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2010-08-12 18:46:51

The Oldest Profession

This article isn’t about what you thought - those of you with dirty minds. But I do love to tweak readers and make you think and take notice when I write an article.

A month or so ago, I wrote an article that over 30,000 Realtors® read, and to which I had over 300 personal responses. Half of those who responded hoped that I would die a slow and painful death, and the other half thought that I was spot on. The article examined the question: will our profession CEASE TO EXIST in the next 10 years?
I guaranteed that it will cease to exist as we know it today. Just as the wagon trains gave way to the Iron Horse trains to move people across our country, the Iron Horse gave way to the airplanes. Everything changes and if you don’t change with the times, you get left behind.

With all that said, I can’t think of a better profession in the world to be in, than Real Estate. It is right up there as one of the oldest professions in the world, and the industry will always exist in some form.

Just think about it for a moment. There is a finite amount of land on this third rock from the sun, and the population of the world is doubling every few years. It is a really simple law, known as supply and demand.

Real Estate has nowhere to go but up in value in the coming years and centuries, and the people involved in the industry will become more and more valuable to the process. Even if that process no longer uses Realtors® as we know them today, someone or some system will be involved in the transfer of the greatest wealth on this planet.

I guarantee that 30 years from now, where I live on the water in Florida, when someone buys the same piece of property for $30 million, they will say “What do you mean you only paid a $1 million for that property?”

I was in our county’s Chamber of Commerce Leadership class in 2000. Everyone buried something in a time capsule that can’t be opened until 2050. In the time capsule I placed a Real Estate magazine with homes for sale. Even with our current meltdown over the last four years, the future buyers out there will be shocked at what they could have bought waterfront property for in 2000.

Our industry is a rough and tumble industry that few survive to make into a lifetime career. I’m one of those Realtors®. It’s the only career I have ever had. I absolutely love this industry. I love the people in it, and I especially love that every single day of every single week is a brand new challenge.

My son is now learning the business, and as long as he is adaptable, he will survive and have a wonderful long term career in one of the most exciting industries in this country.
I would love in 30 years to sell a waterfront home for $30 million. Hopefully our commission structure will still be the same. So for all of you who are struggling right now - look up, give thanks and remember why you entered one of the oldest professions on this third rock from the sun.

James A. Crumbaugh III is CEO of Allison James Estates and Homes, a National Internet Based Real Estate Brokerage. You may reach Mr. Crumbaugh at

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