Multi-use Mercantile

It was quite the full day with it being the first Friday of the month which is usually the hectic one with extra calls, and many of them today were people looking for a home to rent which has me a bit surprised since it seems this year even those who have the weakest of financial pulses and barely able to sign their names are able to buy homes.

When visiting with a young man this afternoon whom I’d shown about six home to earlier this summer, admitted he was glad he hadn’t purchased due to a number of things going on in his life which included his job which was a little shaky back then. He’s perfectly content where he’s living, and now of the mindset that it would have to be a home that’d really “hit” him hard before he’d pull the trigger to purchase it. I smiled and said, “Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?”

Since he’s thirty-something and knowing him well enough, I gave him my opinion on why so many of our younger crowd are buying, and one of the major incentives, is peer pressure. After thinking a moment, he fully agreed because whenever he’s been in a group of his peers, there’s always someone bragging about their new home along with others chattering about ones they’ve been looking at. I suspected that being one of the driving forces other than it singularly being these ridiculously low interest rates. I’m glad he came to the realization that he’s not financially ready to purchase a home at this time, and if he has to wait a year or two, it won’t bother him in the least.

One of my appointments this afternoon was at a home I have listed which has a tenant in it, and now that we have it under contract, there were several repairs the appraiser pointed out which needed to be addressed and corrected prior to closing. I managed to find a reputable contractor who had time to look at the problem early this afternoon, so I called the tenant and he said he’d be there to let us in. Well, when I arrived, the doors were locked and “supposedly” nobody home. I tried to call the tenant on my cell phone, and of course he wouldn’t pick up. You can rest assured I was seething over his having lied to me, as well as being embarrassed over having wasted that contractors time.

My first call when arriving back at my office was to the seller who was also angry over today’s wasted time. The next call I made was to the attorney representing the seller, just to alert him of the most likely future problems we’re going to have with evicting that naughty tenant. Unfortunately, the tenant doesn’t realize that particular home will get vacated one way or another, and if it has to go to court, it’ll be just one more ding in the court records, and you can rest assured, nearly all rental agencies check those records while reviewing rental applications. Yes, there still are those out there with their heads buried in the sand and haven’t a clue when it comes to how sophisticated online searches have grown.

I sure had my share of “robot” calls today, and I think I’ll be ready to dance in the streets when our government puts a stop to all this nonsense. Both my office and cell phones were getting one or two every hour. The voices of those robots are sounding all the more like real people, and I’m wondering how much more development is needed before we’ll have robot callers sounding like one of our relatives. Have you ever wondered if they’re now trying to mimic our voices whenever we get a call and answering more than once, but never getting a voice response? For the strangest of reasons, I keep getting a creepy “feeling” whenever that happens, my thinking that is exactly what they’re doing. If I didn’t have a business to run, you can be certain I wouldn’t even be answering calls coming from unknown numbers. One of my clients recently said, “If they’re not in my favorites, I don’t bother picking up.”

While driving past the outdoor farmer’s market in the City parking lot on the corner of N. Delaware and 1st St. NE, I noticed all the more vendors out selling produce in stalls. Now that most of the hot crops are ripening, there’ll be all the many more until our first hard frost arrives. I’m still of the belief there has to be a large enough building in our Downtown which would be able house even more vendors. I’m sure they’d be willing to pay more for permanent indoor kiosks which they’d rent on a seasonal basis, and when the weather gets cold, those kiosks could be rented to people selling arts and crafts, canned goods, and specialty items like quilts, rag rugs, and handmade materials. It would actually be something like what they used to do in Southbridge Mall on a regular basis, but since that mall is in the throes of death, it would be pointless to try and have something in that cursed structure. I still believe the best bet would be to convert the Marshall and Swift complex into a multi-use mercantile establishment for North Iowa’s budding entrepreneurs which would afford them enough room for expansion.

Our national statistics are saying brick and mortar stores all over our Country are closing at a faster pace, and those business owners pretty much throwing in their towels instead of making adjustments in the way in which they serve our general public. I’m of the belief there’ll be a turnabout in the very near future where especially our younger crowd will no longer be interested in buying online things which could be found locally. Because I do listen to what our younger crowd has to say, I’m finding their mindsets being the very ones who’d pay more for locally-owned and area produced. Our educated young are going to be the king makers and king breakers in our world of business during this decade because I can already see signs of it on the horizon. I’m not placing any bets on companies like Amazon, Walmart, and Target taking anymore market share than they already have, while in time, their share will have noticeably contracted to the negative side before it’s all over. With that said, I’ll be encouraging all the more of our local businesses to get themselves re-tooled so they’ll be able can catch hold of this fresh new wave of local commerce.

Tonight’s one-liner is: He who has not the spirit of this age, has all the misery of it.

Joe Chodur

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