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Developing residential land vs. suburban sprawl: Developers talk about expansion in central PA

People Are People
By William M. Gladstone, CCIM, SIOR

People are people. Nothing has changed that in all the years we have been a civilized society. Even with all the problems we read about that abound as you look at Pennsylvania and beyond, including the Harrisburg incinerator issue, the School District’s problems, nuclear enrichment in Iran, the oil spill in the Gulf and weather related disasters worldwide, people are still people!  In that regard people have their own set of problems causing them to narrow their focus closer to home, paying attention to what is happening to them, their families and their business communities on a continuous basis.

I would venture to say there are communities worldwide in which problem solving is prioritized in this manner. People narrow their focus to their immediate surroundings, especially in tough economic times and pay close attention to what is going on around them first before paying attention to what is going on worldwide. There is nothing wrong with that. As a professional, I do the same thing; I try to resolve my problems and those in my community with immediate input and active involvement. The world issues come after that and usually in the form of donations as opposed to active involvement. For me, listing, selling and leasing real estate is the same; a way of resolving issues for my clients. It is a means to an end.

If I list, sell and lease real estate, will it solve a problem? Is it a problem that needs to be solved in order for people to move on in a personal or professional capacity? Rather than attempting to list, sell or lease real estate, I prefer to provide a service - problem solving. If people ask me what my business is, I tell them I provide solutions to problems. My product happens to be real estate, but I am in a service business first. That is not any different than someone selling insurance, providing legal services, or tax accounting services. What we all have in common is we provide a service that can resolve problems, although our products are all different.
If we look at our business models in that light, our businesses will not only succeed in these difficult economic times but will give us distinct socially responsible opportunities to resolve problems presented daily that we may not have during less burdensome economies. These opportunities are of enormous importance for our businesses. We solve problems by providing solutions through our businesses and as a result of the higher level of service we provide, our businesses grow.

I am not sure we will get there, for as many theories that can be proposed such as this one, there are people who choose to follow different models with which they are most comfortable. I remain convinced that if all of us take the “service approach”, we would all remain profitably employed, earning respectable incomes based on the services we provide and growing our businesses through social responsibility. As that takes place on local levels, one by one, the level of intensity of the problems which we currently experience, locally or internationally, will reduce themselves. It is inevitable!

I firmly believe this is the way to approach business, today and into the future. This methodology can help make major strides in solving issues, the answers from which will benefit us all. And all this through a very simple mechanism – people simply being people!

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