Take an Election Year Media Diet

Misleading news headlines and content can lead your real estate business astray and waste your mental energy with fear and waste your time with misdirection.

Today I'm talking about diets. Not a fun word! However, we all need to go on a media diet right now and be very careful about what we are looking at, reading, listening to, watching on TV and consuming from the internet. I'm telling you, right now, we need to go on a media diet because not all the media that you are watching and listening to is healthy or good for you.

Just like how too much sugar isn't good for your body, too much fat is no good - too much news that is incorrect or misleading in its reporting is not good. I'm going to give you two great examples from today's media that illustrate exactly what I mean.

Today in the media, first thing, early morning after I finish my Hour of Power, an article shows up in my news feed that is talking about how interest rates are potentially going to hit ten-percent. So, one news outlet releases that story and within half-an-hour I see two more. Fifteen minutes later and I get my first emails and phone calls from concerned real estate agents.

You have to understand that we are in the middle of a media-fueled election year. It's a BIG election year. There's lots of news being created about this election. You cannot go anywhere without hearing either side-of-the-fence whining and complaining about each other. Now, the challenge of that is that housing is a big deal. So, there is talk about housing and how if you elect this person or that person it will change our interest rates or housing affordability.

Here's the reality. If you read something and you do not follow-up yourself and do the research to find out where the information is coming from and how accurate it is, then the problem is that you are not going to know the truth about that information. You're not going to know that it is inaccurate and you are going to live fearfully and you won't know for sure what is really going on.

Here's my second example. Recently there was another article that was published which said, "Home sales in this area have plummeted!" Obviously, this kind of headline is going to worry people. They are going to wonder why sales are down. What's the truth? Well, yes, sales volume in that area are down because there is no inventory to sell. If you don't have inventory, you don't have sales.

However, the truth missing from this article was that the area was actually experiencing robust sales with the inventory available. The article completely overlooked the area's rate of absorption. If you have five donuts to sell and you sell all five, that's not bad business, that is a 100% absorption rate. That means that sales are robust and may even exceed availability – not plummeting. What is important is absorption: how quickly is the market absorbing the product that comes onto the market. This is why you must look further than just the headlines and know your market.

I am telling everyone right now, put yourself on a media diet. Really think about things like where you get your information and who do you trust? You should have some trustworthy sources. For example: If I want to know something about new construction, I get my information from the National Association of Home Builders, Eye on Housing. It is a fantastic research-based resource. If you want to know something about real estate, talk to your local association and participate in it.

The Census Bureau, Department of Labor, and Department of Energy have tons of incredible information to help guide your sense of the market. I often say, if I was stuck on a desert island and could only take one resource with me, give me the Census Bureau! Get past the headlines and get yourself the facts to ground your knowledge, that's where you need to be.

By Denise Lones CSP, CMP, M.I.R.M.
The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones has over three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development and more, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.