Analysis Paralysis: Blinded by Process and Technology

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc.

Have you ever thought something out in so much detail that you may have forgotten the point of it all?

+++++++++++++

I had a great partner in my first startup in Austin Texas. 

He was smart, complete, thorough, detailed.  An Aggie classmate.

We needed work, new clients, in order to make the architectural business viable.  This was before email, texting, the internet, etc.

We had a new-fangled computer and a software program that Gary was using to collect all our leads/potential clients and put them into a sort of spreadsheet. 

We spent months uncovering the name, address and phone number of every possible builder/developer within a 75-mile radius.

We spent months inputting this data into the software program  (Well, Gary did because I had no idea and was loathe to learn.)

We knew how to design buildings.  We were ready to serve clients.  We had an office, a secretary.  We were anxious to get things going.  

Finally, we were ready to send out a super direct mail marketing campaign.

During that year the oil industry collapsed around us and real estate went down the tubes.

Construction came to a virtual halt.

We had a great marketing piece (brochure/cards/photos), a super database, and ultimately found ourselves on the Titanic watching it sink.

 

(Oh incidentally, we also had telephones and yellow pages back in those dark ages.)

 

Moral of the story?  Y'all write in and tell me what you think!

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Rainmaker
268,996
Mott Marvin Kornicki
Waterway Realty, Realtors® • Broker • South East Florida • - Miami Beach, FL
Waterway Realtors, Notary Public 786-229-7999

Don't count your chickens before they hatch! There are many a great idea that gets scrapped for many reasons; lack of funding, lack of execution, lack of determination, etc. Bring your plan back and start fresh :-)

Jun 13, 2018 01:59 PM #1
Rainmaker
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John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Custom Home Design

Thanks Mott, exactly.  However, we could have simply picked up the phone and used a yellow note pad to get going rather than expect the new technology to make it work for us!

Jun 13, 2018 02:03 PM #2
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Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS, Broker
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

John how I know this story!  We had just leased a big office with agents, staff and then poof the next year it all went to he** fast. Talk about pulling out all the stops and figuring out how to deal with it all - was - well, both Gary and I laugh now and simply say - hey we got our PHD's in something new. At the time it wasn't so funny and to this day I'm grateful for knowing how to 'shift on a dime' and charting a different course.

Jun 13, 2018 02:10 PM #3
Rainmaker
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John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Custom Home Design

Hey Anna, if you have never had the feeling of holding the bag... well you just don't know what you're missing.  The thing is, I moved to Florida and didn't see the next recession coming!  I couldn't believe anything as bad as that previous scenario could be repeated, especially nationwide.

I really don't know what to suggest to avoid this kind of situation except to be extremely alert as to signs about the local and state economy.  I remember Inc. Magazine had Austin as the no. 1 place for business.  This issue came out a year after I left Texas for Florida.

Jun 13, 2018 02:14 PM #4
Rainmaker
3,416,906
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening John Henry,

OMG you left Austin too soon! How did you end up in Orlando? I moved to Austin in 1981 and found out a builder John Loyd had come in 1977..he was married to a sorority sister of mine and move to Austin after their break up. He made quite a name for himself! I've seen the ups and down and glad I started in real estate in the 1990's...its been very good to me! Love your post and glad to see it featured!

Jun 13, 2018 06:27 PM #5
Rainmaker
448,941
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...Finding Your Place In The sun!

Hi John: Well, one thing you learned for sure: "Timing is everything"!

Q: What does one do when timing is off?

A: Re-group and start all over again--it may be that you were in the right place, (obviously) so, swallow your pride and take what you created and re-apply it. Or don't and suffer the consequences. Failure happens when you stop doing what you were doing.

I find that when I have a failure, I pick up where I left off and begin again. I don't through out what I know to be right--but I do re-think the concept, narrow down the details to a precious few and begin from scratch. The benefit of a failure is: "You now know what it feels like; you now know what NOT to do and you now know that when one door closes it is an opportunity, not a failure. Keep your eyes on that door and it WILL open again!

Jun 13, 2018 06:54 PM #6
Rainmaker
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John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Custom Home Design

Hi Paula, when fate is strangling you, and you really are unprepared to react you have to run when the writing is on the wall.  For many people, especially first starts who have never been in a recession, the indicators are not clear until things come crashing down.  I am acutely aware now of market fluctuations due to a variety of forces that have absolutely nothing to do with me.  Oh yes, we built too much too fast. The banks lent too easily, etc.  But an 8 year downturn is pretty tough to bear.  And on top of that if you think the internet and website finesse will save you, you have another think coming!  Very important for web health and viability is Google Analytics.  If you are dependent on your web for 90% of your business be wary of changing algorithms, etc.

Jun 13, 2018 07:58 PM #7
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Funny how comments are mostly on a hindsight side:)

Of course, it is great to be very sensitive to market changes, but in reality, we were among the last to understand that in 2004 suddenly coming contracts were not a coincidence, and when it stopped on a dime in 2006, we were by far not the first to understand it. So, it is great to be smarter... I won't argue, but it is not always this way for us, humans...

Jun 14, 2018 05:21 AM #8
Rainmaker
3,416,906
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

 

Good morning John Henry,

 Luis Jauregui builds stunning homes. He built 3 in Riverplace and I just showed on that the original owners built in the late 90's. It has his stamp of style all over it! My grandson goes to A & M and is in the honors engineering department..loves it! Our first Aggie..my daughter and husband went to UT

Jun 14, 2018 05:27 AM #9
Rainmaker
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John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Custom Home Design

Good morning Dorie! Aggies rule! ha. Luis is a great friend.  He does the design/build thing and does it very well.  How is the Austin market chugging along?

Jun 14, 2018 06:08 AM #10
Rainmaker
884,989
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

The title of your post says it all. We procrastinate to make the perfect call, the perfect pitch, when all we need to do is smile and dial.  Build that database one call at a time.  Been there, done that 30 years ago!

Jun 14, 2018 08:23 PM #11
Rainmaker
15,553
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Custom Home Design

Jan, again, you sum it up perfectly: "Build that database one call at a time".  Great, thanks.

Jun 15, 2018 04:04 AM #12
Rainmaker
346,830
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Been there, and it was an expensive lesson to learn.

We do not have to have everything that looks like a Fortune 500 company to get started.

The hardest part of starting a business is starting.

Thanks for sharing.

Jun 15, 2018 06:25 AM #13
Rainmaker
15,553
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Custom Home Design

Thanks John.  Agree with you.  First rule of business is to make enough money to stay in business.  How do you do that?  Immediate contact with prospective buyers/sellers

Jun 15, 2018 06:57 AM #14
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

John-I was in Houston placing office support staff. The oil industry tanked in the mid to late 80s and my contacts in human resources were calling me for jobs! Our major clients were the oil & gas companies. If they weren't in o&g they were impacted by the collapse. My husband was in the housing business at the time too, and they weren't doing well either. THIS is how we ended up in Florida!  

btw- Gig'em Aggies!!! Our good friend's son is there as VP Athletics! 

Jun 15, 2018 05:49 PM #15
Rainmaker
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John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Custom Home Design

Yes, no one thought real estate would be affected when the price of oil dropped from $30/barrel to $10 due to OPECs meddling.  Architects and builders had absolutely nothing to do.  The For Sale signs all along the hills was astonishing.  I was on a Braniff flight from Austin to Tampa.  The businessman next to me asked: "Do you know why pigeons fly upside down over Houston?"  Answer: "It aint worth sh*tting on".  Those were really bad times with no relief in sight.  Everybody left except those with 'deep pockets'.  Ha

Jun 15, 2018 06:43 PM #16
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John Henry

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