Caution: Road work ahead

I don't know about your area, but it seems that just about every road I've traveled lately has some sort of construction going on.  Even when I try to avoid the cone zones, I end up finding another road with work being done to it.

Snarled traffic, late appointments, increased accidents, and road rage all seem to be components of the price we pay for improved infrastructure. It is the classic two-evils scenario:

a) We dread driving on roads littered with bone-jarring and wheel-bending potholes or inadequate capacity; or b) we hate the inevitable inconveniences that road construction and repairs create.

One morning on my way to the office, I started thinking (which usually results in a blog post). What if the universe is trying to tell me something by calling my attention to the road construction signs I'm seeing? Here's what I've come up with, and I hope you find it helpful as you continue “down the road."

Navigating traffic

One of the first responses to the road work sign is annoyance. Inevitably road work translates as "delay." In the U.S., delays just aren't acceptable. It's why we have fast food, self-service, drive-up windows, call ahead seating, etc. All in all, we are left with two choices. We can either wait out the delay and continue along the familiar path, or take an alternate route to reach the desired destination. Really, either one is okay, it just depends on how much time we're willing to spend getting there. 

You've probably heard the saying, “Our lessons in life come from the journey, not the destination." If we lock-in on the same route (or routine) day after day, the only way scenery changes is if someone else alters the view alongside the road. Conversely, by choosing a different route (or routine), the scenery becomes substantially more varied, interesting, entertaining, and even educational.

See what's out there

When training rookies, I encourage them to drive a different route to the office each day to stay abreast of changes in their preferred service areas that aren't visible in the MLS or on Facebook. For Sale By Owner signs, moving trucks, garage sales, remodeling trucks, painters, roofers, and the like are all external cues that change is imminent and some follow-up may be required.

Changing your route/routine also may reveal new opportunities that otherwise remain hidden from view. After all, as Robert Frost so eloquently described his encounter with a road work sign in his poem The Road Not Taken: "I took the [road] less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."

The next time you see a "road work ahead" sign, rather than pounding your steering wheel or cursing the delay, consider the opportunity to see something new!

Stay tuned for Part II:  Are you on the road or in a rut?

Chris Hardy is a Broker Associate for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Fort Collins, Colorado. In 2011 he was named Realtor of the Year by the Fort Collins Board of Realtors.

You can send your feedback to Chris at chris.hardy@coloradohomes.com, and you can visit his website by logging on to www.chrishardyrealtor.com.