CommentaryMarket June 13, 2012

A Sign of Progress with Pepperoni

Today was one of those non-stop days from 9am until I got home at 9pm, and in retrospect I had damn few of these sorts of days in 2009. “Busy” in real estate is “good.” Not busy, as you might imagine, is the precursor to “not in real estate anymore.” I won’t bore you with all the details, but they included 2 accepted offers negotiated remotely from my car on the mobile phone, news of a closing on a tough file, the possible finding of another perfect place for a buyer, and the best part was a $1.75 slice of pizza.

I’ll explain. Around 6pm, prior to meeting some buyer clients I was covering for one of my agents, I got a little peckish and stopped for a bite. As you might imagine by the number of vowels in my last name, I did not get goulash. So there I was, waiting in line to get my slice of pizza and a coke (screw it, I don’t care what Bloomberg says, I wanted SUGAR in my drink). And I waited.

And I waited. It became clear to me that the two guys ahead of me either couldn’t choose what to get or they were holding the place up and I didn’t know it. Finally, a manager came and spoke with them.

“Where did you work before?”
“What days are you available?”

Lordy… if I had a hat I would have taken it off! I was witness to someone getting a job. Someone, before my very eyes in this economy, was getting hired! I hadn’t heard a conversation like that in years. I felt like handing out cigars or sending out announcements. I was the unsuspecting godfather of a new job being born. I returned to my car, food in bag, and half checked my wrist for a maternity ward band.

And then, I met two good folks who eagerly looked at 4 homes with me.

While a pizza joint hiring a dough slinger might be an unconventional economic indicator, in context with all the other things I am seeing lately, I think it was fitting. There is still shadow inventory, banks are still stingy, and we still have a ways to go in this market. There will still be days when three deals fall apart. But I am certain that today proved that we are past the nadir.

And just to prove that the angels agree, there was not so much as a drop of red sauce on my lightly colored shirt at day’s end.