I discovered this stupid term in a magazine I picked up. It accurately described my business in the midst of a significant market resurgence. A Humblebrag is basically “woe is me, I have all this going for me, and that which you undoubtedly covet, well, it’s driving me crazy.” It’s finding a way to try and sound humble while bitching and moaning about a “problem” that is usually a problem of abundance. Put it this way: outside of the first world, the Humblebrag doesn’t get much traction. Here… it’s a status symbol.
Those who read my blogs know my mania for market data, and I have barely touched the numbers for May closings, but I know I had 8 closings out of the 923 last month, and that’s pretty decent. Especially since I had two linked deals blow up and fall apart. I am way up on last year, my most profitable year in the business, and I have still had six deals year to date cancel. Last year, I had only my second ever buyer default. This spring I have had three more, and spent a week in real estate purgatory with a seller on a buyer-side transaction trying to commit a massive amount of fraud. If we helped the guy out and did as he requested, we would have been party to it. Last I checked, they don’t book you for misdemeanors on fraud. What fun. But these are problems of abundance. These are not problems of people not buying homes. These are problems of people standing in the way of a successful closing (and in this case, it was successful. At the absolute 11th hour, the seller relented, and my buyers got an amazing home).
I have three under contract this week already, $1.45 million booked, I’ve worked with four buyers this week already, done two listing appointments and put a listing on the market, and it looks like I will be working on 1-3 more new contracts by next Tuesday. I feel like the walking dead, and it’s only Wednesday night.
The humblebrag: all this harvesting sucks.
I mean, woe is me, right? For five years this market has been down, I experienced the loveliness of a crushing personal debt burden, the stress of being the sole income provider for our family and tireless, fruitless hours filled with non-committal prospects, and now I end up with buyers who have found my videoblog Stat Pack, and like that Hannah is the instigator at large in the downtown, and they called us to buy a big ol’ Old North End foreclosure. One showing. Boom. Done deal. And I end up grouching about the 55 pages of Bank of America addenda that can’t be e-signed and must be physically transported around the city for blue ink signatures. The walking contradiction of having so much business and simultaneously being so resentful of it… that’s both uncomfortable and weird.
In my rare moments of quiet, I have found my spirit resurrecting Kierkegaard, and his famous quote that “life is lived forward, but understood backward.” We belong in the moment, and yet the moment is illusory. We worry, worry, worry about the future, and we do so because we are scarred from our past. I joked to Hannah in November that I was in “squirrel mode” and was gathering as many nuts as I could. My capacity for storing nuts is officially closed. My den has too many nuts and my storage tanks are overflowing so much there is no place to place my head. My goals for the next 12 hours include starting and completing the Stat Pack, getting in a work out, and somewhere in between, sleep, coffee and breakfast. It took writing this blog post to realize how overly ambitious I am with my calendar.
For those with a prayer life, what are you praying for? Last week, in the midst of a pretty awesome drought, the “prayer” was answered, and parts of the city got 4.2 inches of rain. Parts of Chelton were under 4 feet of hail. We got crazy cloud formations on the west side, also known as jack squat. In the midst of all this insane business volume, I’m asking myself, “if I’ve been praying for the levy to break, did I mean break, or just loosen up?”
So I write this blog post as a placeholder: a placeholder for The Stat Pack. It won’t be done for a week. At least. I have another out of town buyer coming in this weekend, and every hour of the next two days scheduled wall-to-wall. The Stat Pack deserves excellence and insight, and correspondingly, right now, it can’t be done. In the midst of “woe is me, here’s my humblebrag” has to be the repentance of “can’t do it”. The biggest lie in real estate is that one person can be all things to all people, and that this is not only possible, but replicable again and again and again. Today is the 13th of the month, and that’s normally when we want the Stat Pack done. For the benefit of the Stat Pack, we’re gunning for the 21st. It’s busy out there.