Monday, November 27, 2006

Chinese Math

"Now let me get this straight - the press is supposed to control the market - if they say it's bad it must be so - if they say it's good it must be so - they are the keepers of doom and gloom - the ever ubiquitous "they"!

(This was a comment from Scottsdale broker and heavy hitter Tony Marriott, Associate Broker, CLHMS, CRB, CRS in response to a segment of an article I posted on my ActiveRain blog.)

And my take on this whole recent 'Media vs Realtor Spin Cycle' --and response to his comment-- was as follows:

"There's a term you may be familiar with called 'Chinese Math': i.e...if there are two billion or so people in China and you sell a 50 cent pencil to just 1% of them that is $10 million--the pretense being that 1% is easy to achieve because its such a small number. Now take this theory and twist or spin it anyway you wish and you have story content for both the media and the real estate industry. I really try to be objective by drawing from my own experience but the reported numbers are so 'all over the place' that I occasionaly just have to find a shoe that fits the 'ubiquitous' foot!" In other words, we all spin the numbers commensurate with our own respective agendas, NAR included. And after all, I do split my time almost equally between being a Chicago buyers agent and listing agent. Talk about two sides of the same story!

But also allow me to defer to an age old (Non-Chinese!) addage, 'numbers are deceiving!' In this case it applies to whoever has the audience's collective ear, readership, or viewership. Currently it does appear to be the media frenzied 'Bubble Brigade'-- ubiquitous to be sure, as Mr Marriott so articulately points out. After all, we Realtors had our own day (years) in the Sun during the 'Housing Boom' of recent years. And regardless of the spin I read, hear or spin myself, I'm still of the belief that even a half empty glass is very desirable to a thirsty man. Its just a matter of how much-- be it need (for housing) or thirst.

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