Thursday, July 06, 2006

The World is Flat

Postings have been a little skimpy lately... but guess what? I've been doing real estate stuff.

According to author/scholar/New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, the world is flat... that is the globe is synergy of commerce, competition and communication. It seems there is no longer far off lands around the globe, but just a new level playing field. Friedman asks the question; has this flattening come too fast for politcal systems, cultures and traditions to adjust?

This term, "the world is flat", has been used in a recent Tribune column by leading financial analysts to describe the global investment community... the global economy seems to be in lock step and there is less that diversification and hedging can protect us from. If you invest, you are along for the ride.

So a colleague the other day over holiday celebrations suggested that this real estate market is flat... "the world is flat" he said. This can mean many things to describe what is going on these days. Although desirable properties in good locations sell well when priced right, the flattening comes into place when a seller can no longer expect leaps and bounds of appreciation form year to year.

It also means that over zealous buyers and investors can not turn and "flip" their properties in a short time for large profit margins. Gloom and doom for some, normal to most.

But there is another interpretation of the flattening real estate market in Chicago. One that is more in step with Thomas Friedman's revolutionary term"the word is flat". To be a Realtor in Chicago for the coming ages, one has to know more neighborhoods, possess technology skills in marketing and responsiveness, and change their model of business to the consumer of information.

So, politcal systems may not deal with the flattening of the world, but can your Realtor deal with the revolutionary flattening of the Chicago Real estate market?

BTW, things have been crazy coming out of this last Independence Day long weekend. No flatness in my office!

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