benjamin-franklin-art-151x300For the last half of a decade, the real estate industry has taken blow after blow. Through grace, we have recovered as an industry and that has a profound impact on homeowners and REALTORS® alike. The number of families losing their home to foreclosure has reset to reasonable levels.

WAV Group facilitated nearly two-dozen strategic plans for some of our industry’s most significant market makers. In many cases, boards of directors are thinking pretty big. They are taking on difficult policy issues including syndication, data licensing, and data management. If these organizations accomplish half of what they have set as goals, the industry will be stronger ever. That is good for organized real estate. There is an appetite for agents, brokers, MLSs, Associations, and franchises to work together in unprecedented ways.

As you embark on your plan for 2014, think big.

In 1732, a 26 year-old man wrote an interesting book called Poor Richard’s Almanac. His name was Ben, making the title of the book awkward. It had a lot of great sayings like “A penny saved is a penny earned,” and “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” They are still words to live by. This fellow profited from the publication of the book financially, becoming a wealthy colonist who could have retired at the age of 42. He could easily have rested on his fortune, but he aspired for more. His goals reached beyond himself and out to the emergence of a nation.

Ben went to work in his tinker lab where he discovered electricity, invented the lightning rod, the iron stove, bifocals, and the glass harmonica. Bet you did not know about the harmonica. His theories of meteorology, heat absorption, electricity and ocean currents are still revered today. Some speculate that Ben may have been an alien, brought to earth to help us evolve.

Since science is a bit of a bore, Ben founded the first insurance company, fire department, public hospital, public library, night patrol and first militia. He even became the first postmaster and civil defense chief for the French and Indian War. To make all of this work more effectively, he created the association of Colonies and put together the Albany Conference. Not a bad day’s work for a retired fellow.

He tried to negotiate some better rights from the British Crown for the Colonies. The Brits did not care to listen to Ben, so he went to the French with a draft of an idea he had for a new nation founded on liberty. The French kinda liked Ben more than their European pals, so they agreed to help him by supporting a revolution to break away from the crown of England.  That worked out really well for the Colonists, and a new nation was born under the organization of the Constitution of the United States. Even today, his draft of the Constitution is viewed as a nice piece of work. What a blog post that would have made.

As you sip your holiday beverages this season and watch the year draw to close, raise your glass to Ben Franklin. Just think, you too can do amazing things in your life. Let the bell of midnight on New Years Eve be the start to your amazing adventure to contribute to the cause. Long live liberty!