“What?? Are you crazy? Is moonshine still a big draw in Charlotte?” you may say.Sure, I’ve read the news and understand the dire straits the housing market is in. And, no, there is no gold rush (that I’m aware of…) coming to Charlotte; we’re getting hammered like everyone else. My reaction is just based on the sheer need of buyers and sellers to transact real estate and what that means to real estate professionals.Pat Riley, the legendary professional basketball coach, used to tell a story to his players before big games. He would talk about a small, blue-collar company filled with 9-5 workers; they would clock in, clock out, and never really form any real relationships with each other. Every day was filled with just going through the motions to earn a paycheck.Then one day, it was announced that their company had won the bid to send the first rocket to the moon. And then, something strange happened. The largely unmotivated workers started coming to the office early and leaving late. They would meet up together after work and really started to get to know each other. Close relationships began to form.At this point in the story, Riley would look his team in the eye and say, “You know why? They just wanted to make history.”I tell this story because what is happening in real estate right now is historic. The gigantic number of buyers and sellers facing severe sales issues has never been seen before. But great problems create great opportunities. Innovation is always fostered in such situations.And that sort of makes it fun if you care about learning in this profession. Things could be normal and the real estate business would have its usual flow of sales. Life would be fine and things would be controlled and steady. Yawn. And yawn.Or there could be a broken market, problems abounding, millions of customers desperate for new ways to solve old problems, an industry in need of fresh innovation, and people open to trying anything that sounds like it has a chance of working. Billions upon billions of dollars and assets are ready to be disbursed to whoever can come up with the killer idea to fix overall market liquidity. And this idea can be thought up and disseminated from your computer, wherever you live, right now. That’s exciting!And fun! Here’s wishing a profitable (and innovative) 2011 to you all. Thanks for reading!