|While we lament how certain facts have been re-written and distorted from hundreds of years ago, more disturbing is how facts are being purposefully muddied right here, right now – today – in this era of technology-fueled transparency. It’s possibly understandable that things that happened hundreds of years ago could be inaccurately recorded accidentally or altered along the way to drive a certain narrative, but how is it possible in this highly aware and closely watched world that this same distortion of reality still happens…..including in the world of real estate?
The answer may be simple: what is the common denominator of things that happen today and those that happened hundreds of years ago? Humans! Yes, some human beings are intent on driving a narrative and purposefully manipulate data and facts to do so. I recall several New York real estate heads admitting that they would ‘alter’ quarterly real estate reports to drive a certain narrative, regardless of the data. Right now in New York, I am seeing some closed prices artificially inflated by including certain concessions that boost closing prices, but are not an accurate recording of the trading value. I know I’m being a bit nit-picky, but it’s just another example of data and fact manipulation…..happening today, directly under our noses. And we have the ability to stop this.
In a recent Schoen Cooperman Research survey of Millennials and Gen Z (a young demographic), 63% of survey respondents did not know 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust. 35% thought that “two million or fewer Jews” were killed during the Holocaust, and 48% could not name a single camp or ghetto established during World War II, despite the fact that there were more than 40,000 of them. 11% of U.S. Millennial and Gen Z respondents believe Jews caused the Holocaust. And all this happened just about 70 years ago…. The facts around the Holocaust are well recorded: this demonstrates how even with accurately recorded data, perceptions – artificially fueled or simply due to lack of education – can be as powerful.
The tale of who discovered America is somewhat muddied and defies easy explanations. No webcams recorded what happened hundreds of years ago! The popular story of Columbus, by contrast, is simplistic. So today while you’re enjoying the online sales and those at the mall, remember the reality rather than promote the fantasy. It’s more difficult, but more historically accurate. Ultimately it really matters less who discovered America than what we do with it today.
We make every effort to enter, maintain and protect accurate data in all our systems…..it is only with accurate inventory and history that we can accurately and effectively report, analyze, change, adjust, learn and improve.