My family and I have been in the South Carolina Upstate for almost 2 years now. “Almost” meaning 2.5 weeks from today will be April 9, which will be the anniversary of us pulling in from a days drive from Nashville to our temporary digs in the Dunean area of Greenville. We had just driven cross-country from Boise, ID.
May I digress? Some of you reading this may have received a direct message via Instagram from me, saying my family and I came from Virginia Beach. Let me clarify. We did come from Virginia Beach, just through Idaho. How does this happen?
I have family in Idaho, and Oregon, and Washington. I grew up in what is now a major wine producing area of Oregon, from 1976-1990. Eventually I left the Pacific Northwest for the east coast in order to attend film school at Regent University, in Virginia Beach. That was in November of 1990. Almost exactly 29 years later, I returned, with a wife and two kids, and a former 25-year career at the Christian Broadcasting Network under my belt. I came back to be near family. I had burned the ship, and came to Boise to start a new life.
Alas, I went down with the ship! Boise was not as welcoming as we had anticipated. Work was non-existent, for both myself and my wife. We gave it 18-months, then headed back to where we belong. It is important to point out that when my wife and I discussed leaving CBN, two states topped out desirable place to live: Idaho, and South Carolina. While in Idaho, we became friends with a couple who just so happened to be from…Greer, South Carolina. We headed to our Plan B.
What were we headed for? Honestly, no clue. Have any of you found yourself starting over in life? No? You should try it. It’s a real lesson in patience, perseverance, and downright grit. No one, and I mean NO ONE will get what you are doing. But, if you feel you need to jump, then you do it, knowing full well it could backfire on you. We had a little experience with this in Idaho. Things might not work out. But, we had some money leftover from the sale of our home in Virginia, and so found a place, grabbed it, and started on yet another new trail. Scary? Heck yeah. I had come to Greenville and started looking for work in video production, but there was a problem.
No one would hire me.
I have over 25 years experience, and no one would hire me. Same as in Idaho. What’s up with that? I know how to shoot video. I’m drone licensed and certified. I can edit. I can light. I know audio.
Frankly, I believe the market, the INDUSTRY, has shifted. Social media plays a big role in this. The advent of YouTube, Facebook Live, and now TikTok and Instagram Reels have opened a bit of a Pandora’s box. People watching these have about 3.5 seconds to be hooked by whatever it is you’re presenting (maybe more like 1.5 seconds). Also, and this applies to me in a big way, the advent of the “cinematic” style of shooting shifted the ground under our (“our” being media professionals) feet. Things were not the same…and they probably hadn’t been for some time.
I’m from another generation. My generation was very practical. We knew what we were producing and why. We had our audience, and catered to it. Todays generation knows what it is doing, but I dare say, does not know WHY. Here’s the catch: WHY know WHY? All is relative anyway. Shoot it in a cool, interesting, unconventional manner, and it’s awesome. Shoot the more standard A+B=C….boring! But the younger generation gets it. They know WHY. They know what is being conveyed. They know the story. Guys like me take a minute to figure it out, and that “hesitancy” kills us. This is a subjective viewpoint of course….
But…some of these young geniuses started shooting things that were practical, and started making A LOT of money doing so. Practical things like houses. Property. That drone? Get it up there, take some pics, and use Photoshop to create property boundaries. People need to SEE it. Realtors have houses they want to SHOW. Bingo.
So instead of plying a market that considers me a fossil, I’ve jumped in with the “young ‘uns”, and started taking my background as an “old dog” and applying it to the “new way”as best I can. That experience counts for something, at the least in forming relationships. Not every real estate agent is 25.
One thing remains: customer service. People still value that, and I suspect they expect it. My goal is to provide this, to connect with the agent, or the “producer”, and give them what they need quickly and efficiently. How can I serve?
We’ll see where things go as the 2023 real estate season spools up. I’m going to keep leaning in, trying to network and connect with people and see where it leads. I hope to expand my reach in this Upstate, and become a better citizen and contributor to its success.
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