Starfish and Real Estate
Once there was a man walking along the beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Off in the distance he could see a person running back and forth between the surfs edge and the beach. Back and forth this person ran. As the man got closer he could see that there were thousands of starfish stranded on the sand as a result of a king tide that had just happened the night before. The man was struck by the futility of this task. There were far too many starfish for the person to get back into the water before they would perish in the sun.
He approached the person and soon could tell it was a young woman. She was still racing back and forth, grabbing a starfish and running it back down to the ocean, then running back to the next one. The man shouted out, “You must be crazy, there are thousands of starfish covering miles and miles of beach. You can’t possibly make a difference!”
The woman stopped and looked back at him. She then bent down to pick up another starfish and ran it back into the ocean. Then she turned back to the man and said, “It sure made a difference for that one!”
I love this story. It is the difference between quantity and quality thinking. Our modern life is so quantity driven that we often forget what life is supposed to be all about. I used to think that a small real estate agency didn’t (or couldn’t) do much in the big wide world. That the big agencies would always dictate policy and style and us smaller, independent agencies would have to follow along picking up the scraps they left behind.
I used to think that our only goal was to try and slowly build up and become a big agency ourselves, sometime in the future. I am older now. I think a little differently to how I did when I was young. I now realise that BIG is not necessarily GOOD. In fact, sometimes, smaller is much better. I know for a fact that QUALITY is far nicer than quantity.
I know that helping our 60 or so clients a year is much more satisfying that just having more numbers on a spreadsheet. I think about our last client. She was an older woman, on her own. She needed a little more care than normal and we were able to give it to her.
We might not be able to help everyone in town. To everyone selling this year it seems that our smaller firm won’t be able to make a difference to them all BUT we sure made a difference for her.