There’s always something to howl about

The Death and Birth of a Salesman

San Diego Equity Facts

Jeff Brown would think I’m long, long overdue.  Brian Brady, in his staccato voice, would let me know it’s all good.  Greg Swan would smile.  “He’s finally taking the step.”
All of you are in the business, both financially and personally, of real estate.  As the years go by you literally create a real estate family around yourself.  These family members include real people such as your TC, your title gal, your beloved escrow person, assorted very highly qualified lenders, associates with whom you like to exchange ideas and sometimes just BS with, and yes, even your web site(s). 
I can’t see or talk with Greg every day, or most all of you, so the Bloodhound Blog becomes an appendage to our relationship.  I see what’s on your mind.  I hear what concerns you.  I ponder your thoughts, your rationales, your pain and your ribaldry.   And if I’m fortunate enough, some of you will come to know me through what I write, or perhaps through my site.
So it may come as a surprise to have me admit, and for anyone who knows how hard it is to become a welcomed writer to the Bloodhound community, that during this past year I have had to slowly watch a death in the family.   Well, really two deaths as you’ll see later on. 
First, my father-in-law, Dave McGregor, an 84-year-old retired engineer, WWII veteran, and subsequent farmer who took up residence in Staunton, Virginia, came down with  Alzheimer’s disease this past year.  He became unable to drive, and he and mom moved out to San Diego to live with Beth and me.  That happened in September.  It was hard on them.  Although just in the mid stages of Alzheimer’s, Dave seemed to be doing well enough, and was adjusting to his new life here when on Christmas Eve he took ill and was admitted to the hospital.  Seven days later, on New Year’s Eve, we took him home to our place again, but this time with a diagnosis of CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia), and a need for immediate hospice.  Twenty-three days later, oxygen machines humming in the background, hospital bed in mom and dad’s room, walkers, wheelchairs, hospice workers and the whole family around, he passed away almost as quickly as if he had been hit by a meteor.  We took him back to be buried in Staunton about a month later, the whole funeral and service having to be delayed because of the worst winter in the Southeast they’ve seen in fifty years.  We brushed back a couple of feet of snow from a beautiful piece of earth in Staunton, and there laid him to rest in the place he had come to meet and impact a large and wonderful community of friends.
How do you work, do real estate, grow and improve your business with all this taking place?  Here’s the story of the second death, then.  
Bloodhound, you see, is all about doing the best you can do.  It’s about doing things right, all the time, not part of the time.  It’s about being Scott Schang, who took some of the original ideas from the first Bloodhound meeting, implemented them, and grew not only his business exponentially, but his base of friends and business partners.  It’s about not staying stagnant.  And ultimately, like any good bloodhound, it’s about getting back on the scent if by any chance you’ve lost it for a while.
I am a pretty darn good Realtor.  I’m affable enough, qualified by training and experience, and certainly do well enough to make a good living.  My clients like or love me, and when I make mistakes I correct them right away.  I’m outspoken within the real estate community, and just as much outside.  I presume I’m like most of you.  But I have not been a good steward of all the parts of my business, and my mea culpa is about this second death.  
Ever visited my website  Perhaps, as a novelty.  Pretty neat and interesting name, yes?  I have a BuyHalfAHouse decal on the back window of my car.  Every day someone rolls down their window and cracks “Hey, how do you buy HALF a house?????  We exchange some pleasantries, and I tell them in 15 seconds (while waiting for the light to turn), that I encourage parents and children to buy homes together, sharing the costs and the benefits; in essence “buying half of a house.”  This concept, known officially as equity sharing, is a wonderful concept that is practiced in the Bay area, and became best known when author and attorney Marilyn Sullivan wrote The New Home Buying Strategy – Equity Sharing in 1997.   I got to know Marilyn, and have been intrigued by the power of equity sharing in a variety of situations, and it was this power and those situations I attempted to champion in Buy Half A House.
Two years later, though, a slower but just as deadly disease took over my site and my dream.  The disease was a combination of NPA (not paying attention), LOF (lack of focus), and WITE (wax in the ears).  I had, you see, invested time and effort in a project that I never fully committed to, never fully implemented, and was never fully able to explain to the clients I had hoped would benefit from it.  I failed. 
There, I said it.  
So today I say, with not nearly the import of seeing friend or loved one die, but with that experience fresh in my mind, that I will not suffer this business life of mine any longer without trying, with all my strength, to make the rest of my web site days the best they can be.  I’m going to overcome the lack of action that substituted intelligent fluff for intelligent and important result.  I’m going to overcome what some of you may be experiencing in your own business; that focus is the first order of business.  I’m going to overcome the wax in my ears that had me hearing great things, here at Bloodhound, for example, and not listening. 
I’ve partnered with fellow Bloodhound Chris Johnson to launch my new web presence, SanDiegoEquityFacts.  It was an easy decision since his approach is refreshing and effective, and he only works with folks who are willing to carry the load they’ll need to to be successful.  No whoosies allowed.
Thanks for all the good stuff here.  It’s my hope that I will contribute much, much more to my community and my clients by focusing on what I do best, how that best can make lives better, and why working as efficiently as possible makes sense to anyone who has seen that the gifts we have been given are fleeting in nature.  It will also make me be the best Bloodhound contributor I can be, for as long as I be.

8 Comments so far

  1. don sheridan April 20th, 2010 12:18 pm

    It takes a very big person to admit failure publicly.
    Thank you for opening my eyes to my own failings.

  2. Doug Quance April 20th, 2010 5:01 pm

    The new site is looking good – and I like the video interview regarding the reverse mortgages. I did not know you could buy one with a reverse mortgage!

  3. Chris Johnson April 21st, 2010 6:25 am

    It is a pleasure to work with you and I wish you the utmost success.

  4. Chris Johnson April 21st, 2010 6:31 am

    Also: I fail more than I succeed. When you focus, you can succeed. I’m learning the power of focus and specialization.

  5. Jeff Brown April 21st, 2010 9:23 am

    Hey Don — So sorry for your loss.

    Hookin’ up with Chris shows me you still have great judgment.

    Failure? I think my ‘goals attained’ batting average is somewhere around Tony Gwynn’s lifetime average, .338. The only difference is, that won’t get me within sniffin’ distance of the ‘Success Hall of Fame’. 🙂

    Keep us all in the loop. Also, why the hell haven’t we ever had lunch, dude?!

  6. Jim Klein April 21st, 2010 1:51 pm

    .338? I wish I could touch that! Though I look at everything hierarchically, so it’s /which/ goals I achieve that matter to me!

    Terrific post, Don…I found it quite optimistic, owing to your excellent focus. You Bloodhound folks got it down pat IMO–“Bloodhound, you see, is all about doing the best you can do. It’s about doing things right, all the time, not part of the time.” What could possibly be better than that?

    Sorry about your loss but I’m pretty sure that anyone who manages to become a “subsequent farmer” has truly found Heaven on Earth. Heck, I think I’m awfully lucky to even get a whiff of what that’s all about; I’m guessin’ he lived a wonderful life with both that and family like you.

    Thanks for sharing some good stuff…when it’s in short supply, that makes it even more valuable!

  7. Greg Swann April 21st, 2010 11:28 pm

    Every day a new beginning. Every day another chance at grace. You are lit from within, Don Reedy. To see you is to glow in response. We’re lucky that we’ll get to see how this turns out.

  8. Don Reedy April 22nd, 2010 3:38 pm

    Thanks to all of you.

    I am humbled to have this forum in which to engage and construct, yield and stand strong, converse and ponder so much that is important to our lives as men and women, professionals, practitioners and players.

    We’ll see how it turns out, indeed, my friends…..