Thursday, 1 June 2006

Pondering a Name Change

Hi, my name is Garrick.

It’s a good name. One I’m happy with – now. As a kid, it was a frustrating name. Relatively long, unfamiliar, and without an easy nickname. Though, in the end, those attributes don’t really matter. Persistence does. Continual usage over decades made me more comfortable with my name and by extension, everyone else in the world.

Wait, not everyone else.

For there’s no way more than 30% of Americans have heard of me. Even though, I’m the “garrick” over at Google.

If I changed my name to say, “Mark”. Would more people have heard of me? Well, yes and no. More people are probably comfortable and familiar with “Mark” – and more Marks exist in the world, but they’re all different than me. So, despite more people knowing my name, fewer would actually know me. For all the people the knew me as “Garrick” would be seriously confused. So, by changing my name won’t increase the number of people that know me – but sticking with it will.

Thankfully, in chapter 6 of Freakonomics Steven and Stephen confirm a name is no indication of success, let alone popularity.

Sunday, 5 March 2006

Real Estate Agents and Dodo Birds

Steven and Stephen, the dynamic duo behind Freaknomics have a bit on Real Estate Agents being added to the Endangered Species list in the New York Times.

Nothing new to anyone with a little understanding of the real estate market and how the internet has dissolved both travel agents and stock brokers. The more conversations I have about the real estate industry, the more I see how ripe for change it is. Nice to see the issue in the NYT.

Let’s say it takes 5 years of owning a home to make it worth the closing costs. Now, let’s say the home sales slow just a tad. Just enough to push out the timeframe to 7 years. As the NYT article reminds us, 7 years ago stock brokers and travel agents had yet to be replaced by online tools.

Now just might be the last opportunity to sell or buy a home with an agent.