I was once asked where ‘inspiration’ comes from. I thought this to be an interesting question and in struggling with the answer I unearthed a real gem. I very quickly realised that we as human beings are all possessed with the power of inspiration. It’s in everyone of us – we just don’t; can’t; or are discouraged from using it. It’s there all the time, it’s not too far from the surface but in the majority of people it is suppressed.
Me? I’m constantly inspired and that’s not special! So, I asked myself, what is it that brings it out. It was then that the awakening began. Certainly I am inspired and those people who are constantly around me will tell you I launch my creative ideas with vigour. They’ll also tell you I’m constantly in hot water.
You see one thing automatically goes with the other. On one hand I’m an ideas and concepts man, on the other, I’m the subject of ridicule and often derision. And that’s OK. It all makes sense. The average bloke simply wants a quiet life. Why voice your inspiration and get laughed out of school? That’s no fun.
Inspired people, all at least those who ‘let it all hang out’ are the unafraid souls whose ideas, inspirations and new concepts can’t be quelled. Who cares about a little ridicule or controversy, when inspiration is at stake.
The reason most people claim that they are uninspired is because it’s more comfortable that way. No one will laugh, no one will belittle your ideas, no one will question or interrogate you. It’s nice and safe – and the inspiration? We’ll just leave in where it is.
That’s why inspiration is rare, not because it’s extinct but because it’s perceived as self deprecation. To demonstrate, I’m about to go right out there and get myself in trouble just to show you what actually happens.
Let’s talk about the dullest, most unimaginative and incestuous little industry in almost any place in the world – The Real Estate Industry. If you ever need an example of a bunch of characters, who reside at the back, pushing, you’ll find them in this profession. These guys would rather push a piece of string than go out front and drag it. They’ve been doing it the same old way for ever and ever, Amen. If you want to change them, you’ve got about as much chance as Sarah Palin’s got of winning ‘Mastermind’.
Open any page of the newspaper and there you’ll see them all line up in a row, like the houses in the ‘Edward Scissor Hand’ movie and if you look carefully you’ll find a plethora of mug shots, taken during their last stay at Alcatraz. “Yes sir, show my face and that’ll sell a home!” It’s the equivalent of the Class of 99 Year Book, all lined up with their names below. “Oh”, says the unsuspecting prospect, “I must buy my house from that lamentable looking drip – he looks so sad!”
It’s no laughing matter, it’s full on,106 pages of real estate and through it all we have to endure the faces of thousand of reps, whose pixie snaps have them beaming out at us, saying, “Pick Me! Pick Me!”
Now here’s a bit of ‘Inspiration’ Why not consider putting in a picture of the wife and kiddies. For added effect, have then dressed shabbily outside the front of a wrecked home. Make sure the missus doesn’t wear make up and is in the traditional apron with a bag of washing under one arm and your youngest under the other. If that doesn’t tug at the heart strings of your average punter looking for a $400,000 plus home, nothing will. Perhaps the family dog or a pic of you naked on a sheepskin rug, aged 1?
“Don’t be ridiculous”, I hear you say, “Where’s the inspiration in that?” Good question. So here’s the answer.
Your family’s situation? The size of your dog? You on a sheepskin rug? It’s about as useful as your mug shot when it comes to selling a house. Please get it Mr. and Mrs. Real Estate, you are not important in the scheme of things. It’s about a consumer’s needs, wants and desires. You can be as stunning as Brad Pitt, as beautiful as Elle McPherson or as grotesque as ‘The Elephant Man’. No one cares. It’s about the real estate, and happiness, cost, location, design and a thousand other matters but it is not about ‘you’.
So I hope I’ve inspired someone to change. I hope I’ve encourage the industry to take a hold of its marketing strategies and give them a huge shake down. And if I have, try being the first to try something new – go on, I dare you. But be aware, you’ll cop it from the boffins, The ‘Never to Change’ Masters, They’ll let you know what a pillock you are and sadly they’ll try everything they can to dissuade you, because it may mean, God forbid, that they have to become inspired!
We need a fresh look in every industry and we need to ensure we eliminate our egos and work hard at making the customer, client, consumer the hero. That’s inspiration!