Fear of Change can Hurt Your Business

Real Estate Agent with Prudential Caruthurs

Most people don't like change.  It means having to re-adjust routine, change habits and throw your order of process into upheaval.  You are leaving your comfort zone.  Most people don't want to do this, so those people fail.  Even when that change could mean something GOOD people balk.


Real estate is no different.  You're used to a sellers market, bidding wars and offers that ascend from the list price.  Well gone are the days you could just punch a for sale sign in the yard and have several offers on the table in front of your customer in a week.


I keep hearing the old saying over and over again in my head:


If you keep doing what you're doing . . . you're going to keep getting what you're getting.


When my income, my open house activity and my listings hit a plateau and I wasn't at my goal, I knew I had to do something different.  I totally believed in what I was doing, I enjoyed it, but it became routine.  When that happens a complacency takes effect and it's picked up in your presentations, your follow ups, and even phone communication with your customers.


Somehow, you realize that you have gotten away from your purpose, but you are doing everything you know to do, and nothing new and exciting is happening.  This also happens when you TRY to do something different, but slide back into the same habits and routines because they are COMFORTABLE.  Even seasoned agents run into these roadblocks.


When I began working in real estate, I was excited.  It wasn't because I saw all this potential money in it, because it really wasn't about income.  The subject matter of that site was something I was passionate about because its focus was on helping people find that perfect home . . . something I really never had. 


I jumped right in with just my passion alone and not much substance (knowledge) and I was getting lost.  I had to stop and take a step back to see where I was going.  Sometimes when your nose is to the grindstone, you can't see the goal in the distance.


I was always used to working alone in everything.  Even with my marketing business five years ago, I did everything alone.  I tried partnering up with an old pro in my office.  That gave me a whole new perspective and fresh look at how things are done.


That's when I felt it.  And that's when I began re-animating!  I took the focus off myself and trying to accomplish 2001 sales in a 2009 market and instead focused on helping the very people that this  market victimized.  I began going about my business with a consultative point-of-view, not from a sales point of view.  Then I realized something!


I REALLY DID want to help people!  I had been there!  These people weren't looking for the same huge prices they used to be able to command.  They wanted someone to understand!  They wanted out from under and they wanted help.


I have seen agents who weren't used to working as hard, who got into the business during the bull market of real estate, freeze up.  Some have left the business.  Those who saw the underbelly of what was really going on stuck around.  The agents that really wanted to help people.


Now even though this is a rather extreme example of fear of change, but it was an eye-opener and a wake-up call.


Give a little something.  You don't want to just take money from people, there's no fulfillment in that.  You want people coming back because they believe you.  They trust you.  Make them feel good about hiring you, recommending you.  The more you give, the more you will get in return and the more fulfillment your real estate business will give you.

Comments (11)

Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

I shifted my focus several months ago, and I am starting to see tremendous results from it.

May 23, 2009 04:54 PM
Elizabeth Benefield
Montana Country Real Estate - Libby, MT

Thanks for the blog, it will help me to do different things. Sometimes we just need a little reminder.

May 23, 2009 04:58 PM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Bonnie:  I really appreciate your sentiment here in your post, but I think you are cutting quite a few Realtors short in that they are ALREADY giving back, and making the art of helping people the cornerstone of their business.  Most of my Realtor friends work that way, too.  But, then again, that's why I have chosen them as my friends.  Take care...

May 23, 2009 05:16 PM
Linda Lipscomb
Linda Lipscomb RE/MAX Lexington Henderson County TN - Lexington, TN
731-695-1118, Lexington TN Homes

So many changes have forced all of us to do business differently.  Some have adapted well, others did not survive. 

Thanks for the reminder, "Change is Life".

May 23, 2009 05:30 PM
Ralph Gorgoglione
Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes - Kihei, HI
Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407

Good for you for taking the risk in change.

The world is always changing, and if you do not change with it, then you'll diminish.........

May 23, 2009 05:48 PM
Maria Morton
Platinum Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Change is inevitable. Trying to avoid change is futile and sometimes painful. Flow with change. Thanks for the words of wisdom Bonnie.

May 23, 2009 06:08 PM
Bonnie Cox
Prudential Caruthurs - Bel Air, MD

Hi Christine D!

It's hard to do when you have managers pining for the numbers.  The awards ceremony's don't reward good intentions . . . they reward numbers.  It takes a special discipline to focus on the reason for the task and not the goal, but it works.  Thank you for posting!

May 25, 2009 09:49 AM
Bonnie Cox
Prudential Caruthurs - Bel Air, MD

You're welcome Elizabeth.  I needed some reinforcement myself :o)

May 25, 2009 09:50 AM
Bonnie Cox
Prudential Caruthurs - Bel Air, MD

Hi Anne,

I wasn't trying to cut any realtors short at all.  Mostly it was self-reminder.  It too easy to get sidetracked by numbers in a tough economy and we forget that we are not alone in hurting.  I agree with you in developing positive friendships with other realtors.  That is excellent advice!

May 25, 2009 10:01 AM
Bonnie Cox
Prudential Caruthurs - Bel Air, MD

Linda L.,

I agree that some of these changes have forced us to do business differently (whether we wanted to or not).  We have some weird goings on in requirements for appraisers now.  The state (Maryland) wants them to be analysts now too.

May 25, 2009 10:04 AM
Bonnie Cox
Prudential Caruthurs - Bel Air, MD

Ralph - Thanks for the comments!  Sometimes it is riskier to stay the course then to change it.  I have this song going through my head "The Edmund Fitzgerald".

Maria - It's good to see a fellow Prudential agent!  I've always wanted to live in the Midwest.  Yes, avoiding change (or anything) instead of confronting it or adapting to it will only lead to trouble.  Great way of putting it!

May 25, 2009 10:18 AM