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RISMEDIA, September 24, 2009—It has been several years since I’ve read “Winnie the Pooh” stories to my kids, but during the past couple of months, one character frequently comes to mind during conversations with members or friends about their businesses, the economy or life in general. That character is Eeyore the donkey. If you Google search the character, he is described as “intelligent and quiet; keeps to himself; always depressed.” His favorite quote? “Thanks for noticing me.” 

When speaking with a member recently, I asked how his business was going. He related that he was working on six transactions, four of which were done-deals and the other two looking like they would be accepted. Approximate dollar volume for these transactions was slightly over $4 million. I was about to compliment him on the transactions when he said, “Now, I know what you’re thinking and the market is still a mess.” He further related that each transaction is tougher to close, requiring three times as many calls with buyers or sellers asking for the sun and the moon. Heck, I was depressed by the time he was done. Right then, the vision of Eeyore, complete with the dark cloud over his head, popped into mind. 

There is no question that this market is difficult. Transactions do take longer and Realtors probably hear more disheartening stories from customers and clients than just about any profession. But isn’t that what also makes us invaluable to our customers and clients? We listen to them and help them through what may be a difficult time. We also assist them in what may be the largest financial transaction of their lives. Realtors have the opportunity to be a trusted advisor, counselor and confidant. Consumers need our services now more than ever to navigate through these transactions and make the right decisions. 

It is easy to fall into the “Eeyore Syndrome.” Avoid it by seeing the difference you are making for your customers and clients. Also, stay away from the Eeyores you encounter. They will bring you down quicker than you realize. 

Walt Baczkowski is president of the Metropolitan Consolidated Association of REALTORS®. To contact him, please e-mail