Quick. Someone get us a new business model.

While our government doesn't think like a business, we do. Suppose for a moment that government was a large enterprise, competing to provide the most efficient delivery of special goods and services. Just suppose.


In Jeff Thull’s classic business book, Mastering the Complex Sale, he stresses the importance of a salesperson first listening, then unraveling a customer’s problem to mutually align with the customer for a viable solution.

Most of us already understand the importance of “consulting” versus “selling” our residents and prospects. Consulting evokes an environment of mutual trust and cooperation. Traditional selling, on the other hand, evokes hanging up on a salesman who just won’t quit.

It seems that our federal government has become the salesperson who has missed all diagnostic protocols and has unwittingly become the guy caught up in the sale, who won’t take no for an answer. And, thus, we have no recourse but to hang up on him.

Thull says salespeople don’t have problems. Customers do.

We used to say it another way, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make ’em drink.”

Since we last published, President Obama’s approval rating has fallen five more points to an all-time low of 44 percent. Congress is worse.

This month Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said focusing on cutting the budget deficit now would jeopardize economic growth at a time when jobs are starting to be created, but even if that occurs, the unemployment rate will stay high for “a long period of time.”

To top it off, it seems we’ve entered a new age in which self reliance is obsolete. The U.S. business climate is precarious, at best, rife with enough regulation and taxation to choke the life, profit, and jobs from many a enterprise. And, just as we gasp for any air of authentic recovery, we keep getting sold stuff we don’t want or need.

Multifamily is accustomed to cycles. We understand free market competition whereby the best rents, best amenities, best locations win. Mostly, we just want a stable playing field to play the game.

Most Americans are feeling the Great Recession, including those socially-denounced CEOs who made, on average, 18 percent less in 2009 than they did the year before, even though the S&P 500 Index rose 26.5 percent during the same year.

There is a groundswell of Americans, including business folk, who are simply trying to sit at the table of discussion on the topic of jobs and taxes. We have experience and data that can solve this problem.

Can someone get a message to the president for me? I have a Post-it note with the word “jobs” on it that I’d like to put on one of his teleprompters.