I met a guy named Curt the other day he told me that he and his wife just celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary last Thanksgiving. He seemed so proud and had a smile on his face from ear to ear as he told me about the life he has shared with his wife. I have only been married 10 years so I felt compelled to ask him the one question that I am sure everyone wants to know, “How did you make it 55 years in marriage?” Curt looked at me straight in the eyes and mentioned one word…compromise. I wish it was more than that. I was hoping for some secret recipe, some insight I hadn’t heard before, or some sexy, savvy solution known only to a few, but the answer was…compromise. So feeling completely unfulfilled, I asked him if he could give me a good example. He said he was getting to ready to move out of his hometown and went to say goodbye to his girl. As he was walking out the door to move away, she stopped him and said, “Don’t leave.” They discussed marriage, but she was a strict Catholic and he was Protestant. She told him she would marry him, but SHE MUST be married in the Catholic Church. He said, “I’ll marry you in a Catholic Church, but our kids must be raised Protestant.” She told him he had a deal and they have been compromising for the last 55 years.
I guess the point is simple – it doesn’t matter if we’re talking about marriage, deciding on a vacation spot, what to have for dinner, or even selling real estate. It seems that in life, the best road to travel is compromise. Curt’s story reminded me that if we are going to make progress this year to sell more homes, close more deals, and put buyers and sellers together, we might want to consider the word compromise as this year’s mantra. Let’s call this year’s theme, “Vote Compromise in 2011.” Maybe if we adopt this philosophy as sellers, buyers, and real estate agents, we’ll make it a banner year in sales. After all, it has to be better than the alternative of the all-out slug fest, win-at-all-costs mentality that so many have had over the last two years. Some of you may be saying, “But Dan, we have been compromising and that’s the only reason we’ve gotten some deals done at all this past year.” That may be true, but I can tell you firsthand that some people have still not gotten the message and until we all do, I think we are going to continue to bump along the bottom this year with a few peaks and a few valleys to sum up 2011.
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