3.1459265… I could go on and on.
This is the one of the posts which has been sitting in my draft folder for months. It actually isn’t a post at all, but rather a title that amused me. The article doesn’t exist and probably never will. Neither do the others that greet me every morning in the back panel of our blog:
Gefilte Fish – A Much Maligned Edible
Things to do with string.
Two Reasons Why Birth Control Should be Retroactive
It’s a Great Time to Buy!
It is sort of a little game I play with myself, a game I devised to serve as a grounding mechanism. My Posts that Never Got Written are my constant reminders to not take too much too seriously, and they are constant reminders of how seriously silly the whole blogging thing can get if you elevate it to some mythical level of import. If you don’t blog, then you can substitute any activity which is valuable and fulfilling but, if you are honest, is non-essential, at least from the standpoint of “things I must do today lest the human race face extinction.”
I took a few days off from posting this past week. Some call it burn out. For me, it is more like having four stockpots on the stove at once, all boiling over, and finding myself momentarily paralyzed by the notion that I have to start turning down the heat somewhere.
So, I left the kitchen. I abandoned my feed reader. I set my instant chat status to Unavailable, and while other agents have most certainly been Twittering and getting LinkedIn and pounding out epic save-the-industry tomes, I have been a human busy signal.
Spring has sprung, and the signs are everywhere. Wildflowers are in full bloom at the lake, Steve had his first roadrunner sighting of the season, and I am sporting a new and overdue “do.” The only thing now separating me and Posh Spice is some serious plastic surgery. On a more personal front, if that is indeed possible, we are knee-deep in heated negotiations at our house with the female offspring regarding seasonal wardrobe needs. Our next meeting is scheduled for Geneva. We are also dealing with the Prom Dress Debacle (one high school senior who shall remain nameless and is named Becky has determined that the only suitable gown for this milestone event can only be found in a boutique in Milan), and graduation and then college are just around the corner.
There’s more, of course. We got “the letter,” and I am now faced with finding a good week to take an 18-year-old to New Orleans (if there is such a thing), compliments of Drew Carey. Hopefully the hideous and, therefore, theft-proof orange luggage arrives in time. Our youngest has decided that this will be the year she must go to summer camp, but the camp she chose involves death defying (we hope) adventure on sheer cliffs and in high Sierra rapids, thus requiring completion of 87 pounds of medical release forms. And my tax returns are sticking their proverbial tongues out at me. So what is an overtaxed mother to do?
Channel Martha Stewart.
Her job is safe.
And did I mention we still “do a little real estate?” The phones are starting to ring again. I always marvel at how this happens during the busiest times of the year. You can set your time bomb by it. I can’t possibly be the only one dealing with these domestic distractions, yet somehow at a time when the world by all accounts should be otherwise occupied with more pressing and personal issues, people are thinking about (gasp) moving! Which brings us back to that real estate truism. Whatever the market, whatever the season, people will want to buy and sell. For many this is the “more pressing and personal” issue.
This Spring will be very telling. There are four basic indicators of market health and demand: Price, inventory, pace of sales and market time. Prices are – how do you say? – softer in San Diego. The pace of sales year over year is indisputably slower. Inventory and market times, however, are holding rather steady. We expect both seller and buyer activity to increase during the season, but for now, we seem to be slip-sliding sideways. Consumer confidence and economic indicators suggest that we might we finally nearing the valley. Of course, we won’t know until we have pulled ourselves up the other side, but from my vantage point, the buyer campground is getting a little crowded, and I am starting to see a lot of them pulling up stakes.
Prom dresses and bunny cakes (in case you didn’t recognize it as such, it was a rabbit), four listing appointments and three buyer interviews, warmer weather and caps and gowns, taxation and, well, taxation – This has been my week. Then, one of the first posts I read once I rejoined the blogging ranks was a list of questions a seller should be asking their would-be agent at the Listing Interview. Aside from the fact that addressing each of these questions at my afternoon appointment would have me staying for breakfast, there were some good points raised. And then this:
What is your Alexa traffic ranking?
Excuse me? That’s just seriously silly. I don’t know what my Alexa traffic ranking is, and I rather doubt that 1 out of 1,000 home sellers even knows what this means or if it matters (it doesn’t). What they want to know is how much their home is worth, how much I charge, what I am going to do to get it sold, and why I am going to deliver the best possible bottom line.
What does this have to do with scary looking cakes and 1040 forms? More than you think. My personal anecdotes are not at all unrelated to my business of real estate. The same things that occupy my time, consume my thoughts and compete for my attention are the same things that challenge my clients. When we blog for any period of time, there is an ever-present danger that we will become detached – detached from our client’s worlds and detached from the true value we should be, could be, bringing. We constantly run the risk of getting so wrapped up in the technical that we lose sight of the human factor.
For me, periodically detaching from the online conversation is essential. It allows me to come full circle, and to remember why I am doing this and for whom. It’s a rebirth, kind of like Spring.
And I still don’t know what my Alexa ranking is, so don’t ask.