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The media world has changed in a very fundamental way in the past five years. In the old paradigm, the gatekeepers held the keys to the kingdom. Publishers and editors in print, program directors in radio, and producers on television got to decide what the rest of us read, listened to and watched. There was a bottleneck on information in media, and unless you had great contacts, or got very lucky, you were going to be ignored.

Then came social media. Now, the gatekeepers only hold the keys to part of the kingdom, and it’s not the part that is expanding faster than the universe. This new reality is a massive opportunity for us in the real estate industry to push back against a force that is harming our market, our economy and our country.

Gary Vaynerchuk, the famed social media pioneer, author of Crush It and founder of Wine Library TV, said it best. When speaking to an audience in New York, he likened the opportunity in media today to everyone in the audience hopping on busses and taking the short ride to Yankee Stadium, walking out onto the field and taking batting practice. “Most of us wouldn’t get a hit, some would get a few, but someone might start slamming line drives and home runs. That person would get a contract with the Yankees.”

In other words, it’s no longer up to the scouts, college coaches and team recruiters to decide who gets to step up to the plate. Everyone gets to try out for the team.

The analogy to media, particularly real estate in the media, is apropos. We all have the opportunity to speak our mind now, share our wisdom about the housing market (which is in short supply in the media), and play a role in pushing back against the mindless negativity that prevails in the mainstream. We must have a mission, lots of passion, and the discipline to stick with it for as long as it takes to make an impact.

This is important because the country is full of people who have innate and intuitive confidence in the American housing market; but that confidence is being eroded every day.

The angel on their shoulder is telling them, “Stop worrying so much. This is housing in America. People like living here, and they want to live indoors. Demand is strong. This crisis is isolated, explainable and temporary. Better times are coming.” The angel is their inner voice—their gut instinct.

But it is competing with a devil on the other shoulder, saying, “Double dip! Housing meltdown! Freefall! Collapse!” You know who I’m talking about.

We need to break that tie. Support the message our consumer public hears inside. Reinforce that housing is resilient and back it up with facts, figures, graphics and a take-no-prisoners persistence.

If you want to see your social-media following explode, become an optimistic market analyst in your little piece of heaven and fight the good fight. You are on the side of the angels.

Greg Rand is CEO of OwnAmerica.com. For more information, visit www.ownamerica.com.

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