Monday Morning Coffee – Keeping you out of Hot Water

“Proximity is not a stand in for expertise.”

Seth Godin wrote the above in a pithy, brilliant blog post entitled Never eat sushi at the airport.

This reminded me of the “Reticular Activating System” (RAS) that’s pre-programmed in all of our brains.

“Reticular activating system senses the things around us and sorts them out. There are so many things in our daily routine which are to be considered and which are not to be considered. These are categorized by the Reticular activating system.”

Once we boil out all of the scientific extrapolation and speak in plain terms, the everyday impact of the RAS is that of a mental “filter” for all of the NOISE that comes at all of us every minute of every day.

The way this works: When you have an awareness of something, your brain filters out other things so you see more of that and less of everything else.

The easiest example is when you’re in the market to buy a new car – Say it’s a “Mini” – you suddenly start seeing Minis EVERYWHERE.

When you’re thinking about making a move (Buying and/or selling a house), suddenly you start noticing “For Sale” signs in front of houses, and you begin to frequently encounter other people who are either considering moving or are actively in the process of Buying or Selling a house . . . and you have multiple random encounters with Real Estate Agents (Who knew there were so many?)

This RAS can bite you in the butt thereby causing you to make impulsive, potentially dangerous, decisions without considering ramifications.

Salespeople LOVE the RAS because when yours is ON, you can be vulnerable to opting for “Proximity” rather than “Expertise” and as Seth Godin so efficiently states:

“Proximity is not a stand in for expertise.”

In my world of Real Estate Brokerage, Sales and Consulting, I frequently receive calls from folks who have gotten themselves into a pickle by allowing their RAS to take over their capacity to reason. They have impulsively jumped into the process of Buying or selling a house with reckless abandon and woke up one morning in panic as they realize they’re contractually obligated to the wrong house . . . one that doesn’t meet/fit their needs . . . and are working with people (A real estate agent and/or Mortgage Lender) they don’t know and trust and aren’t sure are looking out for their best interests (Negotiating on their behalf).

IMHO, this problem is NOT the fault of the REALTOR and/or lender . . . It’s the fault of the client’s inability to “manage” their RAS . . . and perhaps in a twisted sense partially the fault of the “expert” they know, love, and trust.

There’s statistical proof that the average “Consumer” forgets who their favorite “Real Estate expert” is every 21 days. The person isn’t forgotten . . . It’s the fact that the person is a REALTOR that’s forgotten . . .

So . . . a lapse of contact for longer than 21 days leaves the consumer more vulnerable to “proximity” decisions when the the RAS is ON . . . and they inadvertently do business with the person who’s in front of them without thinking.

Herein lies the importance of consistent and persistent communication.

This Blogsite is one of the many “tools” I use to maintain contact with all of the people in my Sphere of Influence in my never ending quest to save YOU from making the HUGE mistake of allowing “Proximity . . . to . . . stand in for expertise.”

Hope you are faring well in this morning’s ice “event” here in Middle Tennessee – It seems our “SnowDome” has been compromised.



Published by Barry Owen

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.US Invite-Listen-Love

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