May 14, 2015
I heard the tornado and remember what we were taught: head for the cellar, go to an interior room, crouch under a table, take cover and pray. The unravelling of our financial system, the crumbling banks, the deep eddies of derivatives and off shore investors and wall street speculation, loan packages subprime lending heeled with the likes of too many new ways to spin the gold, too often poorly constructed on every level: surely the winds would howl, certainly there would be a price to pay.
I am not even me anymore. For every where I look the stages are different, the headlines are often misspelled, the water rises and falls, and the mongers have latched on to the very essence of our real estate business, fragile at best, lacking in many ways, but still at the moment a tried and nearly true and growing practice that for the most part was good, kept most folks on the path and delivered millions of people into homes of their own and billions of dollars into the economy.
Then those who hang on tree limbs could see that here was truly the way to the yellow brick road. Real estate could be monetized in a zillion ways. The agents could work to secure listings (those homes and condos of the homeowners who give their trust to the agents to represent them fairly, to do their best), their brokers could sell their listings to the big search engines and the real estate association could actually believe they were getting a deal by sharing the work of the worker bees. And this giving of the treasure, the listings, the data collectors mined, culled the data and the world was overjoyed and thought it was now welcomed in the world of the fourth estate.
Now the real cannibals arrive, setting up more ways to sell the agents, and to have the agents buy the space to sell themselves based on the properties they have sold and to also help those agents create a network of referrals so the money trickles through many hands.