Saturday, October 25, 2008

What if Socrates Sold Real Estate in Ann Arbor?

One of the most common buyer questions I get as a real estate agent, especially from folks moving in from out of the area is: "What is this town, neighborhood, subdivision like?" And: "What is this neighborhoods school like?" Both simple, obvious, and good questions. Now, there are certain real estate laws and rules that preclude an agent from discussing certain aspects of these questions, and we are relegated to directing buyers to such places as the U.S. Census website, school websites, crime statistic websites, etc. So as agents, we are faced with the choice of spitting out a robotic mantra, therefore not being much help, or by tempering comments based on our perceived "read" of our client. But, I digress.

Each time I am asked about what a particular area is "like" I am reminded of the classic story of the Philosopher Socrates. This story is about attitude, but is perfectly applicable to real estate. The bottom line is that the market is what it is. The economy is what it is, but people still need a great place to live their lives and raise their families.

Anyway, the story goes that Socrates was often found just on the outskirts of Athens just greeting total strangers. One day, a stranger came up to him and asked: "I would like to live in your city. What kind of people does it have?"

Socrates replied, "What kind of people are in the city you've come from?"

To which, the man replied, "Oh, they're not very nice. They lie, cheat and steal. That is why I'm moving out."

Socrates, in his wisdom, replied: "It's the same way here. If I were you, I'd keep looking."

A short time later another man came up and asked about the people of Athens. Socrates again asked the man about his own city. The second man replied: "They're wonderful. They always help each other. They're truthful and industrious. I just thought I'd like to see other parts of the world."

Socrates, in his wisdom, replied this time, "It's the same way here. Why don't you go into the city? You'll find it just as you imagine it will be."

When we move to a new place, we bring our attitudes, ideas, and images wherever we go. Your neighborhood, city, job, career, and life will be what you choose to make it to be. Choose to make it all great!


Anonymous said...


A terrific post! Those who come to Ann Arbor will find exactly what they expect to find. To some, it will be a city of great friends - because that is what they expect to find.

We become what we think about.

Thank you for an excellent article!

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