I just finished reading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and I’m beginning to see how we got into this turbulent real estate market that we are in. For at least ten years real estate skeptics kept preaching that we were in a real estate bubble and that anyone who was looking to buy a home was CRAZY. Meanwhile, the market held strong and people kept buying homes and prices kept going up. At some point however the preaching of the real estate naysayers caught on and all of a sudden the media caught on, and then prices started tanking and buyers ran for the hills. If you read Gladwell’s book this pheonomenom is explained as the Tipping Point where the words and influence of some (Gladwell categorizes these few as the connectors, mavens, and sales people) causes an epidemic that spreads just like the flu, a fashion trend, or even the crime rate. I find Gladwell’s point of view to be quite profound and I thought to myself as I finished the book, why couldn’t I be one of those few that causes a real estate Tipping Point to go the other way. So, that’s what I’m going to set out to do. I am owner of eight real estate offices and I think the first key to start a new Tipping Point trend is to educate agents about how to start this trend. The first key area that all of us should look at is with the mode in which we are advertising real estate that’s on the market. What’s really crazy if you think about it is that we spend millions and millions of dollars on paper advertising to show the world all the inventory we have. After reading The Tipping Point, I think this is a HUGE waste of resources. What we need to realize is that the people who read newspapers are the same people who think this is the WORST time to buy a house. Just the fact that they read the newspapers indicates that they subscribe to what the media has to say about the housing market. By us loading the real estate section with our inventory we feed the media hype that the market is terrible and that there is too much inventory. HERE IS MY IDEA AFTER READING THE TIPPING POINT…. We need to re-educate those that read newspapers. Let’s collectively take all of our FOR SALE inventory out of the paper because anyone that reads the papers believes the market stinks… instead let’s fill the newspapers with our advertisements of success stories about buyers who just bought their first home, or families who were able to up-size or downsize into a better situation. In The Tipping Point Gladwell points out that the word you’re trying to spread as an epidemic must be STICKY… it’s sticky if there is a compelling reason for people to read it and pass it on. Therefore, let’s not just load the papers up with pictures of SOLD properties where people just turn the page… let’s fill the real estate advertising columns with photos of buyers and their realtors in front of their new homes with a small success story from that buyer. People love reality… that’s why reality shows are sticky… so let’s make our new wave of paper advertising sticky by showing the nay-sayers (those that believe, read, and subscribe to media periodicals) that there are millions of buyer success stories because it is truly a GREAT time to buy a home. That’s my 2 cents.