Lessons from Gettysburg - What Mattered in 1863 Still Matters Today!

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

Lessons from Gettysburg - What Mattered in 1863 Still Matters Today!!View from Little Round Top

Yesterday on the 150th anniversary of South Carolina seceding from the Union, we visited Gettysburg National Battlefield.  Both events were pivotal in making America what it is today!

After touring the museum and taking a guided bus tour of the Gettysburg battlefield, we took away many key elements from the tour that matter just as much today as in 1863, and hold value in both our real estate professions and personal lives.

  • Location, location, location. Having the right location gives you tactical advantage on the battlefield AND when trying to sell your home.
  • Training.  It matters.  The average Civil War soldier needed 20 to 30 seconds to reload their rifle.  Training cuts precious seconds off that time and changed tactics and response times.  Knowing how to do our real estate jobs requires training, and that training helps us make needed adjustments.
  • Experience matters.  Training isn't enough by itself.  A general in the field might misinterpret positioning and tactical advantages due to lack of actual experience.  Sitting in a classroom isn't a substitute for performance in the field.  Just reading about short sales doesn't make you an "expert".  Performing sales is where we gain needed expertise.  We all start somewhere, but the agent who's done it before should be able to do it even better the next time.
  • Communication is key.  There were numerous examples during the battle where instructions were misunderstood or not adequate.  In real estate, communication is key to keeping our clients informed, and keeping deals together.  Sometimes the right phone call placed at the right moment can prevent a major catastrophe.Gettysburg battlefield
  • Know your enemy/competition.  Many of the Civil War generals trained at West Point, had served together, knew each other well and knew what to expect.  We need to know how our competition operates too.  If we know the what/how they gain market share, we may be able to effectively campaign and win back the share.
  • Hold the high ground.  On the battlefield holding the high ground was key.  In large part the Union won because they controlled Little Round Top, Cemetery Ridge and Cemetery Hill.  If you can establish yourself on the high ground as a leading agent, it's critical to maintain that position or others will knock you off your position.
  • Things out of your control happen.  Just because you didn't plan for it doesn't mean it won't occur.  Generals Lee and Meade never intended to have a key battle fought at Gettysburg.  A chance encounter of lower level troops triggered a cascade of events that led to this crossroads of the war.  In real estate, our lives are often altered by unexpected events.  Our ability to react and plan on the fly is often critical to our success.
  • Sometimes the perceived "reality" isn't reality.  The Confederate troops thought the Day 3 bombardment had disabled the Union artillery prior to Pickett's Charge.  What they didn't know was the Union had stopped firing to conserve ammunition.  That assumption's error was paid for heavily during that last attempt at victory on the field.  We often think we know what is going on in our market, with a particular transaction, what someone else is thinking.  Those assumptions can be wrong and fatal to our success if we're not correct.
  • Speed matters.  The Union troops beat the Confederate troops to Little Round Top by about 10 minutes.  That difference gave the Union the high ground that shaped the remainder of the battle.  We have to be able to rapidly gain advantages presented to us, to make use of any opportunities to gain our business edge. 


We hope you find our lessons learned helpful!

Learning from the past prevents mistakes in the future!
Liz and Bill aka BLiz

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REALTORS(S) Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth & William Spear
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Liz direct:  513-265-3004
Bill direct: 513-520-5305     
Fax: 866-302-8418

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Rainmaker
852,497
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY
Broker-Owner

Wartime lessons are sad enough, sadder still that these lessons were learned when brothers were killing brothers. 

Never again. 

Dec 21, 2010 08:25 PM #31
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Roger, Cool...the nice thing about chasing someone is that even if we don't catch them, we catch everyone else that isn't playing to full potential!

Phil, Agreed.  Never again.  Saw plenty of NY monuments on the battlefield.  The tour guide made a great point yesterday about neighbors serving with neighbors.  Each casualty meant even more, and deserting...well you couldn't go back home.

Dec 21, 2010 08:29 PM #32
Rainmaker
1,231,046
Al & Peggy Cunningham Brokers, Brampton Ontario Homes For Sale 905-450-5500
RE/MAX Realty Services Inc. - Brampton, ON

Great analogy BLiz! We like think communication is the big key and maintaining the high ground. Always stay on the high road! 

Dec 21, 2010 08:59 PM #33
Rainmaker
495,586
Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528
Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956 - New City, NY
Real Estate Salesperson

BLiz, your analogy and the history lesson were both super!  You guys just never rest!  Enjoy your vacation and your holidays.

Dec 21, 2010 09:16 PM #34
Rainmaker
693,747
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX Solutions - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate

Seems the same  tactics still work today.  I think if we studied the past more, our futures would be more revealing.  Have a very Merry Christmas.

Dec 21, 2010 09:28 PM #35
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Al & Peggy, Keeping the ethical position has got to be the highest requirement for all of us.

Leah, Thanks!  Having some fun with family and vacation and mixing in a little business to keep things moving.

Kay, Certainly.   There's so much we can learn.  I'd rather make new mistakes than repeat old ones.  Merry Christmas to you too!

Dec 21, 2010 09:49 PM #36
Rainer
230,050
Karen Bernetti
Staging4Smooth Transitions Connecticut Home Staging - Southington, CT

Thanks for the history AND real estate lessons.  It really is like fighting a war out there, isn't it?  Great anaology! 

Dec 21, 2010 10:18 PM #37
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Karen, At least our business consequences aren't nearly as severe, but the fundamentals of success are common for both endeavors.

Dec 21, 2010 10:46 PM #38
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Paul Henderson
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
I always put my clients first in any transaction!

I always get goose bumps when I walk on historic battlefields...
Hoping you and yours have a grand holiday,
Paul

Dec 21, 2010 11:17 PM #39
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Paul, I can relate to that feeling.  When you go someplace that thousands died in a single day, you can't help but feel the sadness of the event.  Best holiday wishes to you and yours also!

Dec 22, 2010 06:44 AM #40
Rainmaker
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David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor & Property Manager, Fairfield County, Ct.

Liz & bill, great way to gather the troops and get ready for 2011. Nothing like knowing the local history and inter-wining it with today's life. Its so true you do learn from the past. Merry Christmas

Dec 22, 2010 08:27 AM #41
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

David, It's a trip we'd been meaning to make for quite awhile and not ever making.  With this year's Christmas visit to the area finally made a point of getting up there!  Another visit is needed to see the rest more thoroughly.  Merry Christmas to you too!

Dec 22, 2010 08:53 AM #42
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Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Well that's just as good as getting to see him in person:-).  Have a wonderful Christmas.

Dec 23, 2010 08:34 AM #43
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Charita, If you ever get the chance to tour in person, it's well worth the time.  The tourist crowd is obviously WAY down this time of year!

Dec 23, 2010 08:43 AM #44
Rainmaker
230,079
Ken Barker Realtor® GRI, E-Pro Certified
Dilbect Real Estate - Burbank, CA

Bliz - Since everyone has already said some of the things I would have said. I will share that we don't have a historic option here in So Cal except we have an October weekend re-enactment. I am sure it is not as good your tour guide though.

I could not have tied the Real Estate in the way you did though.Wonderful job.

Dec 26, 2010 09:05 PM #45
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Ken, Thanks!  I've had some practice at this over the years :)

Dec 26, 2010 10:24 PM #46
Rainmaker
722,762
Gene Mundt, Chicago-area Mortgage Lender - www.genemundt.com
NMLS #216987 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 37 yrs experience

Bill:  Finally got a chance to read your post .. been a busy few days.  It lives up to my expectations!  Again, superb.

We took our boys to Gettysburg.  John, our youngest, attended Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA for his Bachelor's (in History, of course).  While visiting him one weekend, we drove over to Gettysburg.  Needless to say, we went over it with a fine tooth comb.  Not sure if you knew, but Stonewall Jackson was a professor at VMI leading up to the War.  When John went out to VMI for pre-entrance prior to becoming a "Rat", he was housed in the room that was Jackson's classroom.  Rather amazing thing for one awestruck young man.

Have to tell you I enjoy your posts .. all of them.  But your historical posts and tie-ins are my favorites.  Keep 'em coming!

Gene

Mar 27, 2014 04:22 PM #47
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Gene, Thanks very much!  Wasn't aware the Stonewall Jackson had been a prof at VMI!  Another historical nugget!  No surprise to me that John chose history for a major!  In high school is was one of my favorite classes, be it American or World History.  I rarely read a full book nowadays, but if I do it's likely to be something like one of McCullough's histories.   Gettysburg was amazing, and very glad I took the guided bus tour to give me an understanding of what I was seeing.  So much there you could spend days going from monument to monument.  I'm going to have to find some more cool places to visit to tie in :)

Mar 27, 2014 06:02 PM #48
Rainmaker
722,762
Gene Mundt, Chicago-area Mortgage Lender - www.genemundt.com
NMLS #216987 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 37 yrs experience

Bill:  Our family may be a bit prejudice .. but we came to love Virginia Military and visiting there.  One heckuva an education .. one great experience for our son.  It's in a beautiful area of the Blue Ridge Mountains and a very scenic drive.  I'd recommend the trip ... not a terribly long one from your place ... during the fall football season.  Start the trip with the Cadet's Parade ... watch them, the band, and bagpipes march down to the football field ... and then enjoy the game.  It's fun to watch the "Rats" do push-ups when the "Keydets" score and listen to the shoot off the cannon.  History everywhere ... the VMI museum .. the Chapel ... Washington & Lee right next door with the burial spot of Robert E. Lee ... and the New Market battlefield about an hour or so away.   The list goes on ...

I really do think you'd enjoy it ...  

Gene

Mar 27, 2014 07:19 PM #49
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Gene, No doubt, VMI is in beautiful country!  I've always been a big fan of the Shenadough Valley.  VMI experience sounds VERY similar to my Annapolis experience!  P-rades, pushups when the team scores, there's nothing else like it!  And our campus was crowded with history too!  I love how USNA has a great Facebook presence, and I'm betting VMI has the same with all the history integral to the experience.  I've been close by, I drive by New Market when driving from my in-laws in Maryland to visit my parents in West Virginia.  I'll have to see if I can squeeze in a trip on my next pass by! 

Mar 27, 2014 07:33 PM #50
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