Cows and Real Estate :)

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Classic Realty Associates

cows on real estate

Cows and real estate....

 

A couple of months ago, I got back into the cattle business..... something I've been wanting to do for several years... you see, I grew up in the windswept plains of the Panhandle of Texas, farming and ranching.... Loved the lifestyle!!  Loved the work, even those 100 hour work weeks..... the responsibility of taking care of animals.... knowing they depended entirely on me and my management for their existence..... while also helping the herd to thrive and grow and become a better herd.  Working extra hard during harvest time... sometimes literally going 48 hours at a time.... Just to get the crops in before the rain arrived.... I miss the lifestyle, it taught me a lot about myself, just how far I can go, what a deliberate amount of effort and planning could provide, and about responsibility.  So, prepare yourself for some Country Boy Logic!  J

Over the past few months of preparation and expectation for the cows, I have been assisted by my children, an eleven year old son and a nine year old daughter.  It is a true life's pleasure for me to teach them the cow business.  Frankly it is one of the best things they could have become involved in.  I want them to learn more about the way I grew up.  I want to keep them busy and out of trouble as they grow older, I hope they will want to bring their friends out to see what they have accomplished.  (actually they already do) To put a more complete perspective on how much I value that lifestyle, would you allow me to say this:  I'll hire anybody from a rural background to work for me anytime!!

 (Yep... there they are.. my kiddos.... working!!  :)

Now, how does any of that relate to real estate?  He-he-he!!  Good question!!

Here's how:

Remember when I mentioned the 100 hour work week... that's true!!  I listen to people complain about "putting in their 40 hours for the week."...... Brent's opinion; in the Short English Version, BIG DEAL!!  He-he-he!!! J  People from a rural back ground are naturally accustomed to putting in the hours.  In other words.... they are ready to work and they EXPECT to work, daylight to dark.  Work is never done on a farm and ranch.  Something I'm beginning to believe more and more that our society has lost.... The expectation of working in order to accomplish..... seems to me that a lot of people confuse activity with productivity, if and when they are working at all.....  Get up, get dressed, go to the office!  I would have looked pretty silly trying to work cows in my bunny slippers, and my pj's!!  Not to mention getting my feet stepped on by a 1000 pound momma cow...

A rural background, especially taking care of livestock, provides a person with a "No Excuses" attitude.  What do you mean by that Brent?  Well, here's what my children have learned:  there are no excuses for not keeping a fence well repaired.  Remember, the cows don't know that your big toe was sore on that day and the cows really don't care... if the fence isn't correctly constructed and correctly maintained.. well.... then you chase cows.... At 2:30 AM.... Not too much fun because cows always wait for the most miserable, cold, wet weather before they decide to "make a run for it!"  He-he!!  So true!!  The same is true with our clients, they don't want excuses, they want answers and prompt, reliable service.

---- Time out for a personal word of advice/ country boy logic here..... speaking of building fences, if you want your cows to respect your fence, you HAVE to wear the right kind of hat while you are building it!  Did you know that?  J I almost overlooked this truism; however, fortunately, I didn't...  Which means... we all donned our cowboy hats for the event...  J  My neighbor noticed us from his pasture and came over to give me a hard time about our hats... so I was forced to explain my theory to him... he still thinks that theory is pretty funny!  But if his cows ever get out... well then... looks like ol' Brent was right after all... He-he!  I noticed my neighbor was wearing a cap.... Time will tell, huh?  J Bruce is a great neighbor!  The Good Lord helped us out on that one.  ----

So, the job has to be done right the first time.  No excuses... which was quite a shock to my children as they are accustomed to being allowed to have an excuse for everything they do in school, etc.  In fact, and I had to laugh at this.... My son told me he was "too tired to make sure he got all of the yellow plastic insulators for the hot wire fence in the proper place on the post and on every post"  so... I pointed to a cow and replied "Son... why don't you walk over there and ask that cow if she would mind ignoring your laziness and just staying in this pasture of her own free accord." 

My son looked at me like I had lost my mind..... which is entirely possible, but I'm trying NOT to let them know it!!  He-he!  "But Dad... she won't have a clue what I'm saying, people can't TALK to cows!"  I didn't bother to point out to him, technically, that is not true... people CAN talk to cows... it's just that the cows don't understand you..... or just don't listen well... I've never been able to figure that one out...?

"Yep, son, lesson number one.... You've got to do their thinking for them, and lesson number two.... There are no excuses out here on the ranch.  Period!  It's time to be honest with your-self..... Either it gets done.... Or YOU have problems because I'm going to get YOU up in the middle of the night and let YOU help me put them back where they should be; and then the next day at school... well Son, you'd better NOT miss a beat, or act grouchy in class!" 

  (See... they do get out....)

(See... there's another one of them "excuses".... "Well I was up all night with my cows...."  Yea Bud,    ...but, be honest with yourself.... was your 2:30 AM adventure self-inflicted....??  If so... I don't have a lot of sympathy for ya.... )

Thirdly, taking care of livestock also teaches you that others are depending on you..... for clean water... for enough food... for the right kind of food/ feed.... for the right amount of minerals... for proper medications.... to plan future pasture usage.... to be thinking ahead and preparing the way.... Etc.  I'm hoping  that sort of makes the point in and of itself?  That if we want things to run smoothly in our transactions, we have to think ahead, so we can better serve those who are depending on us.  Have you ever heard another agent say something like:  "Oh, I know we are closing tomorrow morning, so I'll order a survey tonight."  He-he!!  That happened just this very week to one of our agents.  Talk about a total lack of planning.

Remember me mentioning my neighbor earlier?  One more thing, he waited until AFTER dark to come over and tease me about my hat... Why? Because he knows I need the daylight hours to work in...and, he needs them also...  it had better be pretty danged important if I go over to interrupt his work day!  Why?  Because we both understand... there's only a certain number of hours in the day, and then there's plenty of time for talking and chit-chatting AFTER the job is done... work first, then go play...  Or, to put it into another colloquialism: "Build your barn first, then your house."  If he shows up to chit-chat, and I'm busy working... well... he pitches in and helps out!  Or, he says his piece and then gets out of the way.  Vice-versa!

 

So... Brent's humble opinion about cows and real estate:  If agents considered each contract they wrote, and each listing they took, to be a living breathing organism that must be cared for diligently wouldn't this business be a lot easier??? If there were fewer malarkey excuses..... if we all showed up every morning expecting to work.... If we all made the conscience choice to be honest with ourselves.... Every time.... If we all concentrated on productivity not just activity.... Well... I think we would all prosper!!  Which means.... More time and resources for FUN!!  J What do you think??? 

 

Wanna come help me work cows?  He-he!  (Yep... those are really mine....)

 

Comments (2)

Rich Kruse
Gryphon USA, Ltd. - Columbus, OH

Brother, I just took over an operating farm with about 600 head under court order.  What a task just being the city boy boss.  Good luck.

May 20, 2008 12:20 PM
Kay Perry
Kay Perry, Broker - College Station, TX

It sounds like you and your children are really enjoying this.  Good for you.

May 20, 2008 01:26 PM