Sunday, January 17, 2010

The desire to work

Wanting to be productive in society is part of the nature of most of us. I have grown up with people who keep being productive long after they have supposedly retired. In these challenging times, it is often no longer an option but a necessity for many people.

I have always enjoyed working with people and trying to help people achieve their dreams. Usually if I could help someone get closer to their dream, it ended up being financially rewarding. Sometimes in companies politics get in the way, and it is hard to find win-win situations, but being customer focused has almost always helped.

I am proud that working hard is part of my nature. I have spent the last three years trying to be the best real estate agent that I could possibly be. I have become an expert at helping people find the right kind of property near water on the NC coast. I have written countless articles and viewed literally hundreds of homes. I have become a boater who enjoys the local waters, and it has helped me to really understand the needs of my clients and also catch my fair of fish.

I have built a substantial Internet presence which starts with my Southern Outer Banks site, includes my Crystal Coast site, and a site designed to be an electronic town square. Of course I have a real estate site and a few more Internet presences including Crystal Coast Living, a blog which I am paid to write.

A lot of what I have done is area promotion. I have done travel guides for several spots including Emerald Isle and Beaufort. Through my writing and Internet sites with lots of pictures and area information, I have tried to make it easy for people to decide if the Crystal Coast of NC is the right place for them. Many people have written to thank me for all the information.

On top of that I have been successful in attracting people to the area. Some have packed up and moved without even seeing the area other than through my eyes. Others have come and found that what I have written and shown with my photos is a reality that is appealing to them. Unfortunately with the challenging real estate environment, a number of people who have wanted to make the move have been unable to do so.

My three years at real estate have proved to be a great learning experience, and I recently paid my dues for another year. However, with the continuing inactivity in the market, I am beginning to look for something to keep me busy until this real estate slump ends.

I love technology, photography, and writing. I am not sure what the order of my passions should be other than I am determined to keep family first. Real estate today is tremendously high tech which is one of the reasons I enjoy it. The amount of information that can be provided to a client is truly amazing.

Finding new ways to help people learn an area from a distance has intrigued me for a long time. I have recently starting using GPS and trip mapping of photos to help with the process. This trip from Bluewater Cove to Swansboro and Emerald is a good example. By taking the 3D view, you end up flying along in Google Earth with added pictures that I have taken.

Sometimes it possible to innovate your way out of a slump, but real estate has contracted so much that even many of the very established players are finding it difficult to survive much less innovate.

As I move forward in the next year, I expect to work hard. It will be interesting to see if real estate ends up recovering enough to eat up my time, or if I find another challenge which might be more rewarding and could possibly steal me from real estate.

As always time will tell the story, and the journey will be a substantial part of the reward. I can also count on the beach still being there when I need it.