Being a real estate agent is one of the greatest privileges in the world. It requires a diverse skill-set of sales, compassion, empathy, marketing, organization, hustle, wit and patience. Itâ€™s connected me with people in ways unlike anything Iâ€™ve ever experienced before and is incomparable to any job Iâ€™ve ever had (and Iâ€™ve had a lot). It takes no guts to start but it takes all of them to continue.
I briefly started to emulate Gregâ€™s thoughts and style and quickly determined that wouldnâ€™t be fair to either of us. So I went with a bit of a stream of consciousness. But pulled out two of his points that resonated most with me.
Iâ€™m a real estate agent.
This is the life Iâ€™ve chosen. And I love it.
Every day is a Monday. Or a Friday. I work when my clients donâ€™t.
Answering a phone call from a client at 9pm. Skyping with international clients at 11pm. Or 5 am. My sole requirement for family vacations other than â€œbeing togetherâ€ is â€œwifiâ€.
Meet with a first time homebuyer. Hear and see their excitement. Quickly tamp it down because youâ€™ve see so many wacky and unpredictable things go wrong. Allow a little bit of excitement to seep in; this should be a fun process.
Listening. Reading body language – of the individuals and their relations to each other. Helping them ask questions of themselves and each other. Because Iâ€™ve done this before.
Discover in the first 20 minutes of meeting a couple that theyâ€™re planning to have kids in the next 12 months. Push them to have that conversation a wee bit sooner than they had intended.
Meet with an underwater seller whose lifeâ€™s dreams and goals are tied up in a seemed-like-a-good-decision-at-the-time-house. Hope you can help them. Negotiate hard for a buyer knowing that the seller is taking a financial (and emotional) bath. Donâ€™t let your clients know how painful this is.
Meet with a divorcing couple and hear and see the anguish. And pain. And realize that you are now forever part of their lives.
A client told me this year that moving is the single-greatest trauma aside from death or divorce that you can inflict upon yourself and your family. Heâ€™s right. If I can help my clients through this trauma, thatâ€™s my privilege.
Tell a buyer to walk away from a transaction, knowing that theyâ€™re not going to buy anything now meaning that the 47 hours youâ€™ve spent with them from showing to education to negotiation to inspections to Release of Contract will likely result in no income.
Work with agents who poorly represent their clients. Resist the urge to tell the clients just how badly they are being disserviced.
Telling clients that Iâ€™ve heard my home inspectors describe countless times that getting water away from a house is thing to do #1. And that stair-step cracks in block foundations are usually nothing to be concerned about. And that youâ€™re supposed to be able to see daylight in roofs. And crawl spaces arenâ€™t that scary â€¦ even when you hear a critter crawling around the corner and there are only 8 inches of space above your head.
Represent that formerly-young, now-older with two kids, couple when they sell and see that theyâ€™ve lived their lives well for the six years theyâ€™ve been in their home. Seeing their kids sad to leave their friends but excited at a new chapter.
Coach my daughtersâ€™ soccer teams because my â€œflexibleâ€ schedule allows for it. And never negotiate their games. Ever.
Get belly to belly with the public and clients; no amount of social media can replace a handshake. Or looking a client in the eye. Or a hug.
I understand that the advice and guidance that I give to my clients – the best that I possibly can – will directly affect the rest of their lives. More importantly, the decisions that my clients make based in part on my professional (and life) experience will directly impact the lives of their children.
This is a nearly overwhelming and humbling realization, and one that I never forget.
Iâ€™ll wear flip flops as often as I can.
Greg, thanks for the inspiration to write something Iâ€™ve meant to write for years.