As humans, we are predisposed to promoting and protecting our own interests and for the most part, this is considered to be an acceptable approach to living our lives. After all, we are responsible to look after ourselves and if we don't at least consider our own interests we might find ourselves in bad shape.
It seems to me that all of the great religions of our day have one thing in common; they promote a selfless approach to life. Some texts call for a metaphoric "death" to self as a necessary step on the walk to holiness. As I understand it, those who make a serious commitment to their religion attempt to serve their Higher Power, selflessly, with obedience and some understanding of the concept of greater good. They have "faith" that their selflessness will ultimately be rewarded. Many of us see true beauty in people who are able to be faithful to their convictions and we are repelled by those who fail to "practice what they preach."
I'm not advocating for religion or suggesting that only "believers" understand the concept of greater good. Neither will I suggest that your client relationships rise to level of your relationship with your Higher Power, if in fact you have one. Whether one does or doesn't have faith is not really relevant to my point. Most important are the concepts of true service, promises, faithfulness, and the richness of the rewards which naturally flow from them.
There are some interesting parallels which can be drawn when comparing such a spiritual walk to a career in real estate. In fact, every day in real estate is a spiritual walk of sorts, at least for me. We work in one of a small handful of professions which calls us to conduct ourselves in a selfless manner. We make promises, important promises.
The basic precept of "agency" can be summed up as "protect and promote the interests of your client above all others." With that comes the promise of utmost loyalty, obedience, confidentiality, avoidance of conflict of interest and secret profits, and full disclosure. Every single time that we sign a listing agreement or a buyer brokerage agreement we pledge to do just that. If this comes as news to you, you might want to spend a few minutes with a lawyer to brush up on the law of contracts and agency. These are heavy burdens, not to be taken lightly. Every action, every decision, every bit of advice which we offer should be calculated and put forward with the client's interests and only the client's interests as the primary consideration. Self-interest must be put to death when it is in conflict with the client's interests. It's our promise, our higher calling.
Understanding that the promise has been made is the first step towards faithfulness. What follows is the beautiful truth that it is always in our interest to act in the best interest of the client. We know that broken promises destroy relationships, breed mistrust and at some level, create spiritual scar tissue. Such failures, done intentionally, change the way that we feel about ourselves and the way in which others see us. On the other hand, promises fulfilled build, confidence, character, inner peace and self-worth.
Being faithful to our promises is good for the spirit.