“C”, It Will Be OK – Change…Capacity…Construct

April 18, 2024
8:00 am

I’m assuming by now that you, like most of our other colleagues, are aware of the NAR settlement. And in turn, you know that some significant changes are coming our way. I’ve heard some say concerning what lies ahead, “We are between a rock and a hard place.” Others say, “We are between the now and the not yet.” Both comments sound pretty ominous. But others have a different take, saying, “Amid every crisis lies great opportunity.” Call me an eternal optimist, but the latter perspective is the best forecast for what lies ahead. 

In mid-2013, Dr. George Hinton, referred to as “The Godfather of Artificial Intelligence (AI),” resigned from his position with Google. He stepped down so that he could share his thoughts more freely about AI and what he believes lies ahead in our not-so-distant future. In a New York Times article, he said, “We are standing on the verge of a metamorphosis unlike any we have seen since Henry Ford made the first automobile.” 

On June 4, 1896, Henry Ford made his first trial run in a small four-wheeled vehicle he called the “Quadricycle.” It was a tiny vehicle with only a 49” wheelbase and just 79” long. It was 43” wide and 43” high. As we all know, Ford was called the “Genius” of the automobile industry. What a transformation that Quadricycle ushered in! The doors of opportunity swung wide open, and our society never looked back. Such is the season we find ourselves experiencing in real estate. 

Obviously, we weren’t alive in 1896, but I bet if we were, some of us would have been nervous about the changes the automobile brought. Change is an interesting bedfellow. On the one hand, it can be exciting, but on the other hand, it can be very nerve-wracking. Through the years, I have learned a few things about change and culture that I feel are important to note. 

First, I discovered that many, if not most, people don’t know what they like; they just like what they know. The reason is that change can cause many of us to feel unsettled, anxious, unsure, or even at times, depressed. Secondly, I’ve learned that those who resist change often get left behind. Hesitation can be so detrimental to progress. Sprinters who hesitate at the sound of the starting gun have little to no chance of placing in the race. And third, sometimes the greatest enemy of the new thing is the old thing. We all draw a certain amount of security from things being normal. So when normal is compromised, we tend to feel a bit uneasy. Change can indeed be intimidating! Therefore, if you, like me, find yourself looking at this new season and feeling overwhelmed, let me offer you some exhortation and encouragement. 

As sure as the sun rises in the morning, every season of change can offer fantastic opportunities. I’ll never forget hearing the old fiery preacher, Dr. Leonard Ravenhill, standing in the pulpit of Milton Ave Baptist Church in Brownwood, Texas, 1981, emphatically pronounce, “The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized during the lifetime of that opportunity!” Nothing could be more accurate in our real estate forecast today. 

Recently, someone shared the joys and discoveries of their visit to Martha’s Vineyard, an island in Massachusetts located a few miles off the coast of Cape Cod. The person telling the story said they noticed how narrow the roads were. Upon asking one of the locals why that was so, they discovered something that I think is incredibly appropriate and applicable to the encouragement and exhortation I want to offer us in this season of change and opportunity. The Martha’s Vineyard local answered, “Back when the roads were built, they were built for horse and buggy. They weren’t built for cars. So when cars came along, we didn’t have the capacity to expand.” Did you catch that? I hope you heard what I am hearing. We cannot have horse and buggy roads in the automobile age to remain relevant and productive. The bottom line is that if we are not careful, we can be sincerely unprepared for what we see coming on the horizon. 

There is an old story of a woman who was preparing dinner for her family and decided to cook a ham in the oven. As she prepared the ham, she carefully cut off both ends and placed it in the cooking dish. She put the ham in the oven and thought, “I wonder why I was taught to cut the two ends off the ham.” So she decided to call her mother and ask. Upon asking her mother, she learned that her mother didn’t know the reasoning behind the practice either. She simply was following the example of her mother. So the woman decided to call her grandmother and ask her. When the grandmother heard the question, she giggled and said, “Oh dear, I can’t believe you still do that. I cut the ends off of the ham before I cooked it because I didn’t have a large enough cooking dish to hold the entire ham. So, I had to cut off the ends so that it would fit.” The moral of the story is this. If we are not careful, we can become so loyal to a construct that we won’t be able to accommodate the transition needed on this new journey. 

So, as we prepare for what lies ahead, let’s ensure we are equipped to handle the metamorphosis. Change is inevitable. But in the midst of all that is going to be different, let’s posture ourselves to seize the opportunity while at the same time anticipating and strategizing for the challenges. Let us also remember to evaluate our capacity to expand. We can’t expect to live in an automobile world with horse and buggy roads. And finally, let’s re-evaluate why we cut off both ends of the ham. Let’s not be so in love with the old thing that we miss the new thing! As wonderful as our former construction was, some new construction needs to be done. 

Change, capacity, and construct. Keeping those three “C’s” in mind will help us to not only “C” a way to survive in this new season but also “C” a way to thrive as well.

Written by William “Billy” Nunez
Director of Culture, Fathom Realty
Florida State Broker