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The unchained epiphany: Working in the Web 2.0 world is not mastery of technology but the celebration of your own independence

Kicking this back to the top from April 8, 2008. — GSS

 
In comments to Sean Purcell’s “NAR Challenge”, Scott Rogers wonders why the NAR could not teach hi-tech real estate as well as or better than BloodhoundBlog.

The short answer is that we’re not teaching hi-tech real estate, not even close, and what we are teaching is anathema to the NAR.

In her own comment to Barry Cunningham’s post on the typewriter being state-of-the-art NAR technology, Newport Beach Realtor Stacey Harmon offers this serendipitous explication:

WOW. This video really highlights for me the opportunity that exists for Realtors who really embrace not only technology, but Web 2.0. What I see in this video is the application of technology to improve the “traditional” way of selling real estate. I think there is a whole emerging group of Realtors out there who are looking to utilize technology (in particular Web 2.0 technologies) to TRANSFORM how real estate is sold. I agree with Dave that this video speaks to 75% of Realtors – I work in one of the most lucrative markets in the US (Newport Beach, CA) and I’d say that this video accurately represents how most Realtors (that do any business in my market) view and utilize technology. I see this as a huge opportunity for anyone who is savvy enough to have even found this blog. Thanks for a very interesting post!

That’s an epiphany in text form. I don’t know Stacey, and I don’t want to characterize her thoughts, but that kind of epiphany is what BloodhoundBlog is all about.

We don’t teach technology, even though we talk about it all the time.

We don’t teach marketing, new-wave or old-school, even though marketing is constant obsession around here.

We don’t teach Web 2.0, even though many of the brightest lights in the wired world of real estate write, read and reflect here.

What we teach is independence, the recognition that you alone are the source and the sink, the alpha and the omega of your knowledge, of your business and of your success or failure.

I am a rude, crude and vulgar man, so it falls to me to say that being unchained means never again having to take shit from morons. Surely there are more dainty ways of expressing the same idea. But this is the essential BloodhoundBlog idea — not simply to have been set free but to have broken the chains that bind you.

These are not new ideas. They only seem new by technological accident. What Web 2.0 brings back to humanity is the Agora of Ancient Athens — only on a global scale, with equal freedom to participate for anyone with a web browser and a net connection.

Demosthenes stood on the beach with a mouth full of pebbles, his face to the wind and to the roar of the waves, declaiming one after another the great speeches of his day. Why? He was training himself to be the greatest orator in antiquity. We are doing much the same thing today in our blogging, our podcasting, our linking and connecting — each one of us alone, interacting one-on-one.

This is most emphatically not what the NAR is all about, but that doesn’t even matter. The NAR doesn’t matter. It’s just there, that’s all. But the recognition in the minds of individual practitioners that the NAR doesn’t matter — that matters a great deal.

Your broker does not matter.

None of the many-tentacled arms of the NAR matter.

The loser at the next desk constantly spewing poison does not matter.

The only thing that matters is you — your work, your way. Your mind and what you are doing to improve it.

The Attic Greeks understood this implicitly. Would-be hegemons have conspired since then to keep it a secret. The unchained epiphany happens when the scales fall from your eyes and you realize that you not only can control your entire business, you already do control it entirely — and you have all along.

This is not about whether or not you work with other people. It is all about how you work. Are you waiting for someone to tell you what to do? Do you plan to learn something new as soon as someone gives you training? Is there a meter in your mind to tell you when you’ve done enough, thought enough, learned enough, grown enough? Do you long for some giant brute to slay dragons for you, so you can have roast dragon for dinner? You are well and truly chained, and you probably don’t even know it. But guess what? You won’t matter, either, going forward — not unless you wake up and get busy.

On the other hand, do you look at all the chained people around you and realize that breaking your own chains creates incredible opportunities for you? The Greeks weren’t entrepreneurs, but they had the entrepreneurial mind. During the industrial revolution, that attitude was again on the ascendancy, until the would-be hegemons — some of whom founded the NAR — managed to shout it down. Nothing can shout it down now, and, because of this, the future belongs to the unchained. Not feral, but not tame by any means — and nobody’s property to order around.

It’s raining soup, and there is no shortage of room for media outlets other than BloodhoundBlog to transmit this message. It could be we understand these ideas better than most, but the world is large, and we have touched but a tiny slice of it. But the NAR cannot induce its members to be unchained — not without self-destructing. Even so, it doesn’t matter. The NAR is already a dead letter, and whatever thrashing fits it goes through in its death throes, it does not matter.

All that matters is that unchained epiphany and what you choose to do about it.

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  • 14 comments

    14 Comments so far

    1. Scott Rogers April 28th, 2008 10:41 am

      > What we teach is independence, the recognition that you alone are the source and the sink, the alpha and the omega of your knowledge, of your business and of your success or failure.

      Greg — I agree that it is absolutely necessary for people to understand this! I’m working with a group from the Virginia Association of Realtors to put together a guide of sorts for new Realtors in Virginia. This is one of the key points that we kept coming around to — it is essential for new practitioners to recognize that they themselves will determine what type of a career they will or will not have in real estate.

      I’m not sure that I agree that this is “anathema to the NAR.” If I’m understanding you correctly, that would suggest that NAR desires for NAR members to think that NAR is what makes them succeed?

    2. Greg Swann April 28th, 2008 11:07 am

      > If I’m understanding you correctly, that would suggest that NAR desires for NAR members to think that NAR is what makes them succeed?

      If the NAR cared about the success of its members going forward, it would send them here or to other sites like this. But, if it did so, it would hasten its own demise. Independent people understand that they don’t need labor unions to succeed — and they understand that the labor union survives only by holding them back. This is not a message the NAR can communicate and continue to exist.

      > This is one of the key points that we kept coming around to — it is essential for new practitioners to recognize that they themselves will determine what type of a career they will or will not have in real estate.

      If a message is being pushed and not pulled, then, practically speaking, neither the sender nor the recipient have made the conceptual leap to unchained independence.

      It will be interesting to me to see what the NAR does about the VAR when it figures out what’s going on there. Could go either way. Inman News has self-destructed as chokepoint. Only time will tell if there’s anything left without the pay-no-attention-to-that-man-behind-the-paywall business plan.

      All that’s beside the point. The people in Virginia and elsewhere who matter to the future of real estate are not looking for anyone to tell them what to do, they’re just doing it.

    3. Scott Rogers April 28th, 2008 11:34 am

      > The people in Virginia and elsewhere who matter to the future of real estate are not looking for anyone to tell them what to do, they’re just doing it.

      I agree, but perhaps by telling some others what to do, they will then become people who matter to the future of real estate?

    4. Bawldguy Talking April 28th, 2008 12:48 pm

      Scott — If NAR, or VAR for that matter, really wants to help, here’s a suggestion.

      Set a budget that will sponsor Virginia agents VAR thinks should attend Unchained. Regardless of what they end up with on their end, it won’t rival what those agents will come away with from Unchained.

      Makes sense?

      This is what Greg’s talking about. Boards consistently feel the need (survival?) to do things themselves, when in some cases, this case for sure, they don’t even have most of the questions much less the answers. By the time they figure out the questions they didn’t know to ask, the answers in many cases simply don’t matter.

      What do you think?

    5. Scott Rogers April 28th, 2008 1:55 pm

      Bawldguy — very interesting idea! I’ll pass it on to VAR. The fine folks at VAR know that all of the good ideas certainly aren’t in Virginia or at VAR. As such, I know that VAR:
      – sent staff to the most recent Inman Connect,
      – is sponsoring RE Bar Camp, and will likely be sending staff, and
      – is probably engaging in some other ways that I’m not aware of.

      To clarify, the above is an effort to get VAR staff leaders plugged into what is happening in the industry, and helping them to figure out the questions to be asking. Your idea of having the association sponsor Realtor members attending these events is an interesting idea to consider!

    6. Todd April 28th, 2008 2:08 pm

      “Web 2.0 is celebration of your own independence.”

      Bravo! Bloodhound Blog OFFICIALLY “gets it”!

      You need to make and sell shirts that say that, right away, and I would like to pre-order two ( Men’s XL, black with white lettering ).

    7. Scott P. Rogers April 28th, 2008 2:53 pm

      To give you the opportunity to further explain the Unchained conference….

      > The people in Virginia and elsewhere who matter to the future of real estate are not looking for anyone to tell them what to do, they’re just doing it.

      Then why should anyone who matters attend unchained? :)

      > If a message is being pushed and not pulled, then, practically speaking, neither the sender nor the recipient have made the conceptual leap to unchained independence.

      Isn’t unchained “pushing” a message?

    8. Diane Cipa April 28th, 2008 4:36 pm

      Amen, bro. You got it and it’s not just NAR. It’s all the trade groups. “They” used to control everything – what you were allowed to know, what you were allowed to think, what the public knew about you, what government knew about us and on and on and on…….

      This is freedom. I wish more understood but most need to follow and they will either take spoon feeding from trades or if we’re lucky they might start to follow revolutionaries.

    9. James Boyer April 28th, 2008 4:48 pm

      Greg, I totally agree with you on this one. NAR is so yesterday that they still do not fully realize just how far behind the times they really are. I am a successful REALTOR for 4 years now, but moved to New Jersey 1 year ago starting fresh and already I am doing more business than 38 or the 48 REALTORs in my office. Since my office does 35% of the business in town I would assume that means I am doing fairly well as compared to most of the REALTORs in town. Here is the Kicker, 100% of my business is coming from my website or my blogs.

    10. [...] week, for good reason, but, if I can, I’d like to turn your attention back to the idea of the unchained epiphany. This has nothing to do with the conference and everything to do with why we’re doing it. [...]

    11. Heather Rankin May 3rd, 2008 8:25 pm

      Being in a small market area with an abundance of agents, it seems as tho not many are understanding 2.0. Several seem interested when it is mentioned, but so far not many (any) have jumped in.

      This is an analogy that hit me today as I’m also a genealogist. Back in the day (long ago and far away) the ONLY way to find someone working on the same lines you were was to place an add in one of three magazines. Cost: minimum 35 bucks a pop. Enter the first genealogy round table on the net hosted by Prodigy. Many people found more connections the first months of that round table than in years of magazine adds. Cost: Price of dial up connection (yes, it was back in the day)for as many adds as your fingers could type.

      Seems like the talk in most real estate offices today, around here, is still all about the newspaper adds. Hmmmm

    12. [...] This talk is a further elaboration on a post I wrote in April: [...]

    13. [...] to begin with. There will be 20,000 Realtors at the NAR convention, and we would love to preach The Unchained Epiphany to 2,000 of them, if we [...]

    14. [...] and the omega of your knowledge, of your business and of your success or failure.”  See The Unchained Epiphany.  Greg goes on the claim that he is “a rude, crude and vulgar man,” but I find his [...]