Sunday, March 22, 2009


My children used to watch a movie when they were small with some sort of an acronym that went something like ROUS. It was a very popular movie cartoon that featured "Rodents Of Unusual Size". That is about all I remember of it. Those children are all in thier 30's now and their Dad is soon to turn 63.

I am now making a living as a real estate broker. I just entered into my 7th year and have had a modicum of success. At one time Tallahassee had a real estate agent population of somewhere around 2500 agents. If you do the math, that makes one agent for every 20 households in Tallahassee. That number has dwindled down to less than 1000 with our new economy.

I remember another acronym that someone once quoted to me. It was NUTIE. I don't know if you pronounce that with a long or short U . It stands for Never Underestimate The Importance of Experience.

The years since I was in my 30's have flown by as any sextogenerian will tell you. I remember when I turned 50 yoa a reality set in on me. I was not young anymore. I also came to realize that when you turn 50, in the workplace you almost become invisible. People don't include you in dinner plans, outings, team meetings, etc. You don't get the notice you once did nor the acclaim. The J is suddenly gone from your jump shot. You don't have the moves on the dance floor you used to have. What happened to me? I got promoted to management after 20 years of being a sales rep.

I remember one thing that I said during my interview. I referenced a book I had read called Iacocca. It was a biography written about Lee Iacocca the mastermind of the Chrysler resurgence. I quoted him on the subject of age. He said that there was one anomaly that existed in the auto business that really bothered him. When he was at Ford the UAW had negotiated a package that allowed you to retire after 25 years of service almost at full pay and benefits. So he said what would happen is that you would start someone 25-30 yoa and after they had become journeymen in their service they suddenly got up and walked out the door. There was all this experience evaporating at Ford. The person would retire and get a part time job and play golf, travel, landscape their yard, etc. It was nice for the person, but it was foregoing a valuable resource for Ford.

Just as an employee had seen it all and knew the business inside and out, they walked away. He said that was a drain on their capital that was always worrisome to him.

I believe that is applicable in all trades and professions. It is the old gray-beards that are the valuable resource in the worker pool in any organization. They have seen it all. They have faced good times and challenging times. They do not react from the endocrine system. They react from the bedrock of experience.

In this relatively new business I am in I see a lot of sorority girls and fraternity boys turned realtor. They look good on billboards, websites and business cards. They are invited to all the parties and the team meetings because they are are just so darned good looking.

My advice to you, and I believe Iacocca would tell you the same, is get the experience to walk by your side. Choose an agent that has some battle scars in place. Retain the executive who has a broad base of experience in the business world. Someone who has had to make decisions that really counted heavily. Your best friend may be one of those sorority girls or fraternity boys turned real estate agent. In the most important purchase you will ever make go with the professional that has been to war and has the experience. You will be glad you did.

NUTIE. Never Underestimate The Importance of Experience.

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1 comment:

Terah said...

yeah!!! i can leave comments on your blog now! i love this acronym! i think it is applicable in all aspects of life! superbly penned! speaking of penned...
how is your book coming along? how's mrs nancy and the rest of your bunch? hope ya'll have a great easter!