The Good, the bad, the potential

Memphis has made a CNBC list called “20 Cities You Don’t Want to Live In…Yet,” grouped with others like Little Rock, Ark.; Cleveland, Ohio; St. Louis, Mo.; and Detroit, Mich.

Memphis is a product of its own making. I can’t tell you how many times I find myself in conversations where people are so quick to beat down their hometown.

Something I’ve learned in my tenure covering real estate is it’s all about how you spin it. Do you think when an agent is showing a house to a potential buyer, the first thing they point out is the stained carpet and outdated wallpaper?

Instead, they flaunt the prime location, community amenities and open floor plans. They serve as visionaries, matching the house’s potential to the client’s needs.

What better way to address my feelings on this issue than to attribute something Dexter Muller of the Greater Memphis Chamber told me in February.

One of the reasons I like Memphis is because we’re bigger than our britches, that’s what my mother used to always tell me. The thing that’s nice about it is that Memphis is big enough to have the amenities of a bigger city, it’s small enough to be a place where you can actually make a change. Memphis is really on the cusp of the greatness that we’ve heard people talk about Memphis as having potential for so long.”

So here’s my soapbox, Memphis. Now’s the time to change this perception. Be an ambassador for your city, not a pessimist. If we can’t be proud of what we have, how will outsiders learn to do the same?