NOISE...What to Do When What You Hear Doesn't Make Sense...

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate

Noise BrigadeNOISE Pollution.  There's so much of it.  And...I'm not just talking about blaring horns, construction traffic or loud music booming with subterranean intensity from stereo sets. 

While these annoyances are disconcerting, we all have learned to live with them. The Noise that we'll be exploring in this short series is more insidious.  It's the kind of Noise which has the ability to impact your well being in a fashion that physical Noise cannot.

There are two types of NOISE that I've been reflecting on for the past couple of days. They are Financial Noise and Emotional Noise.

I recently bought the book, 'When Markets Collide.' The bestselling author, Mohamed El-Erian is one of the most gifted and successful risk managers in the world.  In a recent interview with TV journalist Charlie Rose, he talked about the confusion that occurs when financial data is interpreted in completely opposite ways by financial analyst studying the same numbers. 

One example of this type of Noise is the manner in which investors rushed headlong into the sub-prime markets while ignoring the signs of weakness in the larger economy AND the lack standards used to approve loans.  A signal which should have raised alarms by risk analyst.

What Happens When We React Rather than Respond to Noise?

When we miss the signals which point to a cacophony of confusion, there is a tendency to continue on a course that eventually leads to disaster.  Witness the fall-out of the sub-prime lending crisis.  But, I think that there is also another danger.  This is the failure to discern opportunities because of perceived chaos. 

Noise gratesNoise jars the sensesNoise distorts our perception of reality

Ultimately, that's one of the biggest reasons that Noise is so dangerous.  It keeps us off a strong footing.  The housing market has had it's share of Noise in recent years.  Over the last decade, we all watched loans provided to buyers which didn't make ANY sense. 

Dubious Standards included: No income verification, No verification of assets, No Money Down, Limited Credit analysis for loans which were being given in a hyper-inflationary home market.  The most lax standards in history were being pitted against some of the highest prices increments.  NOISE.

Meanwhile, homeowners who were increasingly strapped for cash were pulling money out of their last remaining major asset with home equity home loans at incredible rates.  Many were financing a lifestyle which had just been sharply curtailed due to a job loss.  So, without jobs or significant pay increases, we spent ourselves silly.  And worried about how we'd survive while indulging in a spending frenzy.  NOISE.

So, are there ways to avoid being drowned by Noise?  Can we deal effectively with Noise Pollution?  Well, we'll explore that in Part 2 of this blog post.

Infernal Noise Brigade photo is courtesy of mahalie's photostream on

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Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


There is a lot of noise in our life and our business. We have clean out the noise and focus on the desired results

Good luck and success

Lou Ludwig

Aug 13, 2008 09:03 PM #1
Patricia Kennedy
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. - Washington, DC
For Your Home in the Capital

Lola, what a well written, thoughtful post.  You nailed it!

Aug 13, 2008 09:10 PM #2
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Lou.

Appreciate your stopping by to read and comment Patricia.

Aug 13, 2008 09:27 PM #3
Tom Vanderwell
Straight Talk About Mortgages - Grand Rapids, MI

I like the way you think and it makes a lot of sense.   Make sure you twitter when part #2 is ready!


Aug 13, 2008 09:30 PM #4
Latonia Parks
Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV - Fayetteville, NC
Military Relocation Expert

Lola, you have done a great job making me realize that noise isn't just the obvious.  GBU

Aug 13, 2008 09:32 PM #5
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Tom...part 2 is ready for your reading consumption. :)

Latonia...Noise occurs on a number of levels.  Some more harmful to our welfare than others...Thanks for stopping by.

Aug 13, 2008 09:38 PM #6
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

That's why I am particularly interested in cleaning out all that pollution and noise. I do what I do and sleep well at night so I don't add to the pollution.

Aug 13, 2008 11:41 PM #7
Teresa Harris
Lake Real Estate, LLC - Denver, NC
Denver . Lake Norman . Charlotte

Great post Lola! I am going over to read part 2. Take care!

Aug 14, 2008 12:08 AM #8
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Teresa...Thanks for reading Parts 1 & 2.

Sally...It is about personal responsibility.  Following the crowd is not always the best strategy for prosperity or peace of mind.

Aug 14, 2008 09:59 AM #9

nice post. just one question: why the image of the infernal noise brigade as an illustration? it's an interesting choice given that the infernal noise brigade was actually created as an attempt by a group of radical anarchists and political subversives to destroy the common forms of noise projection that the State (as in, 'L'Etat') was fostering on the general masses in the form of centrist mind control. if what you're attempting to do is align yourself on some perpendicular axis to more radicalized forms of noise abatement then i can see your point. using a subtle visual cue as an adjunct measure of announcement has always been a powerful and ocassionally successful means of drawing the form of attention that the seeker of higher knowledge and initiation can exploit to their benefit. witness the use of the 3 eyed happy face in the 1980s as a public conjecture on the nature of who's a bonafide state endorsed hero and who's an oswald loving puppet of the intelligence gathering agencies.

thanks again for your great post on real estate and noise. it's really exciting to see someone taking a strong interest in the social warfare aspects of noise abatement!


pol rose

Aug 18, 2008 03:56 PM #10
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

Lola:  This is a very insightful post.  There was an awful lot of noise leading up to this financial meltdown.

Aug 18, 2008 06:27 PM #11
Karl Anomaly


Interesting that you still didn't answer the question of why you used an image of the Infernal Noise Brigade for your post. I too am curious why you chose this image.

Looking forward to your answer,


Aug 20, 2008 01:17 AM #12
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Thank you for your comments.  In regards to the question about the picture I chose.  I was looking for a picture which would illustrate the post and came across this arresting image on Flickr. There are times when an image intuitively grabs your attention...this was such a time for me.

The Infernal Noise Brigade is not a band I listened to or followed.  My choice was not based on being a fan of the band per se. But their influence and effectiveness of protesting through their music and spontaneous displays was noted by the world particularly in relation to the WTO meeting in Seattle in 1999. 

Having lived overseas, I know firsthand how disorienting and destructive some of the financial policies that are prescribed as 'fixes' for developing nations can be.  The hype that preceeds the implementation of these policies is a type of noise...

The INB through their music forced people to pay attention even when many did not want to.  Their methods were not orthodox.  But, cutting through the confusion of noise to get clear enough to think through things is rarely easy.  Choosing to do so, is at the very least...radical.

Aug 20, 2008 10:11 AM #13
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Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

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