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

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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
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EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
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Bill direct: 513-520-5305     
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Ambassador
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite Warren County Ohio
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com

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

December 26, 2010 10:24 PM
Rainmaker
639,175
Gene Mundt
Mortgage Lender - Chicago/Chicagoland Mortgages
www.genemundt.com

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

March 27, 2014 04:22 PM
Ambassador
1,362,188
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite Warren County Ohio
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com

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 :)

March 27, 2014 06:02 PM
Rainmaker
639,175
Gene Mundt
Mortgage Lender - Chicago/Chicagoland Mortgages
www.genemundt.com

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

March 27, 2014 07:19 PM
Ambassador
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite Warren County Ohio
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com

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! 

March 27, 2014 07:33 PM
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Liz and Bill Spear

RE/MAX Elite Warren County Ohio
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REALTORS(R) serving Warren County Ohio and surrounding areas. Observing and reporting on real estate and related topics to help your quality of life! And if you're asking where is Warren County Ohio? We fill the space between Cincinnati and Dayton. Perfect for enjoying the bigger cities without living in them. Places like Mason, Lebanon, Springboro, Waynesville, Franklin and more. Plus lots of rural properties available too. We work with both residential homes buyers and sellers.