Yogi Berra gets to throw out the first ball. Although I'm taller and younger, last night I felt like Yogi. I went to an awards ceremony for a long time business associate. It's a Real Estate Brokerage, whom I've gotten a lot of business from over the years. Although I had been their primary referral of this brokerage and other incarnations of this brokerage for about twenty years, I realized last year that i no longer was.
I was like the aging Godfather. People came over to me, kissed my ring, but clearly the popularity was reserved for the younger Attorneys. Last year when I first got this inclination, I immediately set up a luncheon for the brokerage. It worked to a limited degree.
I don't blame the decline in business solely to Parkinson's directly, but to the ancillary results of the Parkinson's. My main office is now in my home. It is about 50 miles from the Brokerage, and although I tell potential clients I will meet them out at the brokerage, they hear that I'm in Queens, and I hear the inevitable, "OH." I no longer can meet them at night. I used to make many of my appointments at the client's convenience. However, I now avoid driving at night. I have taken the train on occasion. It eats up most of my day, and when you add the round trip, subway and cabs, it costs more than $60.00. I can't pass this along to the client, because that will only give them more incentive to get a local Attorney.
Am I past my prime? There was a time that I got upwards of 150 referral a year from brokers. If I had 25 last year, I'd be surprised. A large percentage of the drop off is clearly that the market is bad. But an equal percentage is me.
I still play the game. Yesterday, I sent out a mass e-mail regarding estate planning. If I get one client, it was worth it.
at the party, when the guests were introduced, as has been their custom, I was introduced first among the Attorneys. I got to throw out the first ball.