When looking at the calendar today, I was very surprised to find that Valentine’s Days is on the same day as Ash Wednesday, and if you remember me mentioning several days ago, Easter Sunday falls on the 1st of April which is April Fool’s Day. Now that’s what I call a real coincidence. Seems we’re finding all the more creepy and sometimes curious happenstances in today’s world. I hope it’s not some sort of omen warning us that the days and months ahead are going to be any more turbulent.
Most of my free time today was spent finishing up on my yearly accounting, and certainly glad to be over with it for another year. Once again, I was reminded of a few snide comments made to me over the years about how cheap and easy it is to run a real estate office. After reviewing all of last year’s expenses, I dare say those same people would have jaw-drops if ever having seen them. And of course, most have no idea how many hours in a week an active full-time agent racks up over the course of a year. Since Realtors don’t charge by the hour, there’ve been a few times when working with buyers where I’d say after walking away from the closing table of the homes they purchased, I’d dare not begin counting the number of hours spent with them for fear I’d be in the negative. Ok maybe to be on the positive side, we’ll go with $2.00 an hour without counting mileage. Again, I’m not complaining, but rather being perfectly frank about having my chosen profession to that of being a Realtor.
Just to see what’s available in today’s market in North Iowa, I went into my MLS program and did a few price range searches. Just as I’d suspected, there’s definitely a real shortage of homes in key price ranges. I also noticed of late that there are all the more rental barons purchasing lower priced homes. Now if the stock market continues to be as volatile as it has been, we’ll be seeing people taking cash out of their portfolios and investing in safer bets like real estate. I’m still surprised some of our rental barons don’t let loose of their better properties in these times because they’d fetch a pretty good return on equity for them. Just remember, there’s a great difference between being needy and greedy. As my dear mother would say, “For some, enough is never enough.”, and believe me, I know the names of those “never enough” people living in our midst.
About a week ago, I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some crackers so to have something to munch on during these cold days. On the shelf with all the other boxes and brands, I found one called “Annie’s” that spoke about being all natural with all kinds of folksy down-home sayings on it, so I figured I give them a try.
When I got back to the office and opened the box for a taste, I wasn’t the least bit impressed considering they were supposed to be all natural and made by a woman who started that company out of her kitchen, or so it appeared. Over these days, I finally forced myself to finish them, and when looking closer at the finer print on the box, I found that it was packaged in California. Of course curious me went online to do a little digging.
After spending about ten minutes of crawling around their website, I found written in a very inconspicuous area, “General Mills”. It appears that company sold out to corporate, and General Mills was clever enough to keep their folksy branding. Now I know why those crackers tasted like every other cracker I’ve eaten.
After seeing that, I’m now all the more wary of food items that are being touted as “all natural”. When thinking about it, I’m wondering just how regulated and inspected foods we’re buying really are. You can imagine all the baiting and switching that companies have opportunities to do without some “all natural” inspector looking over their shoulders? And believe me, there’s a whole lot more money to be made when selling something being marketed as “All Natural”. It makes me just a wee bit angry just thinking about how many millions of Americans are being duped by all those many company’s false advertisement. Naughty, naughty monkeys!
Along with false advertising and fake news, we now have cloaked branding. What next?