What Can The Tour de France Teach Us About Real Estate? A Lot!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

What can the Tour de France teach us about real estate?  A lot!  Being a cyclist, I can tell you that cycling in the 21st Century is not like cycling when I was a child.  If you're a serious fitness or performance cyclist you can't walk into Target or Walmart and pull a bike off the rack and have it be the perfect bike for serious riding. 

No, cycling has changed.  Seat height, crank size, number of crank sprockets, gear cassette ratios, top tube length, saddle shape, tire style, tire inflation pounds, pedal type, cycling shoe type, brake lever design, shifter position, handlebar width, seat post angle, frame material and weight and a host of other issues dominate high end cycling today.  When I raced mountain bikes I had a friend ask what a good mountain bike costs now days.  I told him, "You can spend $10,000 and not have the bike you really want."  That's a big change from my first bike many years ago.

The same is true of real estate.  It's a lot different from just a decade ago.  Nearly 90% of home-buyers have already found homes they're interested in when they call a Realtor.  The Internet has made an agent's job easier in some respects and more challenging in others.  Not all data is accurate or up to date.  So, you spend time confirming or denying the data your buyer's find.

Smartphones and tablets have given agents the ability to get instant data while in the field with clients.  Electronic lockboxes make homes more readily accessible. 

Websites and blogs have given agents more visibility throughout the world.  A client in Moscow can locate a house in Virginia, find an agent online, and through a web-based translator he can make contact and set up a viewing before he ever boards a plane at Sheremetyevo International Airport . And, that can all happen in just a few minutes.

Scanning files and transfering them over the Internet decreases the time files are received, and does away with illegible fax copies.  Scanning and emailing documents has also made it easier for buyers and their agent to be in two different locations but still have a quicker turnaround time with documents.  We're in a different time.  This is not your parent's Western Auto bicycle.

The Tour de France riders are not your typical athletes either.  I talked with with one of Floyd Landis's coaches, Allen Lim, right after the 2006 Tour.  Allen told me that they decided that Floyd Landis would win the 2006 Tour de France nearly a year before.  How could they be so condifent in that prediction?  Technology and training.  Landis went into training the year before using a great deal of cycling technology and specific heart-rate information to determine when his body was at its optimum performance level.

When the Tour got into the mountain phase, the team decided that Landis would make a break away from the pack.  When he did, his team would block for him while his coaches would monitor his heart-rate and body temperature on the team computer.  When his body temperature rose his heart-rate would also increase and his performance would drop.  Because of his lead position his team car could ride up next to him and give him water.  Lim said they would hand him a bottle of ice cold water which he would pour on his head. 

Riders were only allowed to have so many bottles of water per day.  Landis used additional bottles to bring his body temperature down.  When his body temperature came down his heart-rate also came down and his energy increased and he gained ground.  He won the coveted "yellow jersey" that day and the rest is history.  He went on to win the Tour.  Cycling has entered the world of high-technology.  It's not just about pedaling anymore. 

As Realtors, we're in a high-tech economy with high expectations from our clients.  They expect immediate service with reams of information and multiple possibilities.  The technology available to Realtors today gives them the ability to break away from the pack.  When things get tough, they've got the tools to increase their performance and meet the demand.

It's a new day in real estate, and those who have adjusted to the new ways of doing the business have the potential to be the pack leaders.  The basics are always the same in the Tour and in real estate, but the ability to adjust to "state of the art" technology makes all the difference. 




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Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

They really are, Kristine.  The money covers a lot of high end components that make the ride easier and safer for the rider.  Thanks for commenting!!

Jul 10, 2011 03:39 AM #19
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Gteat analogy.  Yes, the internet has made everyone more ssvvy - or at least they think they are.  It's both easier and more challenging at the same time.  Great insight.

Jul 10, 2011 05:10 AM #20
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Mike,  I really like the televised tour.  They do a great job of showing local color and highlighting the beautiful small towns.  Also saw a short clip on the technology which goes into the shoes !  Amazing !

Jul 10, 2011 05:15 AM #21
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

I love it some days, and loathe it others.  Buyers can end up with terrible information, and they can bring me a listing I missed.  Got to take the good with the bad, I guess.  Thanks for commenting!!

It is a highly technical race now days.  If a rider doesn't have a sponsor with deep pockets he's at a great disadvantage.  Thanks for dropping by, Bill.

Jul 10, 2011 05:17 AM #22
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Frisco TX Real Estate Co. - Frisco, TX
Real Estate Agents

Hi Mike - Your title caught my attention because I was recently interested in performance cycling. So I'm glued to the TV watch Tour de France. My dad and sister cycle and I hope to join them soon.

Thanks for sharing that piece of information. I'd think about cycling in a difference way the next time I sell real estate and vice versa.

Jul 11, 2011 03:30 AM #23
Ray Waisler
Finance of America - Atlanta, GA
NMLS #6621 - Specializing in Jumbo FHA & VA

Mike, the amount of that goes into a bike race these days is amazing and the amount of technology we are faced with is ever growing and changing. Good analogy.

Jul 11, 2011 04:50 AM #24
Bill Burns


Love the back story on all the body temp and heart rate monitor tech.  Very cool!

There really is a revolution in innovation going on all around us in life and in Real Estate too.  So cool.



Jul 11, 2011 06:00 AM #25
Ken Anderson
Apex Results Realty Inc., Brokerage - Burlington, ON
Broker in Burlington, Ontario

Cycling and real estate have both had multiple paradigm shifts in the past few years and they seem to be speeding up!  Every time I think I'm catching on to some technological advance, I find that it's already 'old school', and some new other program/site/method is now being used by the savvy tech crowd.  I was beginning to think I was pretty smartly hi-tech, as long as I didn't look at anyone else's activities.  It can wear one down, I tell you!  LOL.  Nice analogy, Mike, my partner's son is a cyclist, and I made the great mistake of telling him that I was going to get back to riding again (I was in a car accident and my back and knees are still wobbly), but I gave my bike away and was going to buy a pretty comfortable-looking Schwinn, but he wouldn't let me.  Said it was no good.  Got to get one from his custom cycle shop.  Yeah, $1,000's.  Should have listened to my own mind, didn't buy the Schwinn, and sale's over now.  I still don't know how much riding I can do, and I don't want to race, just poke along through the neighbourhood.  Rats.  Now still no bike. 

I sometimes do the same with technology in real estate.  Sometimes you don't need a racing cycle, just a bike.  Use it for your own benefit, get good and fit on it, and pedal away.

Jul 11, 2011 07:05 AM #26
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Great, Loreena.  Cycling is a great way to stay in shape, get cardio exercise and just enjoy the scenery.  Enjoy!!

Thanks, Ray.  Cycling technology fascinates me.  It is really high-tech today.  Right from the material in your jersey down to computerized equipment in your rear cassette.  It's amazing!!

Thanks for reading, Bill!!

Ken, if you're going to be a fitness cyclist you don't need a mega-bucks bike.  A good solid bike will be just fine.  Schwinn, Trek, Giant, Cannondale, etc., all have entry level bikes that will give you everything you need for much less money.  The most important thing is to ride.  Enjoy!!

Jul 11, 2011 07:24 AM #27
Caryn Baker
Realty Pros & Assoc. - Ormond Beach, FL

The same is to be said about those we work with in our industry - title companies, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, etc.  I'm crossing my fingers on a deal right now - my listing - where it's come to my attention that the mortgage broker cannot scan & email, has problems faxing & has a dot matrix printer that takes forever to print - needless to say, no way in the world I'll ever do business with him again - it's obvious he can't keep up & is causing the transaction problems - fingers crossed & utilizing every bit of technology I have to get this done!

Jul 11, 2011 09:36 AM #29
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

That is rare today, Caryn.  Wow!  Good luck on that one!!

Jul 11, 2011 10:33 AM #30
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

Great points.  It's not enought to just have the technology it's the ability to use it. It's like joining a gym, but never showing up.

Jul 11, 2011 03:34 PM #31
Gerard Gilbers
Higher Authority Markeing - Asheboro, NC
Your Marketing Master

I'm not  really into cycling but the analogy was still riveting!

Jul 11, 2011 04:52 PM #32
What Not To Renovate - Milan B.
Palm Coast, FL
We provide tips & trends on home renos & designs

Hi Mike,

Thanks for posting such a refreshing blog.
This is a good source of motivation and a reminder to those who intend to win, that we have to get back on that Real Estate Bike....
Thanks for posting!

Jul 11, 2011 06:34 PM #33
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Absolutely, Mike.

Thanks, Gerard.  I appreciate the comments.

Excellent, Wandanna.

Jul 12, 2011 12:13 AM #34
Bruce Fecteau
Century21 Beachside MV - Mission Viejo, CA

I agree.. Real Estate today is all of the typical historic "sales" and "marketing" ALONG with Tech. Everyday there's a new tool or database to that has to be reviewed and implemented to stay on top of the advancements. It's great that we can carry our office with us in a more complete manor than we used to. The clients are the true beneficiary of the tech age.

Best of luck this year with your business!


Bruce Fecteau       Realtor    Century 21 Orange County        http://www.century21-orangecounty.com

Jul 12, 2011 05:10 AM #35
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Interesting post.  I am not sure what I think of the comparisom but I think I learned more about bike racing than I ever knew. 

Jul 12, 2011 05:15 AM #36
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Thanks, Bruce.  It's nice to have all of the techie people on AR too to ask advice from as well.  They have really helped me.  Thanks for commenting.

Bike racing has definitely entered a new age Gene.

Jul 12, 2011 05:19 AM #37
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas


I know you wrote this last year but so glad I stumbled upon it!  Great post!!!

Mar 25, 2012 06:14 AM #38
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Thanks, Dee Dee.  I'm a cycling nerd too.  8-)

Mar 25, 2012 07:47 AM #39
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