In Times of Change

by Enrique (Henry) Saldana
 
In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully
equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. –Eric Hoffer
 
While working on the launching of the new Multiple Listing Service in the area, we have had the opportunity of speaking to several realtors, developers and other real estate-related practitioners, getting their opinions with respect to the MLS project. Not only that, but we have had first-hand experience in the day-to-day vicissitudes in the lives of local realtors and developers, and heard of many unpleasant stories from property-purchasing clients in Mexico.
 
My ample experience of 23+ years in the mortgage and real estate business combined, and of having experienced and seen big companies, overnight success realtors, and many real estate practitioners come and go in the industry, both now in Mexico and before in the USA, give me a wider view of the real estate industry direction in our area.  
 
The lack of legislation or existence of a regulatory board that oversees and simplifies the real estate process for both the real estate practitioner and the client, makes it a "survival of the fittest" fearful, and sometimes terrifying, experience altogether.
 
What is more appalling is the attitude there is towards change by some of those realtors: that maintaining the "status quo" for real estate practitioners is perhaps better than trying to institute change for the benefit of all, the real estate practitioner and the client.
 
This reminded me of a story I read in a book a while back. I would like to share it here with you now, and it goes like this …
 
In the early 1900s, milkmen in England would deliver bottles of milk to the door of each country home. At that time the bottles had no cap, and two different species of British garden songbirds—the titmouse and the red robin—learned to siphon the sweet, rich cream from the top. Then, between the two World Wars, dairy distributors began placing aluminum seals on the bottles. Cut off from the rich, abundant food source, individual birds—both robins and titmice—occasionally figured out how to pierce the seals. By the early 1950s the entire titmouse population in the United Kingdom—almost a million birds—had learned how to pierce the seals. However, although individual robins had been as innovative in breaking the seals as individual titmice, the red robins as a group never regained access to the cream. The knowledge never passed from the individual innovators who had learned to pierce the milk bottle seals to the rest of the species.

Scientists were curious as to why. This difference in learning behavior could not be attributed to the birds' abilities to communicate. As songbirds, both the titmice and the red robins had the same wide range of communication. Their social organizations, however, differed greatly. Red robins are territorial birds. A male robin will not allow another male to enter its territory. When threatened, the robin sends a warning as if to say, "Keep the hell out of here." They communicate in an antagonistic manner, with fixed boundaries they do not cross.

Titmice, by contrast, are a social species. They live in couples in the spring, until they have reared their young. By early summer, when the young titmice are flying and feeding on their own, the birds move from garden to garden in flocks of 8 to 10. These flocks seem to remain intact, moving together around the countryside. The conclusion of the scientists who studied this case: birds that flock seem to learn faster. They increase their chances to survive and evolve more quickly.

Moral: "Even if you develop a high-caliber system of innovation, you will still not have institutional change until you develop the ability to 'flock.' "

Meaning that while the organizational support we receive for becoming better decision-makers matters in all stages of our decision-making process, nowhere does it take a bigger meaning than in LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE.

The old excuse of "BUT THIS IS MEXICO," that I continue to hear from time to time whenever, I, a Mexican-born individual, try to present a different perspective on a given situation, is just TOO OLD and OUTDATED.

As it is scientifically said, CHANGE is the only CONSTANT in life, and we cannot CHANGE that! The world itself is on a rotating/spinning process. It is not static; it is constantly moving, and so is LIFE.

The above story could apply to every business industry, or even every walk of life, but to put it in perspective, I would like to relate it to the real estate industry in Mexico.

In simple terms, it means that we can choose to be a Red Robin or a