Thinking Outside the Box

A primary goal of Agent Insight is to illustrate communities through word and pictures.  Neighborhoods, schools, shopping centers, parks, entertainment and sports venues – these are the first subjects that come to mind and you are doing an excellent job of presenting them with your photos and written insights.

However, stay alert for possibilities that continue to tell the story of your town, but are different from the usual topics. Look for the fun opportunities to be the “color commentator” instead of the “play-by-play” person.

Scott Kirkpatrick, RE/MAX Eagle Properties, Sault Saint Marie, MI, recently submitted a cute piece on “Yooper” being added to the American lexicon. This may not be about real estate, but it makes a great comment about the people who live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

“Yooper” Is Now an Official Word                                                                             The word “Yooper” has long been used by Michiganders to refer to residents of the Upper Peninsula. It means a lot more than where you’re from, though. It embodies an attitude, a toughness and a friendliness you don’t find anywhere else. Merriam-Webster announced recently that “Yooper” will be in the 2014 edition of their iconic dictionary. It’s about time!  Thank you, Steve Parks. (Parks, a Gladstone, MI, resident, has campaigned for “Yooper” to become a recognized vocabulary word since 2002.)

Several agents have written wonderful insights on local history. Philip Stock of RE/MAX Central, Manalapan, NJ, submitted an interesting piece on his town. Here’s part of it:

Some Historical Trivia about Manalapan                                                                    I don’t know about you, but I like to get some of the history if I am looking at a town. Yes, the schools are great and there’s no shortage of places to shop.  It’s an easy commute to NYC and an all-round great place to raise a family, but did you know:   the name Manalapan, pronounced “Man Al A Pan” not “Mana Lappen”, is derived from a word in the Lenape language meaning “land of good bread” or “good land to settle on.”  Manalapan Township dates back to March 9th,1848. Happy belated 166th!
Gorgeous peacock, Viddy, at the Baton Rouge Zoo
Gorgeous peacock, Viddy, at the Baton Rouge Zoo

We need lots of pictures of your community, but have a little photo fun occasionally. Try shooting pictures that capture the spirit or essence of your subject without necessarily showing the entire

 Groundbreaking Ceremony for the New Hewitt-Trussville High School Stadium
Groundbreaking Ceremony for the New Hewitt-Trussville High School Stadium

scene. What about an interesting architectural feature of a building instead of the whole structure? Perhaps a close up of a rose bush or budding tree instead of the entrance to the park?

The three photos

Kauffman Center: A state of the art performance venue and the home of the Kansas City Symphony
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts:  a state of the art performance venue and the home of the Kansas City Symphony

shown here are excellent examples. Instead of just an zoo sign, there’s the fabulous peacock … instead of a typical hand-shaking photo at a ground breaking ceremony, there’s a row of hard hats on shovels … instead of a showing the outside of the building, you see beautiful windows with a cocktail glass as an accent.

These words and pictures add rich texture to all your other work portraying your communities. Think outside the box as you create your Agent Insight submissions and have a good time doing it!

Photos by Katy Kleinpeter Caldwell, RE/MAX Real Estate Group, Baton Rouge, LA; Bonnie Hicks, RE/MAX MarketPlace, Trussville, AL: and Vinnie Vaccaro & Trish Herzog, RE/MAX 1st Choice, Liberty, MO. 

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