Know how to Talk Politics in a Crowded Room

“In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.” – Eric Hoffer

 They say never talk politics (or religion) in a crowded room.  These days there are rooms offline and online.  Take Facebook, for example.  That is one crowded room – over 500 million users as of last week.  Contrary to what “they” say, if you’re going to be a successful real estate professional you need to understand politics and you better be able to talk politics in public.

Why?  Because what is going on in your state and in D.C. right now will have a major impact on your business – today, tomorrow and 10 years from now.  The people you deal with in your community will have insight, opinions and predictions that may help you build a better business model.  It is in your best interest to know the issues and be able to talk about them intelligently without offending anyone.

In my state not a day goes by without a story in our major newspaper about SB1070 (today’s headline was Arizona’s U.S Attorney Part of Fight vs. SB1070.)  This is a law passed by our legislature that makes it a state crime to be in this country illegally.  Now whether you agree with this law or not is irrelevant.  If you or a customer are purchasing real estate in Arizona how the passage of this law impacts the housing market is the issue.

Frankly, I’m not nearly as concerned about SB1070 as I am about jobs.   Unemployment figures here mirror the national average of 9.6%.  I’m also watching the market to see how the expiration of the tax credit will affect pricing.  The Associated Press reported today that housing prices are likely to go lower.  This, they claim, is because of the expiration of the tax credit, unemployment and tighter lending restrictions.  And guess who has influence over these things? The President, our congressmen and women and the state governors, top the list.

Will the tax credit be brought back?  When will unemployment numbers start to go down?  Are banks ever going to start lending again?  Is Tiger Woods really going to get divorced?  For answers and updates to three out of the four of these questions I recommend reading your local newspaper first, and then branch out to the national publications.  Read them every day. 

And if you’re looking for dirt on Tiger, or any other celebrity, just visit the magazine stand at your local grocery store.  By the way, it doesn’t hurt to stay up on your celebrity gossip.  It will help you break the ice when socializing in a crowded room.

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