Keep Your Head In The Clouds

One of man’s greatest accomplishments – space exploration – can be said to follow from our shared curiosity of the universe.

By Richard Du January 2, 2018
Photo by Avi Richards on Unsplash

Dream big and remain intellectually curious throughout your real estate career. As professionals, we have a duty to work hard for our clients and in a responsible manner. However, at times, we get bogged down in the daily grind, success seeming somewhere far off in a distant galaxy. During these ruts, we can get stuck in convention, worn-down by minutia, becoming apathetic. Such challenges test our commitment to our grander business and careers goals. However, by staying intellectually curious, seeking out innovation and improving ourselves professionally, we can overcome short-term obstacles to reach new heights, redefining “possible” for our businesses and ourselves. In doing so, we can all unlock new successes, new innovation and grow the industry together!

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Curiosity may have killed the cat, but that does not have to be the case for the real estate professional. In fact, being inquisitive and intellectually curious more frequently leads us to professional development and advancement. As scary and potentially “life threatening” as curiosity might be, nurturing your desire to explore the world, learn and innovate can be rewarding and differentiate you from the pack. If harnessed effectively, being curious can speed professional growth, expand your knowledge base, and help propel you to a position of authority or leadership in your chosen field or area of expertise. So, go ahead. Be curious.

One of man’s greatest accomplishments – space exploration – can be said to follow from our shared curiosity of the universe. By allowing our natural curiosity and excitement for what lies beyond the sky and in the stars to move us, mankind has progressively worked to chart and explore the galaxy. And, the results have been thrilling.

Recently, NASA’s aptly named “Curiosity Mars rover” has been making scientific observations on – well, Mars. Curiosity Mars rover is covering new ground and allowing scientists local views of the Martian terrain, while NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is capturing the topography of Mars from above.

According to a report from, in mid-April, Curiosity rover’s mission passed 10 kilometers (6.214 miles) of total driving since its 2012 landing, including about a fifth of a mile (310 meters) so far this month. The LA Times noted that Curiosity has already found environments with the right chemical ingredients for life, as well as not-too-salty, not-too-acidic water. It has also turned up evidence of a lake that may have drained and filled over time. These are incredible discoveries that may already be considered a success in the scientific community. But, they will undoubtedly continue our earthling penchant for asking questions about space and searching for answers on Mars and across the solar system. Without curiosity and dedicated scientists, however, we may never have had this opportunity.

Back on earth, Fast Company Design’s Warren Berger recently wrote an article entitled “3 Ways Embracing Curiosity Can Change Your Life.” See the full article here. [] In the article, Mr. Berger tips his cap to Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman’s new book, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life. In short, Mr. Grazer explains that his book recounts how his willingness to “wonder and question has consistently led him to new ideas and fresh opportunities, while also helping him to overcome fears, broaden his thinking, and become a better manager of others.”

Mr. Berger sets the stage by pointing out that many intellectuals, both new and old, have championed the power of curiosity – citing Einstein and Walt Disney as well as contemporaries such as New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, psychologist Todd Kashdan, and author Ian Leslie. Mr. Berger, himself, has written on the topic, expounding that there is a direct correlation between curiosity and the success of today’s most innovative entrepreneurs and designers, like those at Square, Pandora, Nest, and Airbnb.

Based on his own experience and conversations with Grazer, Mr. Berger generates three tips for putting the power of curiosity to use. See how Mr. Berger’s synopses can help you to harness curiosity to assist in meeting your day-to-day challenges and long-term goals:

  1. Use curiosity to broaden your horizons and discover new possibilities. Berger explains that “getting out of your bubble and exploring the wider world around you with open eyes and ears plus a receptive mind” is key to discovering new possibilities and opportunities. Grazer writes that, “I talk to other people. I seek out their perspective and experience and stories, and by doing that I multiply my own experience a thousandfold.”
  2. Use curiosity as a self-motivating force. Berger notes that “Grazer talks about how curiosity helps him overcome fear and break out of ruts. ‘It does that by getting you comfortable with being a little uncomfortable,’ he writes. When undertaking something potentially risky, ‘I try to set aside my fear long enough to start asking questions. The questions do two things; they distract me from the queasy feeling, and I learn something about what I’m worried about.”
  3. Use curiosity to inspire and lead others. “If you share your passionate interests and questions with those around you, it can spark their interest. ‘If you’re the boss, and you manage by asking questions, you’re laying the foundation for the culture of your company or your group,’ according to Grazer. He notes that a leader should strive to foster a culture of inquiry wherein people at all levels are asking each other questions. ‘That helps break down the barriers between job functions and also helps puncture the idea that the job hierarchy determines who can have a good idea.’ The best thing about curiosity? It’s contagious.”

At Agorafy, we agree that curiosity is the spark that ignites innovation. By embracing a culture of curiosity, our team has set out on a quest to explore the intersection of real estate and technology. In the process, we are working to construct a digital home for the real estate community, based in the shared values of transparency and improved data. We are passionate in this undertaking, venturing outside of the real estate industry’s traditional comfort areas to ease fears that sometimes are associated with change. At the same time, we are looking to continue the dialogue about how real estate technology can aid today’s practitioners and better serve the real estate community as a whole. For instance, our powerful real estate platform provides users with a ground up look at buildings, featuring verified market data and property information. Users can explore properties from street level, neighborhood level or even from the sky above your targeted locale to get a clearer picture of the market dynamics at play. This way, you can whet your appetite for current real estate information. Ultimately, at Agorafy, we are curious about all things real estate, from New York City, across the globe, and all the way to Mars (eventually)!!! Explore New York City’s comprehensive resource for commercial and residential real estate opportunities at

Richard Du



Richard Du, founder and CEO of Agorafy, was born in Vietnam and raised in the United States. As a child, he worked to support his family until he had the chance to immigrate to the America. Here, he began his career as an agent at Helmsley Spear, which he eventually parlayed into a lucrative real estate business. More than a decade later, Mr. Du is at the helm of Agorafy.
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