Motivational Monday…Back to the Basics

Home Stager

Motivational Monday…Back to the Basics


Many years ago when I staffed companies in Houston there were times when the phone wasn’t ringing. If it was an election year, I could count on a temporary freeze on new hires.

When oil prices were down, it impacted not just oil & gas companies but other businesses as well. There were even times when my contacts in hiring started contacting me for a job! And sometimes, it was just me, or what I was or wasn’t doing.


Fortunately for me, I was trained by the largest staffing company (at the time) in  Houston. An emphasis was placed on procedures and the basics of recruiting and developing a client base of companies. 



My expertise was in getting new clients, which included the major O&G companies as well as smaller independent operators. 


During the best of times, it was all I could do to fill the positions that were open. But when markets shifted or the phone calls slowed down, the one thing I could count on was Going Back to the Basics. 


That meant heading to my Rolodex (yes…it was that long ago) and calling all of my contacts. 

It meant ramping up efforts to learn what I could about every company in Houston or ones that were planning a move here. 


It also meant talking to others in businesses to learn their thoughts on Houston’s economy and what was ahead. 


It meant calling previous applicants to see if they knew anyone who was thinking of making a move. 


The best thing…it always worked!



Whether you’re an agent, lender, home inspector, or not even in real estate, and things begin to slow down, consider going back to the things that got you where you are. 

Pick up the phone

Get out and meet people

Get a mentor

Take a class


Jumpstart what you’re doing by returning to what got you there in the first place.  Tune it up if you need to…assess what may no longer work or what needs tweaking. Update your technology! 

If you miss the beginning, the basics,

 then you are destined to go back and visit the basics.
Buck Brannaman

Getting back to basics is the simplest way
to find calm in the chaos. 

Posted by

Kathy Streib
Retired Home Stager
and Interior Redesign

In Person Consultations in Texas
for Houston & Harris Counties
Virtual Staging Consultations
for all states

Follow My Blog for Practical, Creative,
Easy-to-Do Styling Solutions
Whether You're Selling
or Want to Fall Back in Love
With Your Home

Call or Text

Email Me

About Me
My Blog


Comments (22)

Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Kathy... keeping the basics are part of one's ongoing routine is what keeps the business humming.

Nov 14, 2022 04:41 AM
Kathy Streib

Nina Hollander, Broker i agree. The foundations work for a reason!!

Nov 14, 2022 07:11 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Kathy, for sharing some of your personal experience and advice.

Nov 14, 2022 04:41 AM
Kathy Streib

Roy Kelley thank you and hello to Chef Dolores 

Nov 14, 2022 07:11 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Getting back to the basics will always give a business a much-needed jumpstart that is why it is so important to have solid fundamentals in place.

Nov 14, 2022 04:57 AM
Kathy Streib

I agree Brian England When you begin with a good foundation it's easier to return to the basics. 

Nov 14, 2022 05:39 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Kathy - what you are saying fits in perfectly with my post today.  Part of goal setting or goal review is getting back to basics.

Nov 14, 2022 05:10 AM
Kathy Streib

Grant Schneider I'll head over to your post!  When you have a good foundation, it's a lot easier to handle the bumps in the road. I know that in 2008 , the agents I met who'd been trained well and knew about having procedures in place  were better able to make the adjustment s they needed. 

Nov 14, 2022 05:52 PM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em:

Kathy you are so right.  Get out and meet people is the key.  Have a wonderful Monday and sell a house. Bill 

Nov 14, 2022 05:28 AM
Kathy Streib

Bill Salvatore - East Valley This is especially important with so many people working from home. 

Nov 14, 2022 06:01 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Kathy - this is more evidence that shift continues to happen.   

Nov 14, 2022 05:29 AM
Kathy Streib

Michael Jacobs at least, to me, it seems like a slow shift. 

Nov 14, 2022 06:01 PM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

Keeping the basics in mind is the foundation for success in any industry.  Then being flexible to shift to the existing market is much easier.

Nov 14, 2022 05:40 AM
Kathy Streib

Leanne Smith I totally agree with you. Start with a good foundation. 

Nov 14, 2022 06:03 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Kathy and basics are so important and we al need to remember that at all time.

Nov 14, 2022 08:28 AM
Kathy Streib

Will Hamm I agree. And when the market is slow or down, go back to the basics. 

Nov 14, 2022 06:04 PM
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 Kathy,
The tools of the basics may change (like no more Rolodex), but the premise behind them never does.

Nov 14, 2022 08:57 AM
Kathy Streib

Exactly Carol Williams I remember my 2 big Rolodexes!  

Nov 14, 2022 06:04 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Kathy,

This is great advice.  I, too, worked in the staffing industry and could tell when we were heading into a downturn.  My area of concentration was warehouse and distribution.  To this day, I see the effects of the two-year cycle of elections and how real estate slows down during that time.  For some, it may not be as noticeable because of the seasonal shift, but it is definitely there! 

It is time to get back to basics.  Rick and I have already been talking about how to change up our marketing plan for 2023. 

Nov 14, 2022 09:59 AM
Kathy Streib

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® I loved being in the staffing business. I think the hardest thing for us was to get applicants to go to downtown Houston. 

Nov 14, 2022 06:06 PM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

This is always the case. I often wonder why agents seem to shy away from business because it gets a little hard. Silly really.

Nov 14, 2022 10:02 AM
Kathy Streib

Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty in 2008 I remember meeting agents who came off of the years when all you had to do was show up and the house sold. When the  market shifted to bank-owned and foreclosures, many of them just kept doing what they'd been doing and getting nowhere. 

Nov 14, 2022 06:13 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Kathy we can't go wrong by sticking to what has been proven to work NO MATTER how old and basic it is.

Nov 14, 2022 10:47 AM
Kathy Streib

George Souto the basics have been around for so long for a good reason. 

Nov 14, 2022 06:14 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

I like the story and it is a great example and lesson to all of us when things slow down to keep doing what we know works. Working our relationships.

Nov 14, 2022 12:47 PM
Kathy Streib

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 I think that's where many people make their mistakes. They become so busy with work, that they forget to keep up with their past clients and Sphere of influence. 

Nov 14, 2022 06:16 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I always seem to have little trouble finding the chaos in the calm but hat is a totally different story Kathy 🙂

Nov 14, 2022 02:56 PM
Kathy Streib

Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS you make me laugh!!!! 

Nov 14, 2022 06:17 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Yes, the tried and true work methods that continue to make a difference, especially in a changing/challenging market. I enjoyed today's motivational post, Kathy, thank you for sharing!

Nov 14, 2022 06:15 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

I had to smile at the mention of your rolodex, Kathy.  Interestingly enough, this morning I came across my little recipe box, that had index cards inside with client data.

Nov 14, 2022 07:37 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Kathy, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Nov 14, 2022 07:37 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Kathy you are so right sometimes it is good to go back to basics, funny today I had four calls from someone in England... timing in life I was always on the phone.... no message left... should I call back Hmm not sure if I want to deal with someone who cannot leave a message, Endre

Nov 14, 2022 11:03 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Excellent advice, Kathy. I have no doubt you were well trained. Sometimes I prefer old school methods...they always come in handy.

Nov 17, 2022 07:55 AM
Emily Medvec
eXp Realty LLC - Santa Fe, NM
Broker | Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM

Right on! Some as our industry as shifted from paper to screen communication, we forget there is still a simple way to stay in touch...write a note, make a call etc. IMO back to basics means do something more human! Congrats on the feature!

Nov 18, 2022 04:22 PM