Tag Archives: America

Christopher Columbus: America’s First Real Estate Agent?

christopher-columbusHappy Columbus Day, folks! As the first holiday of the autumn season, I thought it fitting to take this moment to propose an idea. After all, the banks are closed & the kids are home. Why not sit back and spin a tale to celebrate the discoverer of our great land?

The story of Christopher Columbus has been told many times. There are historical documents that trace his entire existence. But what if they were wrong? His dad was a wool weaver, his mom owned a cheese stand. Why would Christopher turn out to be a world-famous explorer? What if his intention was to be a real estate agent? He loved discovering new places to inhabit, he loved to sell people on letting him find said places for them, and in the end it wasn’t him that wanted to inhabit those places…he wanted to be the one recognized as the discoverer of places people wanted to inhabit. Can you say farming?

In 1485, Christopher Columbus decides he wants to open his own real estate business and has a good feeling about some area on the west side (of the planet). The Indies was all the rage, but it was becoming a more unsavory area due to the invasion of the Ottoman Turks. People were looking for a new place to go, so Christopher wanted to start to build traction on his farm by showing space not currently available to the public before. And now he’s off to find his first clients.

At first it was tough to find someone interested in this undiscovered property. He sought out King John II of Portugal, but was rejected. He then went to Genoa and Venice, but again, no one was in the market to buy. Even Henry IV turned him down. Columbus was getting frustrated. Finally, he went to Spain to approach the newly married monarchs, Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. See, now that they were newly married, Ferdinand wanted to give his wife “something nice”. They wanted something large and spacious because they had a lot of family but cozy enough that the neighbors were welcoming enough to have a bar-be-que. Also on the list was lots of light and a good landscape to work with, but with lots of room for improvement.

Unfortunately, under the advice of their committee of Spanish savants, they rejected his proposal. But the monarchs saw something special in Christopher’s personality and trusted him and his farmed territory proposal, so they hired him to find their dream property and in return, ordered all their cities to allow him to live for free while they worked things out “with the banks and lenders”.

Finally, after years of trying to convince them of this great area he knows they’ll love, they finally agree to his terms and well, let’s just say he made quite the commission. He was given rank of Admiral of the Ocean Sea, appointed Viceroy and Senator of all the new properties he found them, 10% of all revenue accrued in this area and an option to buy into 8% in interest of any commercial venture with an 8% ROI!

So in April 1492, Columbus went off to travel west and report back the showing of a lifetime.

Sure, I could get into the ugly truths, but this isn’t about history. This is about inspiration! If you look at it this way, Christopher Columbus was one awesome real estate agent and you can learn a lot from his persistence. He believed in himself and his product, he got his clients to trust him and in the end, he made his sale. And now he has a world-wide holiday to celebrate his accomplishment. Pretty inspiring stuff, if I do say so myself!

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