you don’t pay attention to changes in the market, your sudden dip in sales will dramatically affect your business. It’s important to stay “in the know” and to be proactive. 

 

1. Never Stop Learning.

Top salespeople attend motivational classes to improve their personal and organizational skills. They listen to podcasts and constantly read self-improvement books. If you don’t stay on top of your game, someone else will be there right behind you.  

 

2. Don’t live beyond your means. 

Next, great salespeople have to realize that there will be a time when their top production will begin to fall.  If they are living a lifestyle that requires their top production results and those results start declining, it’s easy for anyone to get into financial trouble quickly.  Great salespeople find other avenues of income so that if decline in their main sales production goes down, they have other sources to protect their needed base of income.  That could mean investing in real estate or another business, invest in stocks, etc.–but if you don’t prepare for the eventual downturn of your business, you could put yourself in a bad economic position with little ability of time as well as effort to “steer your ship”. 

 

3. Plan for retirement while you’re young. 

Young salespeople don’t think about retirement, for obvious reasons. It’s “too far down the road” to worry about now. Yet, the most successful salespeople start a strategy to invest right away.  For instance, a great real estate model is to find a way to buy one house every year for the ten years.  If you start at the age of 30, by the time you are 60 under a conventional 30-year mortgage, you will have your first house paid off completely by the office with one house paid off each year until you are 70. Then you will have ten houses owned free and clear and ten houses paying you rent.  

 

The beauty of this strategy is that you can buy a house anyway.  The houses don’t have to appreciate.  All they have to do is remain revenue neutral and you will create high net worth and long-term rental income. Most salespeople will ask how I can afford the down payment.  The first couple of houses will be tricky.  You will need help in terms of partners or you will need to borrow the down payment, but if you believe in the system you will find a way.  Educate yourself constantly. Invest constantly. And you will succeed constantly. 

 

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Hans Hansson | April 3, 2018

It used to be that most employees would simply punch a card when they got to work and punched a card when they left work.  There were set days off for vacation and sick leave–with a full work week representing 40 hours. As salespeople, if we were employees, we too worked 40 hours as independent contractors, but the good ones would work a lot longer.

In order for us to learn if we were productive, we would take what we expected to earn in income and divide that number by the number of hours we were working and estimate what we needed to earn in order to make that intended income. For example, if we wanted to make 200,000 average/annually, we’d have 52 weeks minus three weeks for vacation which means we need to do $4,000.00 per week or based on a 40-hour work week $102.00 an hour in net production.

This became the formula taught at most sales seminars to gauge production results.

Today, it’s very difficult to quantify one’s performance. Cell phones have now moved offices from stationary to mobile, extending work hours and extending periods that someone can also not be working. 

Social media and networking to secure new business has also changed the dynamics of qualifying one’s efforts.  Today, all salespeople need a way to create a 24/7 marketplace for themselves when business can be generated anytime, any day.

In real estate, sales is extremely important because there are no “hours of operation” for when people are looking for real estate. You could easily get a lead midday or at midnight.

The problem for an individual salesperson, particularly an independent contractor, is that you cannot simply divide your working hours by the amount you want to make to gauge results. You really need to spend more time monitoring your daily activities and gauge results per specific effort. 

This is why a business plan becomes such an effective tool.  If you break down your business plan to include set pillars (or tactics) in which you are going to create business, you can quantify how many calls, networking connections, or emails you need to make and then track for success in each area. For instance, if posting a Craigslist ad is part of your business plan, you can count how many calls and connections you make as a result of your postings. You can then figure out how many of these connections lead to a deal as a percentage of how many connections are made.  For instance, if you plan to post 10 Craigslist ads and you receive an average of 10 responses per week, which lead to one deal – then you can quantify a dollar amount against that deal.

You can apply this formula to cold calling, too. If you plan to make 100 calls in one week, you should expect two prospects to turn into one deal. You could quantify how much one deal would produce, and then measure that against your overall goal.

In the past, you would have a business plan tied to the number of hours you planned to work, but today, the business plan also stands on its own.  If you track your results by monitoring each pillar, you can translate that into deal flow, average deal income, and then yearly income.

Yes, it’s still important to monitor your true working hours, but it is no longer the standard you should use. Instead, focus on the pillars of your business that you need to monitor the most and measure whether you are successful in implementing your business plan.  If you are not, then you will need to change your plan to get your ultimate goal back on course. 

 

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Hans Hansson | March 27, 2018

Today, the costs to build any residential or commercial properties are through the roof.  When you set yourself a budget, my recommendation is to double it to ensure you protect yourself against the unknowns that will come up and “bite you”.

 

If you are going through this process for the first time, there are some key line items that almost everyone either misses or underestimates when it comes to total expenses.

  1. Expect (Major) Delays: Always just assume there will be delays in the building process. You can make an estimate for project completion, but I would double it to make sure you plan for more realistic timing and consider the overall carrying costs in terms of rent, financing, etc.

  2. Expect Change Orders: No matter how you are managing the project, if change orders don’t come about by changes in plans or ideas, it will come from the city when they begin inspecting the premises. Expect the city to give absolutely no leeway and ask that you maximize whatever the code would say.  For example, restaurants need to have grease traps installed. If you install the minimum standards required to pass, expect the city to push you to install the highest standards.  This change order could represent a cost difference of $6-$10,000 dollars by itself.

  3. Expect PG&E to Be Slow: Even basic installations could take four to six months or longer.  Once you file for an installation, you’re put onto a wait list that gives you no guarantee of PG&E following up with you to schedule the installation. 

  4. Sewer and water fees will cost you: From our own experience in building a bakery in Sonoma, California, we learned quickly about sewer and water fees. We had assumed that the sewer hookup fee would be between $5-$10,000, so we were completely shocked to receive a bill for $37,500 dollars. Starboard recently did a deal with a client that needs to install a new 4-inch waterline in order to improve their sprinkler system–our client was shocked to learn that the cost of the permit was $35,000.

  5. New Code Compliance Adds Zeros: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires you to provide parking for the disabled that includes the proper ramps, signage, lighting, etc. Your architect may have drawn plans to compliance, but expect the city to require changes that could involve serious costs to in order to be compliant.

  6. Final Permit Is Never Guaranteed: No matter how good your architects and contractors are, you can never guarantee that you will secure a final permit.  In another project we worked on–a simple $2,000/square ft. retail renovation– we had to schedule three separate times in order to secure approval of the building plans. Each time we completed the changes that the planner required, we had to go back for another approval. When they would review after the changes were made, they’d find something else we needed to include. This added time and costs that were not accounted for in our original budget.  

 

Although all of the items mentioned above are bound to happen during your project, there are a couple of things you can do to set more realistic expectations. I would recommend that you ask your contractor to share samples of previous jobs similar to yours and adjust your budget based on those change orders. I would also recommend connecting with anyone who recently went through a building process and learn from them what happened during their build, so you can try and avoid similar sticky situations.

 

Lastly, I’d recommend holding a pre-planning meeting with the city’s water department, health department, and PG&E. The more you learn in advance, the less surprises you will encounter. 

 

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Hans Hansson | March 18, 2018

In most sales roles, your company assigns you a quota that you need to meet.  However, in real estate, where agents can be independent contractors, sales quotas are actually rarely used. Instead, firms divide their expenses by the number of agents they have and add a profit to that number to achieve the performance goal that is required by each agent in order to keep the doors open.  

 

It is much harder to create a monthly sales quota because deal flow is completely uncertain, and the amount of commissions earned cannot be gauged since each fee is different depending on the size of the transaction.

 

Most real estate firms do not have a sales quota. They will have tracking reports to gauge your monthly production against deals that are pending and if you do not produce at least desk cost you may be asked to leave. Therefore, as independent sales contractors, it’s up to you to create your own benchmarks and monitor results regularly. 

 

  1. Make a Plan: At the start of the year, most firms require you to complete an annual business plan.

 

  1. Track Your Results: As a start to benchmarking results, you should be reviewing your plan each week and determine if the plan you created is being executed upon and if the results are putting you on the trajectory of success. If not, you should course correct accordingly.

 

  1. Year-Over-Year: Next you need to keep a record of your prior years’ performance by month, then compare those results with what you are doing in the present. This will show you if your business is growing and by what rate.  

 

  1. Course-Correct: If your sales are down, then this is a real sign that you need to re-evaluate your business model and figure out how and where you can improve. This is where most sales agents fail the most. They continue to do business the way they always have and not evaluate their past performance. 

 

Real estate is a business when truly you’re only as good as your last deal. Because we are in a business that is not consistent, it’s also harder to gauge. Yet, patterns are noticeable if you track at your results over a longer period of time. 

 

One of the worst things you can become is a sales agent who is satisfied to do the occasional deal. We are in a business where you can find deals quickly. Everyone has a real estate need at some point, so we have a large pool to “fish” in.  

 

However, if you don’t have a plan on how you conduct your business and monitor that plan, nor establish benchmarks to visualize your standing now and over a longer period of time– then you will become the agent that does the occasional deal. You can still make it, but your chances of growing your business year-to-year will be difficult to achieve.

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Hans Hansson | February 8, 2018

Common etiquette, at least what I have learned and practiced, has certainly evolved in ways that are very different today. “Please” and “thank you” have been replaced with “Can you” or just silence.

 

“Please” and “thank you” used to communicate civility. It was a request for help and a response for acknowledging help received.

 

Manners

The lack of these manners has also changed how we communicate in the workplace.  As a commercial real estate broker, I am in a unique business where my competitors are my rivals one day, and my ally the next.  Just like in any partnership, communication is critical to make sure both sides are moving forward to ultimately close a business transaction. Our job is to figure out the right strategy, communicate, and negotiate with one another until hopefully we come to an agreement.

 

However, common practice of the past is no longer the way business is handled. Fellow brokers today no longer update one another on deals, nor for that matter show any regard for their fellow brokers’ time and effort.  

 

 

Respect

For example, a typical property tour used to comprise of a broker calling several days ahead to schedule a walk-through of a space. Today, we oftentimes hear from a broker with an hour or two of when they’d like to see the property.  We do our best to accommodate, but frequently end up getting no-shows, extremely late showings, or cancellations to the showing. This ends up being a huge waste of time– and time is money.

 

The broker is not necessarily the problem here.  Many times, a client today has little sensitivity or respect for a broker’s schedule and has expectations for the broker to work around their schedule.

 

Communication

After accommodating a last-minute scheduling to show off the space, we rarely receive a follow up from the broker to update us on interest from their clients. We will call, email, text– but rarely do we get a response. If a broker’s client is interested, we won’t hear from them until the offer is sent. Earlier in my career, business was handled between brokers and we would discuss what it would take on both ends of the deal to close. We may discuss terms of the buildout, term rate expectations, etc.

 

We have also experienced deals where brokers on both sides simply go radio silent.  If you ask for an update, you can expect no response.  Recently, I was involved in deal where a broker represented his client and took us through interest, an official offer, and even space-planning. Shortly after planning, they disappeared from the transaction only to reappear, and disappear again. Our obvious conclusion was that they were negotiating with another party.

 

I ask myself – “When did common courtesy get thrown out the door?” They say to receive respect, you must earn/show respect. If each of us practices gestures of etiquette, even the smallest actions, every day (particularly with strangers), one would hope to see a domino effect spread, making life–and business– much more pleasant for all of us.

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Hans Hansson | January 7, 2018

The ongoing tradition of making a list of positive changes you want to implement in your life in a new year can actually be productive.  A number of people will sign up for fitness classes, perhaps give up drinking, or cut back on unhealthy foods. Others may decide to make changes in their professional careers, make financial commitments to save more, or make a bucket list of places to travel.  

 

New Years is a time to reflect and see the possibilities of the brand new year ahead.  It’s a time to look forward, not backward.  Unfortunately, most of us that make these potential life changing resolutions don’t stick with them long-term.  Overtime, the motivation for change often weathers away.  

 

The reality is: change is difficult.  It’s difficult to actually start making changes and it’s even harder to maintain over a long period of time.  As human beings, we like stability– regardless of if we are in a good stable place or bad stable place. Change takes us out of our comfort zone and brings us into the unknown, which can be very scary for most.

 

Although we may mean well to seek out positive change, we almost always feel obligated to simply because it’s a new year.  But like any change, it doesn’t come easy and we rarely see it through.

 

What makes uncertainty such a challenge? Perhaps because it means nothing will ever be the same. A new job may not provide greener pastures as you had thought. Starting your own business could quickly go sideways and make your current circumstances a hundred times worse than they were.

 

Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of the hit HDTV television show “Fixer Upper”, wrote a book called “The Magnolia Story” that explores how Chip is a constant believer in change, while his wife is a constant believer in stability.  Chip believes that once you have reached stability and feel comfortable– change is necessary. Although his wife believes in the opposite, she supports Chip when a decision is made and jumps in to make the next change in their lives work.  Chip feels that growth occurs only through uncertainty. Uncertainty requires you to be creative, open, and willing to deal with uncertainty head on. In turn, this creates growth.

 

My first grandchild was born in December.  She is entering a world that will see changes like no other period in history.  My granddaughter will probably never drive a car. Most of the products she’ll use will be manufactured through robotics. Commercial space travel and humans living on Mars may be the new norm. All of these items today bring a tremendous amount of uncertainty in our lives.  The thought that we would not have control of our automobiles scares a lot of people. The thought that you would live on another planet and be able to travel to space is beyond uncertainty for most.

 

Every invention – from the light bulb to the computer, and the world tech giants like Amazon have created has ushered uncertainty into the marketplace and within our lives. Yet, we begin to accept these changes and adapt.

 

The world does not come to an end for most; rather we evolve. As the New Year begins, if you truly want to grow– jump into the pool of change. It might appear cold at first, but you will begin to swim. And who knows? It might put you in a better place than you are now.

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