Illustration: Joanna Neborsky
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Before embarking on a new work week, Trish Arcaro, a real estate agent from Maine, draws briefly from her tarot stick, lights a candle, recites a series of affirmations, and holds her teal crystal, which helps promote abundance and joy. She will occasionally burn palo santo around a new home for a client to clear the room of bad energy before moving in. And when she announces a successful deal on Instagram, she does not put SOLD or BUYED on the listing – she posts MANIFESTED!
In Minnesota, an agent and trainer called Commission Queen sells a mug that says WAKE UP. MANIFEST. SELL PROPERTY. REPEAT. The Intuitive Realtor-Healer, an agent in Wisconsin, offers to unblock your chakras and create home altars for demonstration in addition to a 40-acre piece of land in the Prairie du Sac for $ 1.6 million. An article on the national real estate website Redfin explains how to “make the energetic leap from tenant to landlord”: create a vision board; imagine your dream house before you fall asleep every night; light a white or green candle and “ointment” it with rosemary oil and a pinch of salt. A 20-year-old TikTok real estate agent suggests taping your confirmation to the wheel as a “demonstration hack.”
These are the real estate agents’ woo-woo agents, the realtors who navigate a wildly unpredictable housing market, not just with huge sets of data or detailed trend predictions, but with their finger on the pulse of the universe itself. As the country faces unprecedented prices, bidding wars and cash offers, they are set on energies as well as interest rates – proof of both how desperate people have become for housing and the way they deal with the market madness.
For Arcaro, who runs Holistic Real Estate Pro, when her clients manage to buy a house, it’s not just at the right price or in the right neighborhood; it is “adjusted”, which means that the universe has meant that the client should receive this particular property. She works in the idyllic Bangor area, often with young families who have arrived in the state from big cities (she moved from Los Angeles eight years ago, her own “quantum leap” in New Age speak).
“The energy they put out is what helped them attract the house,” says Arcaro. “It’s not just because they had good credit and had good timing and all that,” although she admits that buying a home requires a “mix” of business strategy and spiritual practice. If she works with buyers who are concerned about what they can afford, she helps get them into a “mindset”. «How do you know before you try? Have you looked at your finances? » she asks. “Have you talked to a lender to see what you are pre-approved for? If you come from a place of scarcity and scarcity, the universe will put you there all the time. “
This approach to real estate is niche, but not exactly new – a version of the prosperity gospel aimed at the public by Selling Sunset. From the failed businessman Napoleon Hill’s 1937 book, Think and get rich – one of the first self-help bestsellers – to Rhonda Byrne’s 2006 Oprah-driven phenomenon The secret, It is a long tradition of American business mystics who combine the accumulation of wealth and success with spirituality.
Byrne pushed the notion of “law of attraction” into the mainstream. As one practitioner puts it, the LOA insists: “Whatever we want to believe, we will manifest … If we believe we are going to be poor, we are going to remain poor.” The secret has sold over 35 million copies, and a film adaptation with Katie Holmes was released in 2020. (In the film, one of Holmes’ daughters is able to manifest both a pizza and a pony.) The secret has since created a cabin industry with business-specific LOA coaching, including books for real estate sales and investment.
An agent named Penelope Whichello, based in South Carolina, used to be in the spa business before she started selling real estate and coaching other agents with her Mindfulness in Real Estate company. Those who want to attract more customers can join with access for $ 19 a month or join a mindful agent circle for $ 2749 for an entire year. Whichello explains adaptation as “your divine connection to the creativity in yourself” and her job as “helping to move people from one sacred space to the next.”
Cary Tamura, a New York agent in the Corcoran Group, has taught shamatha vipashyana, or mindfulness-awareness meditation, to other realtors. “The benefits of it in your business, be it dealing with difficult customers or a negotiation, are keyed into the things between the words,” says Tamura. “The more present you are, the clearer you can see that kind of thing.” He says that this especially applies to his rental customers, who are facing a market where unemployment is below 5 percent: “It is very difficult to get a rental, whether you are a broker, if you are not a broker. Whatever it is, it is very likely that there are more applications for rental right now. So the ability not to get confused is very important. “
“I had a venture capitalist who moved to this area from California, and he was all in his head” about starting a short-term vacation rental business, “Whichello tells me. “I asked him to come back to his intention: ‘Just come back to what you were going to do when you bought this, and that was to make it a profitable venture. And then, you know what? The next step emerges. ‘ ”
Unfortunately, the next step has not yet materialized for millions of potential homeowners who are excluded from the market. Although they may not offer anything new, their prospects feel uniquely optimistic in our current economic moment, amid interest rate hikes and an impending recession, if one is to believe Larry Summers. While the government, private consultants, journalists and aspiring homeowners try to answer the question “Why is our housing market so insane?”, A group of people simply answer: “What is meant to be.”
Or the problem is you. If you can not get a home, you do not manifest hard enough. If the market craters, well, it’s because of the negative energy you put into the cosmos – what is called “self-limiting faith.” On the darker side of manifestation is a kind of magical thinking that avoids structural explanations, and it is not so different from ancient concepts such as “creative destruction” or “the invisible hand of the market” or “robust individualism” – concepts that have been used to fan hands. away the unnecessary brutalities of our economic system. It follows that Mayor Eric Adams, who believes that crystals buried in the ground give New York “special energy”, recently issued a housing plan without any goal calculations.
“I had a client who cried on the phone because she had not received an offer for her house,” Arcaro tells me. The Maine market she works in has seen prices fall slightly over the past year, especially compared to the depth of the pandemic, as sellers routinely see cash offers from buyers. She suggested that the client had an emotional attachment to moving that she had to let go of in order to free the house from the universe and attract a buyer. “The universe has your back a thousand percent of the time,” she says. “There are things going on behind the scenes that you have to trust even if you can’t see it.” Arcaro says that her client “manifested a cash buyer”, and that the agreement ends on July 11. That is unless the universe has other plans.