For centuries, historians have debated whether the American Revolution was driven more by ideas or economics. I’m fully in the “ideas” camp, but it would be disingenuous to believe that an economic crisis doesn’t lead to grandiose ideas.
Currently, real estate prices are climbing at unprecedented rates. More companies are focusing on consumer experiences and behavior than ever before. We’re experiencing record-low mortgage rates and loose credit standards, but as was the case in 1762, something isn’t right. What happens if the other shoe drops? What are the grandiose ideas that will survive the times, win the day and lead the future, never mind the revolution?
In 2008, Tim Arango wrote an article comparing the housing bubbles of that time with the American Revolution. He explains that Benjamin Franklin, upon returning to America after five years in London, was stunned by the 3x rise in real estate prices. The argument was that some historians believe the Revolution was sparked by a boom-bust economic cycle not unlike what many are experiencing and/or predicting now.
Understand that people were living lavishly after the French and Indian War. Shortly thereafter, credit tightened, money stopped flowing so freely, people lost their homes and land for failure to pay, the colonies’ population was growing much faster than in Britain, and housing that was once affordable was now inflating. Then, the British enacted the Stamp Act, which is widely considered the “trigger” for revolution.
Still, the prevailing thought was that “a confluence of nasty economic circumstances” gave way to grandiose ideas around what America could and should be: a capitalist society with individual, inalienable rights. It was grandiose by any stretch of the imagination. So, what is the parallel now—and what can we learn from our nation’s humble beginnings?
1. It is unwise to underestimate the social experience connected to economic situations, whether booming or busting.
2. Great ideas are seldom comfortable, initially misunderstood and rarely considered “sensible.”
3. Americans are resilient and determined. Historically, every event that created economic instability or uncertainty gave rise to grandiose ideas, innovations, efficiencies, growth and progress.
As real estate professionals, there has never been a better time to engage with your relationships, spheres of influence, databases and people you can create a “fence” around for the purpose of future growth. Now is the time to plan for additional revenue stream opportunities by thinking beyond mortgage, title, warranty and insurance partnerships.
Learn more about how we at MooveGuru help agents and brokerages, absolutely free, maintain better relationships and create better social and transactional experiences while providing new revenue streams that serve a brokerage’s agents and customers. MooveGuru is proud to be an American company working toward innovative ideas to help agents help their customers achieve the American Dream.
Frank Chimento is executive vice president of Revenue and Business Development at MooveGuru and has been helping agents and brokerages for more than 20 years.