Navigating property market shifts

Lessons from picking potatoes and real estate success

Reflecting back on this week, it’s been a productive few days. While property stock levels are down, there’s an encouraging trend in the market that might influence potential sellers to move forward with their plans. Let’s dive into a personal story from the early days of Stephen O’Sullivan’s career, from the challenges of picking potatoes and the fundamentals of achieving success in the real estate industry.

Lessons from the potato fields

Cast your mind back a couple of decades to a picturesque Irish village, the kind you might see in a movie. Amid green paddocks, stone walls, and a close-knit community, a young and eager Stephen embarked on his first job. Inspired by a friend’s older brother who earned a tidy sum picking potatoes, Stephen and his friend decided to join in this new venture. The anticipation was palpable as they hopped into a trailer with other local lads, all headed to the fields.

The first brush with reality

Arriving at the potato fields, reality hit hard. The simple task of filling a box with potatoes turned out to be far more physically demanding than expected. Ill-prepared for the task at hand, they shivered in the cold and struggled with the labour-intensive work. The enormity of the potato boxes felt overwhelming, and as hours dragged on, they realised that success required more than just enthusiasm. By midday, they decided to cut their losses and returned home in a trailer laden with spuds, no longer waving to passing cars.

Lessons learned

Despite the initial setback, the experience of picking potatoes provided valuable lessons that would later translate to success in the real estate world:

Preparation matters: Just as being underdressed and unprepared hindered the potato-picking venture, thorough preparation is essential in real estate. Research, market knowledge, and a well-planned strategy set the foundation for success.

Hard work pays off: The physically demanding nature of picking potatoes taught us that success often comes from hard work. Similarly, dedicating time and effort to real estate endeavours can lead to substantial rewards over time.

Patience is key: Picking potatoes was a reminder that results may not appear immediately. In real estate, waiting for efforts to bear fruit is a familiar aspect. It takes time for deals to materialise and investments to yield returns.

Effort equals reward: The more boxes of potatoes filled, the higher the payment. This principle aligns with real estate, where the more effort and commitment invested, the greater the potential rewards, whether in terms of deals closed or relationships forged.

A second chance and growth

A few years after the less-than-successful potato-picking escapade, Stephen returned to the fields – this time with experience and preparation under his belt – and triumphed. This victory was a testament to applying the lessons learned from the initial setback. Just as in real estate, setbacks are opportunities for growth and improvement.

We’re here to help

As the real estate market experiences shifts and challenges, the lessons from unexpected places, like potato fields, continue to resonate. The tale of a spotty teenager’s potato-picking misadventure serves as a reminder that preparation, hard work, patience, and effort are timeless principles that contribute to success in any endeavour. Just as Stephen turned his early setback into a valuable lesson, property owners and buyers can embrace these lessons to navigate the ever-changing real estate landscape with confidence and determination.


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