Yesterday at lunch I was enjoying a great sandwich at Camille's Sidewalk Cafe when I looked up and saw this sign on the wall next to my booth:
Green -> Normal
Red -> Alarm
NoLight -> Trouble
It made me think. Do we too often ignore the signs right in front of us in business? I know, speaking for the real estate industry, we were in a state of greed and denial before the bust. The government's goal was to increase home ownership rates; the mortgage companies made money easy to get; the number of real estate agents had reached record numbers nationwide; and everybody who was anybody had a no-miss real estate opportunity. In February of 2006, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors released a book: Why the Real Estate Boom Will Not Bust. The bust had started in the fourth quarter of 2005. The green light had gone out long before.
Real change does come through struggle. Don't wait for the red light to go on to make changes in your business. By then, it may be too late.
Kaira Sturdivant Rouda is a small business branding expert and president of Real Living, one of the nation's leading, privately held residential real estate firms. With web traffic increasing daily, she is certain the green light is about to turn back on in real estate.