DON’T BE A SOURPUSS

By
Services for Real Estate Pros

Angry young girl grimacing
Competition is a funny thing. For some people, it’s the fire that drives them to do more and accomplish more. It’s the motivation for even greater achievement than they thought possible. It can even be the thing that gives them a sense of purpose they never had before.

But for other people, the effect is just the opposite. Some people wilt at the mere thought of it. And should they find their competitors are succeeding, they can be flung into a spiral, letting frustration become self-doubt that turns them listless and unmotivated.

So, if you find you’re in the second group, what do you do? It’s an issue that comes up a lot with my coaching clients, who sometimes find that seeing other agents succeed eats away at them. Simply avoiding competition isn’t an option, of course. Real estate is, by its nature, a competitive business. I believe that with the right approach, you can begin to welcome competition.

1. Congratulate your colleague. Yes, that’s right, the very person you don’t want to recognize deserves recognition for his or her achievement. Don’t be a sourpuss. You know how much work it takes to get new business. Offer your acknowledgment of that. What goes around comes around, and your positivity will be remembered.
2. Make the decision to up your game. Look, if you’re losing, you have to do better. Generally speaking, it’s that simple. Okay, they have more business than you right now—what are you going to do about it? Sitting at your desk and wallowing in self-pity and resentment isn’t going to win you new business. Scheduling business development activities, calling clients, and getting out and meeting new people, on the other hand, will. And don’t fall for the self-pitier’s oldest trope that success is about luck. Because you have to…
3. Understand that it’s not about luck. When I was selling real estate, I used to hear the “You are so lucky” refrain from many of my colleagues. Is luck a factor? Sure. It accounts for, let’s say, 1% of where you find yourself professionally at any given moment. The other 99% is, of course, hard work. Be honest with yourself, how hard are you working?
4. Set goals and visualize your game plan. Setting your eye on where you want to be is the first step in realizing your goals. If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you get there? Set the goal and then work backwards. You know what it takes to get that new listing, so now go do it.

Look, we all feel sorry for ourselves sometimes, and another person’s success can often feel like our failure. But when you let yourself get swallowed up by those feelings, well, that’s the moment you truly start losing.

Comments (26)

Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I agree totally! They just have to care in a real sense of the word. That plus credentials is what makes the full package.

Mar 19, 2015 10:37 AM
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

I teach my agents to focus on a niche or two.  If you get good at a niche, it eliminates much of your competition. 

Mar 19, 2015 10:56 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

We should always try to maintain an even temperament, whether on the winning side or the listing side.  Never let them see us sweat

Mar 19, 2015 11:04 AM
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com

Pauline, There is plenty of business for all of us.  I do not believe in worrying about the competition.  I just want to have a piece of the pie and keep adding to it.

Mar 19, 2015 11:36 AM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

It is important to "shake it off" and move forward.  Having a plan and a plan of action are the keys to success.

Mar 19, 2015 12:13 PM
Paula McDonald, Ph.D.
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Yes, keep it professional at all times and never, ever burn those bridges.  Great post.

Mar 19, 2015 12:28 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Pauline, we win some, and we lose some.  It's just part of the job.  And if we're lucky we win more, or we figure out how to avoid stuff like bidding wars for our clients.  Being smart and competent is as important as being competitive.

Mar 19, 2015 12:40 PM
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

I compete against myself and that keeps me from worrying about what anyone else is doing. 

Mar 19, 2015 01:12 PM
Dan Tabit
Keller Williams Bellevue - Sammamish, WA

Pauline, I've been in lots of different sales environments and the sour pusses are out there.  One of my first bosses caught me hanging out with a couple of the worst as I was just getting started and did me a favor by telling me to stay away from them.  Negativity is contagious and blaming others, the weather, economy etc is easy. Working hard over comes all of that. 

Mar 19, 2015 01:45 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Pauline Donnelly - great lesson for those who always believe that they can never win!

The self-confidence and attitude is the key to winning!

Mar 19, 2015 02:39 PM
Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA

Phil Dunphy on modern family is a good model for realtors to emulate.

Mar 19, 2015 09:01 PM
Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector
SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

Everything counts and I do something every day to make my competition try and keep up. 

Mar 19, 2015 09:03 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Excellent post. I mean, who likes a sore loser? I learned a long time ago to compete with myself and then it's easier not to be a sore loser.... just motivates me to do better.

Mar 19, 2015 10:03 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Luck is a small part of it and is always welcome. Let's activate our skills bank if you want to really see results. Every one has one too. Find this, you find everything...

Mar 19, 2015 11:50 PM
Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

It's so fascinating how different each of us are. Except for that so many RE agents say it out loud, I had never perceived a colleague as competition. I sell their houses, they sell mine! We co-sell! That's all. THANK YOU TO PAULINE that as a pro-sales-coach, you are able to help our industry find the right perspective!

Mar 20, 2015 02:29 AM
Virtual Realty Consultants
Virtual Realty Consultants LLC - Wellesley, MA
Making the American Dream a Reality

Your only competition should be yourself. Find a broker and a brand that offers the systems, tools and training/coaching/mentoring that you are comfortable with and you will succeed. If you work with a broker that is hands-off and you need a coach, it doesn't matter that you get to keep 90% of you commission. Because 90% of nothing is nothing.

On the other hand, if you can operate (responsibly, ethically, and independently) without broker supervision, marketing and transaction coordination, and provide your own E&O policy coverage, you probably would feel hamstrung working in a "traditional" brokerage with more conventional splits.

Mar 20, 2015 02:39 PM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I agree with John Meussner , we need to compete with ourselves to constantly improve our game.

Mar 20, 2015 02:45 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Pauline - There is nothing fun in being a sourpuss.  I would rather be inspired than jealous.

Mar 20, 2015 03:19 PM
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

That saying of "The harder I work, the luckier I get" comes to mind here.   I compete only with myself and fully believe that everything happens for a reason!

Great post and I'm glad it was featured.

Mar 21, 2015 03:43 AM
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Maybe it's a sign of the times we live in, but it seems many real estate agents have lost the ability to be gracious and to recognize the contributions of others. Competition shouldn't breed insecurity and spite.

Mar 22, 2015 07:17 PM

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?