Who Do You Want in The Driver's Seat?

   Hello 2016!  What sort of resolutions, if any, have you made for yourself this year?  Are these resolutions based on what you really want for yourself or do they come from what society wants you to do or be?  Think about that one….deep within yourself, what do you want?  What do you hear or see in the media on a day-to-day basis that may be driving your decisions? 

I believe that the media COUNTS on you to be a tad gullible and highly impressionable, and let’s face it, as children and teenagers we were!  We wanted the toy from the commercial on tv, we wanted to look like the models on the magazine covers, we believed that certain foods were bad for us if the news told us so….the list of beliefs forged from media is quite lengthy I’d say!  But as adults we must now consider the sources and wisely choose what we believe in this world.  That is getting harder and harder with social media now bombarding us with “truths” on top of traditional media feeds like newspapers and the 6 o’clock news.  I used to watch a lot of news broadcasting…but I’ve resolved to change that.  I have found that more often than not it is clearly staged and scripted to tell us exactly what “they” want us to hear at the time.  A perfect balance of fear based news paired with a perfectly placed story of an abandoned puppy finding its forever home. 

The news is leading us to believe that we have no control over the “tough” year that will unfold ahead of us…I do not believe that to be truth.  It is in my nature to question that….how could it be possible that I have no control over my 2016?  It’s just inevitable? I should just buckle up, put my head down and just ride it out?  Hope for “them” to straighten everything out by next year?  I don’t think so…if we stop watching the news, stop taking everything “they” predict and say as truth, we may realize how much control we as the public actually have.  Who earns an income and in turn chooses what they do with it?  We do!  Yes, the government takes their taxes, that is reality…but what we do with our money is our choice.  Yes, the world is changing; yes we may have to think outside the box this year….but it doesn’t have to be as scary as the media would have you believe.  We’re not teenagers anymore, we have a responsibility to ourselves, our children and our communities to think for ourselves and make our own informed decisions. 

So, who’s driving the market?  I’ll stick with the real estate market since that’s what I know….consumers are in the driver’s seat, that means YOU!  You, as a consumer, set the prices by selling and purchasing real estate.  The current market prices are the prices a consumer is willing to pay for a property at a given time, if the market slows down it’s because the consumer has decided to slow it down…what matters is… on what basis does the consumer make these decisions?  How do you decide?  What factors come into play when you consider buying or selling real estate?  Have you decided that it is not a good time to invest in real estate because the news has told you so, or you’re afraid because of what you’ve read on facebook?  The economy is so multi-layered, layers we don’t even realize exist (careful now…don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist)  but honestly, if we start to consider our sources I think we will find that the news will lose some credibility.  Researching who owns the broadcasting channels you watch your nightly news on is just one way to find out how biased and scripted our news may be.

Let’s step away from the news and say you’re influenced more by family and/or friends.  The world has changed, that is certain, so to take the advice of your parents without question, seems slightly irresponsible to me because when our parents made the decisions that we are faced with now, they were living in a very different world.  Perhaps they still believe the same beliefs because that’s just what they know…and let’s face it a lot of people are very afraid of change, but I feel we have an obligation to accept the changing world, become as unbiasedly informed as we can, and make decisions based on what is best for us, and our families in today’s world. 

Back to real estate for a second, yes the market is slower right now…that affects each individual very differently.  We are more than just an oil based community, there are still people relocating to and from Rocky Mountain House fairly consistently, I still have clients who want to sell their homes, I still have clients shopping for their dream home….there are still investors looking for revenue property…not a lot has changed in my business.  For some, this slow in the economy has put the brakes on moving plans, but for some it is the perfect time.  First time home buyers or revenue property buyers are finding great prices on listed homes and gaining a solid, safe investment during this downturn…now that’s some positive news!  All I can suggest is to gather as much information as you can from the various LOCAL experts we are so lucky to have in this community.. no one knows our community better than someone who lives it right?  Your financial institution, your investment broker, your realtor, town and county councillors…..that is “getting it right from the horse’s mouth”  not from some economic analyst living in Toronto that you saw on the news last night. 

I can only speak for myself of course, and I’ll let you know, one of my resolutions is not necessarily to shut out the news all together but watch with open eyes, question what I’m told a little more, push the envelope just a little bit…because it is my responsibility to myself and to my family to be as informed as possible when making any decisions in my life…I also don’t think it would hurt one bit to focus on our community during this time, shop locally as much as I can, support the small business, support all business here in Rocky….if we all considered supporting each other a little more we might be able to create ourselves some pretty protective air bags for the community while we’re traveling the “rough road” of 2016;)

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