Friday, November 02, 2007

Life Of A Butterfly

…or is it the ‘Butterfly Effect’? (or perhaps Affect?...I can never remember and I'm just too tired to Google right now.) You know...that theory or postulate or whatever we learned back in 8th Grade: A single, lone butterfly turns left instead of right 17 million years ago, gets squashed by a T-Rex and never makes it to the next flower to pollenate which throws the entire order of the Universe off by one butterfly…actually, by one butterfly plus all future ancestors of that one butterfly and everything they would have pollenated, ad infinitum. We are all effected (and affected) by some teensy weensiy event that happened in a rain forest more than two Ice Ages ago that itself, ceases to even exist anymore.

Then there is that whole Six Degrees of Separation, Kevin Bacon or whomever, and everything that phenomenon entails. I mean, if a tree falls onto a house in Malibu and everyone is evacuated, who is going to tell Leo DiCaprio who was in This Boy's Life to tell Ellen Barkin who played his mother and also starred in Diner with both Kevin Bacon and Mickey Rourke, if a sound was made---if everyone was evacuated? I mean think about it...if a T-Rex stomped on a caterpillar before it even became a butterfly back before Adam was chasing Eve around the mulberry bush (and we all know what that whole episode was really about), then none of us would be here including Mickey Rourke, even after his comeback.

The chain of events that I see in the Real Estate profession that mirrors both of these examples is the way Realtors change companies in Chicago. If a Remax office opened in Lakeview and nobody bothered to pay the franchise fee, would a Coldwell Banker office in Lincoln Park have 100 more or fewer Agents by year's end? How about in five years? If the Managing Broker left Prudential Preferred and took over a Keller Williams shop, bringing along 50 live bodies in the coup, or 250, would anyone really make a better living? Is it really any different anywhere? Why are we always fooling around with the Natural Order of things when Sales is ultimately an inside job to begin with?

I sit back and watch as people I know in this business jump from one company to the next. Some do remarkably better, at least for a while. The vast majority do not. I know how to look up any Realtor's Closed Transactions for the year as well as previous years. Every so often I sneak a peek, just out of curiosity, to see if the grass stayed green after a winter or two . Almost everyone who has ever left the office I'm presently in is doing worse now than when they were here. It's a fact. Everybody seems to know someone who knows someone who knows Kevin Bacon but just because he's a star...well, no need to spin off in that direction.

I've worked under the same fellow, Joe Pinto, since I got my Real Estate license seven years ago. I've seen countless numbers of potentially good (or at least potentially decent) Agents come through our doors only to be lured away by recruiters who don't sell, and be promised training by trainers who can't sell, much less train. It's no skin off my nose really, as I in essence, work for myself. I have no management responsibilities and am paid no incentive if someone comes, stays, or goes. But if enough butterflies get stepped on by the bigger animals in the jungle before having a chance to pollenate their own businesses, then pretty soon everything changes for all of us.

My pat answer for Global Warming concerns when approached by the GreenPeace crowd outside any neighborhood Starbucks is, "I like Global Warming...especially in February." Of course, I'm being smug because my views on these types of issues are personal. I don't want to hear the hype. Hype doesn't make me want to buy anything (except the i phone. I really want one although both the OS and carrier are in a totally different groove than I'm presently in.) What I really want, more than anything, is to believe in myself when it comes to this business of selling Real Estate in Chicago.

I don't need to go out and look for another company with a seemingly better deal. I have a better deal right here. All I, or anyone, has to do is just wake up and do it. Nobody knows what I can do more than me--no recruiter, no trainer, no Managing Broker. Whether you change the logo on the business cards or the company colors, move the office or replace the Broker, it's still me walking through the front door every morning and the only promises I need to keep track of are the ones I made myself. "...And that's all I have to say about that." (my hero, Forrest Gump)

On a side note, Ive recently been invited to be a Frequent Contributor on the nationally renowned BloodhoundBlog, a multi-author weblog championed by the most prolific blogger on RE Web 2.0, Greg Swann. If you're an avid reader in this medium and haven't read his work then... "You're not thinking fourth dimensionally! " (Doc Brown, Back to the Future)

Geno Petro

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