Fly fishing and real estate

I live next to a river. I live there for a number of reasons, but preeminent among them is that I'm an avid fly fisher. I was wading out of the river one evening, enjoying that gorgeous time at the end of the day in early fall when the angle of the sun envelopes everything in a warm amber glow. As I was hanging up my waders and putting away the rest of my gear, I got to thinking about the parallels between fly fishing and sales. 

Okay, maybe it's a little weird that immediately following a meditative session on the river, my mind would turn to work.  I'm beginning to learn to let the creative process churn without me trying to control it, so I just jotted down some notes and let them percolate for awhile. Here's what I came up with.

  1. You can't catch fish if you're sitting on the couch.
  2. Whether the river is running high and fast or low and slow, fish are almost always feeding. You just need to know where the fish hang out and cast your line where they are. You've got to be able to read the water and know where the fish like to hold.
  3. Fish operate on the laws of energy conservation and attraction. Fish only rise if the reward looks attractive and the attractiveness outweighs the energy expenditure to get it.
Fish feed in cycles and key-in on changes to their environment. Successful fly fishers constantly look for subtle changes that alter where fish are holding and what they're feeding on.
  5. Successful fly fishers will use multiple types of flies and presentation techniques to match what the fish are interested in eating.  You need the right equipment, reliable tools, and know how to use them.
  6. The vast majority of fly-fishers prefer top-water fly fishing, yet the majority of what fish eat is sub-surface.  The successful fly-fisher learns to enjoy the rewards of sub-surface fishing. 
  7. When a fish rises to your fly, timing is everything. Raise the rod tip too soon and you jerk the fly from the fish's mouth or you spook them away. Raise the rod tip too late and the fish will refuse the fly and spit it out.
  8. When the water is running fast fish will make choices faster, but the fly has to travel in just the right place. In slower-running water, fish will have more time to inspect the fly, so it must be very attractive, but placement is less critical. Fish will wander longer distances to see what you're offering.
  9. If you can't see your fly or don't have a proper strike indicator, you won't catch as many fish

  10. Success is directly related to how much time your fly is on the water rather than in the air.  You can't catch fish if your fly is in the air.  It needs to be on the water for fish to bite.

If you're not a fly fisher the nuance of how this simile relates to sales may be tough to see. For those of you who enjoy the ancient art of angling, I trust my cleverness is at the very least entertaining. Nonetheless, I hope the parallels of prospecting for clients, marketing homes for sale, the importance of reading the market, adjusting sales strategies, and having appropriate metrics (indicators) of activity helps you re-evaluate your own tactics for improving your "fishing" results!

I wish you all tight lines and happy fishing!

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.