10 “Life Building” Truths
September 8, 2014
By Jane Andersen
In the June Publication of this Journal, I read a terrific article by Randy Cooney titled Ten Truths of Selling Your Home. His article focused on truths that agents don’t want to say because sellers don’t want to hear. I really appreciated Randy’s article which motivated me to write one as well. Here are my 10 Truths whether you are working with buyers, sellers or just trying to navigate the ups and downs of life.
1. Start with the end in mind. What is your goal for meeting with your client (buyer/seller.) Have a plan, understand your goal for the meeting and plan it out. Clearly knowing your goal from the start will help you when you’ve gotten off on the wrong road. Just make a U-turn and you’ll be back on track shortly.
2. Ask questions and listen. You should constantly remind yourself to talk less and listen more. Ask open ended questions to seek understanding and take notes for future follow-up. The general rule is 80/20: the client speaks 80%, you speak 20%.
3. Do your homework and prepare for the unexpected. Too many times we think we can just “wing it.” Some of us have been agents for a long time so we’ve seen it, been there and got the t-shirt. Stop yourself from being arrogant by thinking you don’t have to prepare. People know when you haven’t done your homework. It shows in your face, body language and tone of voice. Make copies of reports and documents for your clients. Over 70% of the population is visual, so keep that in mind.
4. Play to win versus play not to lose. As agents, we have to realize we have a lot of competition in our industry – not just from other agents. Think about all the ways potential clients retrieve information about real estate. Information, even if it’s out of date or incorrect, is out there in every form imaginable. Be aware of what’s out there and ahead of the game.
5. Be different. All of us have unique skills and abilities. We offer a variety of services, trades and specializations. Look for ways to stand out. Go to the edge and provide services or products that your clients don’t necessarily know they want. They will appreciate your efforts and provide feedback to others. Soon the good word will spread.
6. Never stop learning. Did you know that your brain is not fully developed until your mid 20’s? Don’t let burn out be your norm. Find something that interests you so you can pour your heart and passion into it.
7. De-stress and have gratitude. Find ways throughout your day to take time to relax and give thanks. Do something fun, talk with an old friend, go shopping, work-out, have a long lunch, help someone and find time to laugh. Life is short and it’s healthy to relax your brain and it actually makes you a happier person.
8. Practice the Golden Rule. Treat others the way you would want to be treated. Communication is only effective when the message is understood. Seek understanding, kindness and goodness – notice how people respond.
9. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Many times we think there is only one thing both parties want – price: buyers want the lowest price and sellers want the highest price. Look for other issues that are important to your clients. Negotiation is collaborative and problem solving. Both parties have to be willing to disclose their needs and desires in order to reach an agreement. Strive to negotiate on merit.
10. Never, Never, Never, Quit. Persistence, Perseverance, Resourcefulness and an uncommon “Act of the Will” is required in any job, industry, career or endeavor. No one said life was easy, fair, without pain and suffering. Every day when you rise, know that this is your chance to make someone else’s day better. When you do, you’ll be smiling inside and out.