The start of Real Estate of Mind’s 29th year
Today’s column marks the start of Real Estate of Mind’s 29th year. I began writing it for Coastal Homes back in 1994. Then in 2004 it settled into the Sentinel’s Saturday “advertorial” slot, where ever since, come rain or shine, hell or high interest rates, crazy market or crazy escrows, I’ve managed to string together 500 words about real estate each week.
For those who aren’t familiar with “advertorial,” it’s newspeak for a cross between editorial copy and paid advertising. In this case it means that I pay money each week to write a piece that hopefully offers something marginally entertaining and helpful. A few years ago I convinced the paper to ditch the term “advertorial” in favor of the better-sounding “sponsored content.”
Provoking thought has always been my slogan since my intent from the beginning was to offer something different from the normal boring real estate fare that’s available just about everywhere else. No schlock or excessive hype. No dumb sales cliches or worthless artichoke recipes. This was a blog before there were blogs.
In my own way I’ve tried to offer the average person a chance to peek beneath the veil of what too often passes as “business as usual” in real estate. There are way too many misconceptions and stereotypes and way too many shows like Flip This House and Million Dollar Listing that cultivate the wrong ideas about what this should be.
I’ve tried to reorient people’s perceptions about real estate and help folks see this as less of a sales occupation and more of a service-oriented profession that’s centered around the all-important role that home plays in people’s lives. Hopefully that message has come through despite my occasional bouts of verbosity and punny prose.
Over the years, the Sentinel has shrunk Real Estate of Mind twice to make way for larger, more expensive ads. Each time, I had to decide whether I’d use fewer words or simply make the font size smaller. I’ve explained this dilemma to hundreds of you who have let me know in no uncertain terms, that if you keep trying to read Real Estate of Mind, you’ll likely go blind.
So, this year, my New Year’s Resolution (starting next week) is to write a column closer to 400 words of “sponsored content.” For those who will no doubt still continue to struggle with smaller but still small type, here’s a QR code that will take you to a larger version.