After a while we can see in the Dark
About one year ago I sent out a newsletter called " who turned off the lights " and an old associate of mine called Michael Carpenter called me shortly after we posted this letter on the web and told me keep doing this. This is positive thinking and people want to see these kind of newsletters. Now Michael and I go way back, back to the times that life was simple I was in my early Thirties just married to Carina celebrated the birth of our first child Nina Lena and proud owner of a recently started company called Prime Properties. Completely ready to conquer the world and probably as cocky as shit.
In my memory life was very simple and to be honest at that time all we worried about was the € 1.000 we needed at the end of the month to pay all the salaries. Every time a new client came in to inquire about properties for sale I would ask them, how did you hear about us and sometimes the answer would be, oh I saw your add in the Financial Times that’s odd I would think I can not remember advertising there so after a while I went in search of this paper. Little did I know that this add only appeared at weekends so it took me a while to find it. But one day there it was, Prime Properties International, Luxury Real Estate in the prestigious Algarve with an English phone and fax number, yep at that time we where still using the fax. And off course I called and started a conversation. So you are the bugger that steals my clients was the first reaction I got from Michael Carpenter and I told him, Yes indeed me, thank you very much. After about ten minutes over the phone we came to the conclusion that we had no other choice than to work together and so we did for many successful years, attending many property exhibitions in London at this time this way of marketing was only starting, having a lot of fun, a lot of success and to be honest making good money. Michael retired a few years back for the simple reason that he was ready and wanted to do other things, but from time to time we talk and the truth is that he was the one that pushed me to put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and start BS´ing again. So that’s almost one page full with very little but I like this story and the massage of positive and forward thinking therefore Michael, thanks a lot for all in the past and already for the future and we will meet again, hopefully soon.
Now back to the point of, ''after a while we can see in the dark.'' If you walk into a dark space the first reaction you have is that you feel like you are walking into a wall, you stop feel disorientated and automatically put your hands forward to try and touch something. Now it is my feeling that from this last financial hiccup called, the greatest recession, I think we should start using the word depression again. I am not sure why we ever stopped using this word because it caused the same feelings. Stop and grab hold of something don’t move and shut your eyes tightly until somebody tells you to open them again.
And here lies some of the problem, we are all waiting for somebody to tell us that all is good and dandy again and we can go outside and play. We completely forgot that our eyes automatically adjust to the dark and make us see better, not good but better. Life is the same we have too play the cards that we have been dealt and get on with it. Stop moaning and groaning and looking over our shoulders, look forward. OK I can hear some of you think that’s easy for him to say he is happy to be here, and believe me I am, but the reality is, that’s life and it’s only for the living. A wise man once said, you get born with nothing if you die with a debt you made a profit on life.
In our market which is still Real Estate and all that is related to this in the greater Almancil area the reality got slightly confusing, it’s almost like wartime, but instead of hearing the shout, run for the hills its run from the hills. At this moment what sells are the urbanisations and with that only the quality ones that offer quality, services, organisation and not to forget security and with this I do not only mean investment security. Investment security and personal security are going hand in hand at the moment. At this moment we are experiencing a serious slow down where most of the property outside of the well known developments are concerned. But if you start looking deeper you will find that the local Government or Camara’s are also not helping at all instead of improving the infrastructures that lead to the better known Tourist /Investment areas the streets are starting to look like a newly ploughed corn field with a bad imitation of route 66 on the side. You find better maintained streets looking at reports about Beirut on Sky news. OK I admit we have some great looking roundabouts, some with an Olive tree in the middle, others with pebbles and even one with an old machine, but never one with a good looking garden. Great but I do not really care I want to be able to drive through Almancil without a getting a flat tyre. The Civil Servants need to look up the meaning of the word Basic Services, and whilst they are at it also the meaning of the word Civil Servant both of these words seem to be lost in translation everywhere.
But that’s enough of that in reality I do not like complaining because for me all bad situations have a sunny side. For example a lot of the people that work for me like to say, Oh my Times are bad and I respond bad, bad where? you still make the same money at the end of the month however when you go to a restaurant now you will get better service than before, because they all want you as a client again. All shops are selling their products as cheap as they can there are special offers all over the place. You can even buy a car on instalments without any interest. So stop complaining and enjoy it.
Hey stop it, it looks like you are complaining again. Back to the reason for this letter I am sure that the future will be bright as long as we believe it will be and put our best efforts into making it bright. Its time to join forces and make the best of it. There will always be work horses, and then there are show horses, and then there are some ponies. We all have to do what we have to do and should do it the best we can.
Have a brilliant 2010 and remember thinking about it does not make it happen, just go for it.
Pedro van Riet