Fear is Your Friend, Panic is Your Enemy

With the stock market plunging , I thought it would be appropriate to repost (with modification) an article that I first wrote back in March 2008.  It is even more applicable today.

One of my martial arts instructors sent me the following quote a while back:

Fear is your friend, panic is your enemy. Fear will help you get to your goal faster.  Panic will either shut you down or send you down an inappropriate course of action for the situation.  Unfortunately ‘fear’ has a bad rap.  It has been confused with panic in many self-defense programs, and the resulting goal is to train for ‘no fear’, this is a mistake! Fear is a motivational message.  Even under frightening conditions, a person with enough experience and the proper training can act and accomplish complex processes.

There’s a lot of fear out there right now among homebuyers, homesellers, and people sitting on the fence deciding what to do in the current real estate market. Some REALTORS are panicking too.  It is not a time for panic.  It’s a time for REALTORS to learn all they can, digest and analyze that information, and present it in a calm and counseling way to their clients.  Mortgage meltdown, liquidity crisis, Bear Stearns collapse, emergency interest rate drops, foreclosures, short sales, media reports, stock market roller coaster, Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, AIG, Fannie/Freddie, $700 Billion bailout — all these things weigh on the psyche of those pondering the real estate market.

Dont' Panic about the real estate marketDon’t let your fear turn into panic! Fear is healthy.  It forces you to get educated.  Fear motivates you to find knowledgeable advisors, trusted friends, and to avoid scary situations like walking down a dark alley alone.  Fear puts you on guard and may entice you to learn a new skill.  Fear prevents you from doing stupid things.

Danger lurking in the shadowsWe do live in a sometimes scary world. My wife Deborah motivated, encouraged, begged and pleaded with me to learn martial arts to increase our combined confidence when walking down the streets.  Almost 3 years of study has made me aware of my environment, confident that I can protect both of us should any compromising situation arise.  We are both more secure because I have diligently studied martial arts (in my case Krav Maga and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu).  Recently, I even got Deborah to sign up and she now attends martial arts with me.

Fear prevents panic.  Fear prevents irrational thought and actions.  As the quote cautions, don’t confuse fear with panic.

Explain to your clients that it is not necessary to go it alone when navigating the sometimes scary and confusing complex world of real estate. Real estate contracts in Virginia are legal documents with 20 or more pages of small and detailed legal wording.  Buying or selling a home requires knowledge of a whole new vocabulary of jargon — from appraisals and ARMs to warranties, zoning ordinances, and everything in between.

Your clients work full-time jobs.  They don’t need the added job of struggling on their own to buy or sell a home and learn about the market.  THAT’S OUR JOB! To prevent panic, we need to get out their and do our jobs.

Don’t let fear turn into panic for you or your clients.  Protect yourself.  Now’s the time for REALTORS to really enter the ring and prove their worth with calm & cool reasoning and analysis.

Next time you see me, remember to ask, and I’ll even show you how to throw a mean right hook.

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4 Responses to Fear is Your Friend, Panic is Your Enemy

  1. Beth says:

    Appreciate the message you put forth with this — esp. enjoy learning about another real estate person who has practiced Krav. I’ve been at it for 6 months (in CO) and LOVE it.

  2. Bob Carney says:

    Nice article Brian.

    Warren Buffets advice mentioned earlier today (and probable before) Buy when everyone is fearful of the market and sell when everyone is in frenzy. (or something like that)

    Must be pretty good advice…it seems to work for him.

    Fear and Panic what a great explanation of it!!!

  3. Rick says:

    Fear is good if it produces calm, calculated and smart action into the right direction. Financial markets are a big casino that are necessary to keep real estate values high, they will be fixed with bailouts. So, the artificially propped up high stock market values and real estate prices go hand in hand.

  4. Ki says:

    Interesting article. I think panic and a lack of fear or risk are two sides of the same coin. They both produce irrational behavior. A good bit of fear is helpful to make a calculated decision based on what is happening in the market.

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