Buckin' a Headwind

Real Estate Agent with The Virtual Real Estate Team 104556

Back when I was young and I faced challenges in my life my Dad would say son, you're buckin' a headwind, meaning the forces of nature are against you. I was reminded of this when I flew into Jupiter Florida for our December holiday. There was trouble brewing back home with the head of our property management company who was being strange and uncooperative as well as making some outrageous demands. My wife was already in Florida and so on the next morning we did our usual practice of a 4 mile walk on the beach by the ocean. This allowed my mind the freedom to think because the ocean works for me like a mantra that calms and centers the mind. There was a big problem though, we were not only walking in very soft sand from a high tide, we were also facing 50 mph gust in our face with sand blowing up. Many folks would say let's go home but we were determined.

As we got to our turnaround point we noticed at least 14 kite borders out at any one time. With waves going over 5 feet we watched in wonder at the strength of these men and women. We also were in awe of their leaps that reached 15 feet or more and then sticking the landing. It was also like watching them crisscross like a well choreographed ballet. It was then that the epiphany hit me. When you are buckin' a headwind then go kite boarding and use the wild nature to reach the heights. I was also consumed by anger that was blocking the decision we could make to rescue or change the situation. At that point Charlene and I shared that like the kite boarders, the wind would not defeat us but rather allow us to reach new heights.

Then, the sky fell on December 16th. We were given an ultimatum that was so off the wall it was hard to believe and that point we knew that we were being played. We both immediately sprang into action and we contacted three headhunters but that was discouraging in that finding a property manager who dealt with individual residential investors. Part time work providers had no answer either, and no smaller local person wanted to take on our size since we were already at 600 properties in two years of existence. On the 21st we knew the answer. We called a regional vice-president for a national company who I had known for 13 years and had brought to Oklahoma City from Dallas to manage our properties. By the next day we had an agreement, and not only did it allow us to sell the company at a good price, it also gave our investors even better service and terms. I don't think in my lifetime had I reached a decision to solve a crisis so quickly but as my Dad would also say, when buckin' a headwind, just hunker down move forward and don't let it beat you.

When I see the Q&A from the Utah students asking a question I reflect on how tough it is in 2019 entering this business. With no sales, no experience, and fighting against well seasoned experienced agents the wind against them is even more powerful. I also know that people here on Active Rain have faced adversity many times as I have in health, family, or business and refused to be defeated. To all those newbies as well as the veterans here I say when buckin' a headwind become even more determined, don't let anger or disappointment consume you, you feel it of course but that's natural. That extra effort in being new or even for those of us who have been around when we face adversity or change just keep going. 

And here is the best part, once we reached our two mile place we turned around and now we have a 50 mph tailwind propelling us home. The first half of the journey was hard but the pathway home was pardon the pun, a breeze.

Comments (11)

Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good afternoon Joe. Gotta know when to hold them and when to fold them! You got it! Enjoy your day

Jan 26, 2019 01:02 PM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

I really appreciate your story - and the lesson for all of us. Congratulations on your solution and in reaching new heights. And yes, turning around and having that headwind become a tailwind is pure joy. 

Jan 26, 2019 01:25 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I'm glad you captured that breeze at the end of your story, Joe.  I have found when I have excess energy and am focused, I want to head for the mountains.  But, when I need tranquility to clear my thoughts, I want to be near the ocean.

Jan 26, 2019 02:42 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Joe, lot of it is also perspective, if you think you are fighting a headwind, well you are right. On the other hand if you are focusing on solutions rather than the problem then the breeze is behind you and helping, Just sayin Endre

Jan 26, 2019 11:07 PM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Joe.

So that's why you haven't posted in a few weeks.  Good to hear you got it all figured out.

Jan 27, 2019 02:40 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Sounds like a tough decision that you handled properly and the outcome was good for all involved.  It's never easy to have something heavy weighing on your mind.

Jan 27, 2019 05:25 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

What a great analogy, Joe, in describing your situation, which clearly was wighing heavily on your mind and business. And I agree with you 100% about how hard it will be for so many entering this business today with little or no experienc in busines, in marketing, in sales, in negotiating, etc.

Jan 27, 2019 06:22 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Joe,
What a great story and lesson. Thanks for sharing, Joe.  We all buck the headwinds of life, don't we? It's how we deal with them that matters. 

Jan 27, 2019 07:25 AM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Sometimes just talking about the situation outloud with a friend or spouse helps, too, because ideas pop up that you might not have thought about otherwise. Just brainstorming, throwing ideas out there until you come upon the perfect solution, which it appears you did.

I completely understand bucking headwinds.

Jan 27, 2019 10:41 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Joe - and perhaps the answer was blowing in the wind. 

Jan 28, 2019 07:37 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks, Joe, for sharing this challenging business experience.

We sold our property management operations for a different reason...a larger company could provide outstanding service at a lower fee.

Jan 31, 2019 02:32 PM

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