The Real Early Look

Bob Pudlock

Bob Pudlock


From the Gulf Stream

April 23, 2023

“The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.“

F. Scott Fitzgerald

As a real estate professional, it’s been challenging to maintain a high performance mindset with the opinions and analysis that flood our social media feeds and inboxes all…day…long.

Wading through the “noise” is essential though, especially for those who aspire to greatness working in the real estate ecosystem.

It’s even more critical now, as we move deeper into quarterly earnings season for publicly traded companies in consumer finance, real estate and the tech companies tied to the space.

Don’t fret though.  Help is on the way.

Today’s Real Early Look is focused on attaching to the productive and detaching from the non-productive.

What follows is a simple, but not always easy, way to stay attached and focused on your personal strategic plan.

For agents, leaders, managers and founders, gaining some control of these techniques will allow you to “pay it forward” to other team members.

If you’re feeling the weight of all the “noise” as a leader, imagine how each of your teammates feels?

Practice detachment & attachment

I’m just sittin’ here
Watchin’ the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer ridin’ on the merry-go-rounds
I just had to let it go
I just had to let it go
I just had to let it go

John Lennon – Watching the Wheels
April 23, 2023 The Real Early Look 
image of water droplets - attachment and detachment

Practicing detachment can help you remain objective and reduce your emotional reactions to negative or even positive news.

On Wall Street, practicing detachment leaves an investor or trader less inclined to be “triggered” by an earnings surprise, a massive change in mortgage applications or an I-buyer going under.

Closer to home, a real estate agent or a business development manager for a Real Estate technology company can practice detachment and stay on their game even if their broker or VP of Sales loses control of theirs.

The knee jerk reaction for most is to allow the news of the moment or a tweet to impact their daily grind.

John Lennon would tell us to just watch the wheels go by.

He’d say, no need to act on what you just read or heard – just watch the wheels go by.

The thing is though, if you read the rest of the lyrics to Watching the Wheels, John wasn’t looking to do much more than observe.  

That’s not going to work if you’re trying to make your mark on the real estate world.

It’s not enough to just sit still, detach and watch the wheels go by.

You have to press forward with your plan.  Attack.

That’s why addiction experts will tell you it’s not enough to “stop thinking about cigarettes” or “detach from your thoughts of drinking”.

As John Lennon’s friend said to him, “Don’t you miss the big time, boy? You’re no longer on the ball.

They were right too.

See….. one set of song lyrics.

Two perspectives.

Both right and wrong in their own way.

As Mike DelPrete, a real estate tech strategic and data-driven analyst would say, “context matters.”

Your job then, is this.

When you’re triggered and moved off your game plan, something has to be inserted into your behavior, thoughts AND actions, that replaces the unwanted thoughts.

This is where the practice of attachment to your strategic plan becomes that much more critical.

The more “attached” you are to executing YOUR plan the less likely you can be swayed by external news or triggers.

On the flip side, the more attached you get to your Twitter feed and the flood of news, opinions and analysis, the more detached you get from your personal to-do list.

This exercise is played out minute to minute, second to second by many.

That’s why the solution – ATTACH to your plan, DETACH from the noise – is easy, yet difficult to master.

Finding objective real estate industry analysis

Joe Dirt: Well, I see you got those snakes and sparklers.

But where’s the good stuff man?

Kicking Wing: Good stuff?

This is the good stuff, snakes and sparklers.

Joe Dirt, 2001
April 23, 2023 The Real Early Look 
image of data analysts

Good, clean objective perspective is hard to come by.

Eric Finnigan covers the building products sector for John Burns Research and Consulting.

He published a thorough and informative post-mortem on the Home Depot earnings call a couple weeks back.

The report becomes all the more readable now after the dust of short-term Wall Street trading strategies have settled and volatility around the report date has lowered.

Eric’s report provides a wealth of easy-to-understand insights that can be useful to anyone interested who works within real estate.

Because of the sheer size and diverse sources of Home Depot’s revenue buckets, Eric points out the earnings call and the data that goes along with it can help us forecast what the rest of the year may bring.

May…is the key word. 

Not will.

As you read, look for signs Eric falls on one side of a bias or another.

It’s hard to pick up if it exists at all. 

That’s the sign of good analysis and a good analyst.

Another good person to follow in the real estate technology and proptech space is the previously mentioned Mike DelPrete.

Mike preaches what he practices(and vice versa) when it comes to attachment and detachment.

He attaches to data to form his actions, behavior and reporting.

When confronted with a strong whiff of “noise” or unvalidated opinion, Mike instinctively detaches from the moment and attaches to scraping and compiling relevant data.

This is his first step towards getting to the truth.

Mike doesn’t just sit there. He doesn’t just watch the wheels go by.

He attaches to what he knows brings him closer to the truth; for him, and data analytics professionals like Eric, it’s the data, the reports, the numbers and the real-time data they’re looking at, attaching to.

While no one has the answers to the future in real estate, the people you want to seek out are the ones who apply a consistent, objective rigor to their research.

The ones who don’t jump from opinion to opinion with no sense of rigor or discipline.

They attach to the things that matter, for them and their clients.

The insight and perspective of a good analyst, if they stay detached from bias and financial incentives, is more reliable during states of flux than others. Especially now.

And the better YOU get at detaching from the noise …. and attaching to the action steps in YOUR strategy, you too become someone who can be relied on during difficult times.

It’s not just good enough to find others who are beacons during a stormy time.

As a leader and top performer, YOU need to take steps to be better as well. 

People are counting on you.

The Real Early Look Accountability exercise

Image is used with permission from the author in title line. The image is used in The Real Early Look blog posts at Gulf Stream Growth The Real Early Look April 17, 2023

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And then commit to the following.

When you wake up, commit to detaching from negative, non-productive thoughts as they arise during the day.

Write down that commitment on a piece of paper.

Block off 15 minutes midday and 15 minutes max at the end of your evening.

Ask yourself the following questions – answer honestly, without judgement.

Once the exercise is over, move on free and clear.

Did I let negative emotions and thoughts control my actions?

If no,

What helped me stay detached from negativity today?

If yes,

What triggered these negative emotions and thoughts?

How can I work on detaching myself from them in the future?

Did I prioritize and stick to my plan for the day?

If no,

What distracted me from my plan?

How can I refocus my efforts for the rest of the day?

If yes,

What strategies did I use to stay on track with my plan?

How can I continue to implement them in the future?

Did I approach challenges with a growth mindset?

If no,

What limiting beliefs or fixed mindset thoughts held me back?

How can I reframe my mindset to be more growth-oriented?

If yes,

What strengths did I leverage to approach challenges with a growth mindset?

How can I continue to cultivate this approach?

The Real Early Look To do list

Attach to what matters now, today, in the moment.

Detach from anything that gets you off your game.

Read Eric Finnigan’s Home Depot report if you haven’t already.

Subscribe to The Real Early Look and share it with your peers or team.

Reply in the comments how you do with the exercise.

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