Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tetherow has announced that they have 'closed' on 19 sales.

As Bendbusterbilbo would point out, these are houses that aren't built yet.

But even if you take these figures at face value -- which, after the 'sell-outs' at the Plaza and Franklin Crossing is perhaps naive -- I'm not terrible impressed.

Tetherow has been in the works for how many years? Bauhofer and his co-workers from top on down have been swimming the real estate pool for how many years and they've snagged 19 friends and acquaintances and strangers to put down a down payment of some kind? Or just to commit?

What's really involved here? How much money has really changed hands?

As a store owner, I can tell you that sales mean nothing. Profits are all that count.

I have ways of boosting sales in the short run, if I needed to make a statement. For instance, I could call in people who have already committed to buying something from me and get them to all come in on the same week. (I don't do it, because it's a short term boost and there is a danger of getting those people trained to wait for the call.) Or, I have a few guys who I send stuff to automatically every month, and there is a bit of flex as to when I send it. I arrange to send everything off the same week. And so on. Have a couple of deals. Call a couple of customers who have been sniffing at a certain expensive item and offer them a discount. And so on.

In other words, if I needed a press release, "Pegasus sold x dollars worth of stuff this week." I could do it. And it wouldn't mean much.

So the golf developer, Mr.Kidd got the first site? I'm sorry, this looks more like a perk than an actual sale.

How much wink, wink, nudge, nudge is going on? Hey, if you work on our golf course instead of that one in Montana we'll give you your choice of sites and a sweet heart deal? And if you use it a couple of time for vacation and then want to sell, we'll guarantee you a profit?

If you ever open a store or restaurant, one of the charming things that will happen is that your friends and family will come in early and help you out. They may have had their eye on a certain item but never pulled the trigger and there it is in your store and to help you out they buy it. And so on.

It just makes sense to me, if you are talking about projects worth 100's of millions of dollars if they pan out, that a few minimal down payments in escrow wouldn't be hard the finagle. I'd be completely amazed if all 19 'closed' sales are to strangers off the street.

Hey, Joe, I'll put a down payment on one of your homesites if you put a down payment on one of mine. Don't worry down the road, we'll take care of it.

Nothing illegal, as far as I know. I'm not saying that's what's happening, just that if little old me can figure out several ways to 'close' a deal, so can these guys. Probably in ways I haven't even conceived of.


Anonymous said...

As a store owner, I can tell you that sales mean nothing. Profits are all that count.

I'm glad you commented this. I'm a 'cash-accountant' myself, bullshit walks, but deposits talk.

A sale in MY mind hasn't taken place until the FULL amount of purchase has been wired in MY account. That's what I call a 'SALE'.

FYI, yes its already documented that ALL 19 of the home-sites SOLD @ Tetherow were to locals, not a single out-of-state 'buyer' to my knowledge to date.

The IRONY here, and NOTE Tetherow itself wrote the press-release, and they knew if it just said "Tetherow sells lots", that wouldn't cut, e.g. the BULL wouldn't run it as news.

Instead the title is "Tetherow Proves that Bend is resistant to National Real Estate collapse in Homes". Trouble is NO homes sold at tetherow. Doesn't matter, TITLES never mean anything in the BULL, all that ever matters is the last sentence, we know that.

There is in my mind two BIG storys here, one about words, and the other about PR ( public relations ).

In the word biz a 'home sale' or 'closing' is now a wink/nod. A muddy/frozen lot next to a couple 100 yards of artificial turf is now a "HOME"

Then there is this PR ( public relations ) deal, and I have SEEN NOBODY pick it up, buts its obvious that DVA of Bend, had been FIRED in November 17, 2007, and replaced by this new firm LKP ( call 503-295-1918 or visit http://www.leoketel.com/ ). I think this could be the biggest story of the year on Tetherow. Firing your existing PR firm, and getting a NEW one is BIG biz. It means first of all that your current PR firms campaign, completely fucking failed.

Note, it was DVA that GOT "David Kidds" other course in BANDON-OR, online, thus they know what the hell they're doing. Yet, they got replaced for Tetherow. This is some BIG SHIT, and not a mention from ANYONE, ANYPLACE in the BEND BIZ community.

Anonymous said...

This is off-topic but I thought it was interesting -- and surprising -- in light of your discussion of successful businesses. Here's an ingredient for entrepreneurial success: dyslexia. Make any sense to you?

"Tracing Business Acumen to Dyslexia" NY Times Dec 2006

It has long been known that dyslexics are drawn to running their own businesses, where they can get around their weaknesses in reading and writing and play on their strengths. But a new study of entrepreneurs in the United States suggests that dyslexia is much more common among small-business owners than even the experts had thought.

The report, compiled by Julie Logan, a professor of entrepreneurship at the Cass Business School in London, found that more than a third of the entrepreneurs she had surveyed — 35 percent — identified themselves as dyslexic. The study also concluded that dyslexics were more likely than nondyslexics to delegate authority, to excel in oral communication and problem solving and were twice as likely to own two or more businesses.

“We found that dyslexics who succeed had overcome an awful lot in their lives by developing compensatory skills,” Professor Logan said in an interview. “If you tell your friends and acquaintances that you plan to start a business, you’ll hear over and over, ‘It won’t work. It can’t be done.’ But dyslexics are extraordinarily creative about maneuvering their way around problems.”

The study was based on a survey of 139 business owners in a wide range of fields across the United States. Professor Logan called the number who said they were dyslexic “staggering,” and said it was significantly higher than the 20 percent of British entrepreneurs who said they were dyslexic in a poll she conducted in 2001.

She attributed the greater share in the United States to earlier and more effective intervention by American schools to help dyslexic students deal with their learning problems. Approximately 10 percent of Americans are believed to have dyslexia, experts say.

One reason that dyslexics are drawn to entrepreneurship, Professor Logan said, is that strategies they have used since childhood to offset their weaknesses in written communication and organizational ability — identifying trustworthy people and handing over major responsibilities to them — can be applied to businesses.

“The willingness to delegate authority gives them a significant advantage over nondyslexic entrepreneurs, who tend to view their business as their baby and like to be in total control,” she said.

William J. Dennis Jr., senior research fellow at the Research Foundation of the National Federation of Independent Business, a trade group in Washington, said the study’s results “fit into the pattern of what we know about small-business owners.”

“Entrepreneurs are hands-on people who push a minimum of paper, do lots of stuff orally instead of reading and writing, and delegate authority, all of which suggests a high verbal facility,” Mr. Dennis said. “Compare that with corporate managers who read, read, read.”

Indeed, according to Professor Logan, only 1 percent of corporate managers in the United States have dyslexia.

Much has been written about the link between dyslexia and entrepreneurial success. Fortune Magazine, for example, ran a cover story five years ago about dyslexic business leaders, including Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways; Charles R. Schwab, founder of the discount brokerage firm that bears his name; John T. Chambers, chief executive of Cisco; and Paul Orfalea, founder of the Kinko’s copy chain.

Similarly, Rosalie P. Fink, a professor at Lesley College in Cambridge, Mass., wrote a paper in 1998 on 60 highly accomplished people with dyslexia.

But Professor Logan said hers was the first study that she knew of that tried to measure the percentage of entrepreneurs who have dyslexia. Carl Schramm, president of the Kauffman Foundation, which financed the research, agreed. He said the findings were surprising but, he said, there was no previous baseline to measure it against.

Emerson Dickman , president of the International Dyslexia Association in Baltimore and a lawyer in Maywood, N.J., said the study’s findings “just make sense.”

“Individuals who have difficulty reading and writing tend to deploy other strengths,” Mr. Dickman, who has dyslexia, said. “They rely on mentors, and as a result, become very good at reading other people and delegating duties to them. They become adept at using visual strengths to solve problems.”

Mr. Orfalea, 60, who left Kinko’s — now FedEx Kinko’s — seven years ago, and who now dabbles in a hodgepodge of business undertakings, is almost proud of having dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

“I get bored easily, and that is a great motivator,” he said. “I think everybody should have dyslexia and A.D.D.”

He attributes his success to his difficulty with reading and writing because it forced him to master verbal communication.

“I didn’t have a lot of self-confidence as a kid,” he said. “And that is for the good. If you have a healthy dose of rejection in your life, you are going to have to figure out how to do it your way.”

He said his biggest advantage was his realization that because of his many inadequacies, he had to delegate important tasks to subordinates. “My motto is: Anybody else can do anything better than me,” he said.

Danny Kessler, 26, also has dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Mr. Kessler founded Angels with Attitude, which holds seminars for women on self-defense. He is a co-founder of Club E Network (www.clubenetwork.com), which sponsors “networking events,” runs an online chat room for entrepreneurs and produces television shows about them.

Like Mr. Orfalea, he said he had low self-esteem as a child, and now views that as a catapult into the entrepreneurial world. “I told myself I would never be a lawyer or a doctor,” he said. “But I wanted to make a lot of money. And I knew business was the only way I was going to do it.”

In high school, Mr. Kessler said, “I became cool with the teachers. I developed a rapport with them. I was able to convince almost all of them to nudge my grade up just a bit. I adopted a strategy for squeezing through the system.”

As for the importance of entrusting tasks to others, Mr. Kessler says his limitations have endowed him with a “razor sharp” intuition that allows him to ascertain within minutes of meeting people whether he can depend on them and what they would be good at in an organization.

Drew Devitt, 45, who also has dyslexia, said he started Thoughtware Products in college to produce videos for real estate brokers. Today, he runs a successful $9 million company in Aston, Pa., called New Way Air Bearings that makes bearings for precision machine tools.

Asked about mentors, Mr. Devitt ticks off a list, and it is a long one, beginning with his parents, who sold imported bearing materials out of their home.

Indirectly, he confirmed that he gives free rein to his deputies. Asked about the claim on his company’s Web site that it is a “market leader,” he sighed. “That’s not something I would say,” he said. “Actually, it’s baloney. But that’s what our marketing people came up with. You can’t do everything. You have to let people do their job.”

Anonymous said...

You can say the same thing about 'autism' which is basically an insane focus, and no desire to communicate, or need.

In business they used to call this putting your nose to the grind-stone, and keeping it there.

Certainly 'entrepreneurs' aren't NORMAL. They have never have been

Mild 'autism' is a great example of a future entrepreneur, for the same reasons they become frustrated with normal people, and want to do stuff on their own.

That insane focus for a single goal, desire, need, or object creates new products.

Ergo, business people are 'sick', by normal standards.

Then again, getting rich is ALL lottery, sticking with biz, may require a little autism or ADD, or a complete inability to deal with the 'real' corporate world, and thus the need to create your own world.

Success in biz, which is survival by definition would require a healthy-dose of autism or dyslexia. These people have NO choice, they literally have burned their bridges, they always MUST move forward. I think the reason that 90% of biz dies the first 1-3 years , and always has is the average inability to deal with failure. People with dyslexia, autism, stuttering, ... are struggling daily to 'fake it' and be one of the "NORMALS". Thus they have already seen failure, been there, done that, moving forward is the only option.

Duncan McGeary said...

Well, there's something wrong with us!

In my case, it's more that I had a pretty bad case of agoraphobia. I could barely go out into the public. Which is why I turned to writing.

I've read once that almost all writers have an episode of enforced inactivity in their background, and an enormous amount of reading during that inactivity.

I won't go into all the particulars, but I had some major problems coming out of high school. I came out of it 30 years ago, (thank god, it's never come back) but the one lingering symptom was agoraphobia.


So, I created my own job.

I got very used to finding ways around, or asking people to do it for me. I used to equate it to being unable to read, and always finding ways to either avoid the situation or having someone read the sign or paper for me.

I've always stuck with my business, because I didn't feel I had an alternative.

Even if I failed -- I'd just start another business....

So, yeah. I totally believe it. My wife Linda is running a business that in some ways is more successful than mine. She's dyslexic -- or as we call it, lexdysic. She had a bit of a time at Barnes and Nobles filling books, and it is always interesting to have her former co workers come into her store and be impressed.

Most of the new businesses I see open have people who appear to have alternatives and expectations that would seem to be healthy but which subvert them. It may be healthy mentally to say, "If it doesn't work, I'll just do something else...." but you've already gone halfway to failure when you say or think it.