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Gordon Gecko was Wrong; The Price of Greed is High

Real Estate Agent #201210229

Gordon Gecko, the famous snarky character from the film, Wall Street, http://is.gd/Ys8BpK will forever be known within the infamous one-liner club for stating, "Greed is good." In the context of the film, he was right. Sort of. It worked for him - for a while - and got him where he wanted to go. However, that was before the inevitable fall that always comes, because don't kid yourself, there's a price for every choice we make http://theinnerbottomline.com. Including selling your soul to the devil. [Word to the foolish: The booze and the drugs cost extra.]

In the real estate business, greed is never good in the long run. While it may get you the quick dollars, even if getting it means stepping over bodies you've kicked aside along the way, in the end, it will cost you the one thing that makes the difference between building a business based on trust, respect and honesty or a transactional pop-up store where corners are cut and the legalities are winked at: Longevity. http://is.gd/eFyJ5x 

Most clients can intuit greed; even smell it. Some clients are driven by it. While some don't care as long as they get the most amount of money out of the deal, most clients want to feel assured their Realtor is ethical, won't cut corners that could put either them or the deal at risk, and won't treat anyone involved in the proceedings in a disrespectful or disingenuous way.  For that kind of behavior has an interesting way of coming back and biting us in the butt.

So check yourself out before someone else does. Do you present the documents, starting from the very first real estate conversation you have with a prospective client, that the state requires you to present?  

Do you respect the other agent on the other side, asking for green lights before entering a listing at any point during the deal?

Do you take the time to thank others http://is.gd/ZvqvHn for making financing and reports and inspections and appraisals possible?

Are you more invested in proving to everyone that you're the smartest and most powerful person in the room, or are you self-confident enough to not have to prove anything to anyone?

Basically, do you treat everyone along the way that makes the sale or purchase of a property possible with the level and sincerity of respect and appreciation that you'd like to receive yourself? 

If you can't answer yes readily and fully to those kinds of basic questions, perhaps you might want to examine whether or not greed and competitiveness and arrogance http://is.gd/YK2o8X have crept into your own house of cards and the way you're doing business and then consider making some changes.

I can promise you it will not only improve your bottom line, but it will also enhance your inner bottom line http://theinnerbottomline.com, that private, sacred place each of us possesses that clearly reflects and measures the way we feel about who we are and how we're going about sharing our self with the rest of the world.


Mike Kelly,CRS,CIPS
The MJKelly Team - Santa Rosa, CA
"One of Sonoma County's Natural Resources"

Greed, Avarice and rapaciousness--all should be avoided in the practice of real estate. Having a healthy production goal is something to strive for, something to bring our dreams and desires into focus. I remember NAR's national magazine actually ran an ad stating, "Greed is Good!". It was run by a couple of mortgae guys who obviously thought the saying was a battle cry rather than an indictment of the Gecko philosophy of climbing to the top with a ladder of pillaged companies as rungs in his ladder. I was shocked when NAR ran the ad and told them so.

Oct 29, 2015 10:44 AM
Nancy Robinson Ranked #6 in MI
Century 21 Town and Country - Royal Oak, MI
#11 Century21 Realtor in the US, #16 in the World

"Greed is an overwhelming urge to havemore of something, usually more than you really need. Watching kids at a birthday party furiously grabbing for candy from a piñata, you might find yourself surprised at their greed.

Greed is often connected with money, a desire to acquire as much of it as possible, but it can refer to that kind of urge toward anything, like food or material possessions. When you see greed, it's an ugly thing, whether you're observing a greedy person or the greed of a huge company that treats its workers badly in order to make more money. Greed comes from the Old English grædig, or "voracious," which means "always hungry for more."

Lets put  another way:

In the Summa Theologiae, Medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas said Greed: "it is a sin directly against one's neighbor, since one man cannot over-abound in external riches, without another man lacking them... it is a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, inasmuch as man contemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things." (2, 118, ad 1)

So for you who think greed is good,... its not it is like the gluttony of things!


Oct 29, 2015 01:14 PM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Too much greed in the world and not enough honest folks with integrity.  You raise a lot of valid points.

Oct 29, 2015 01:20 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I'm just a simple country girl and I do what I do to help folks.  I just don't do greed.  

Oct 29, 2015 01:36 PM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Interesting post.  Greed vs Ambition ... hopefully we are able to decipher the two and I'll continue to be ambitious and work for the best interests of my clients and in the end I will be paid for my services in a fair manner.

Oct 29, 2015 02:06 PM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Greed is a state of mind of constant selflessness, so, it doesn't matter what industry you're in, greed will always be a denominator.

Oct 29, 2015 05:37 PM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

Congratulations on the feature!  You have struck a nerve with so many of us. Great post. 

Oct 29, 2015 08:42 PM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

I almost forgot!  Welcome to Active Rain.  Hope you find it a great resource for learning.

Oct 29, 2015 08:43 PM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Greed is not a quality or characteristic I want attached to my name. I am ambitious, I want to be successful, but not at the expense and detriment of others. I believe I should do what is Best for others and I will have done my job well.

Thanks for the thought provoker.

Oct 29, 2015 11:22 PM
Theresa Akin

First welcome to AR. I can say I've not been a greedy person. I've tried doing my best and the rest will follow.

Oct 29, 2015 11:45 PM
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Hi Olive - it's nice to meet you here on Active Rain. Your post gets minds to think, and that's a good thing. Looking forward to reading more from you.

Oct 30, 2015 12:11 AM
Christi Farrington
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
~ Your representative in Fairfield County, CT

N-i-c-e post!  Greedy, unethical, rude, obnoxious people, in general, can take the highway as far as I'm concerned.  I don't have the time or energy to deal with any of them and will distance myself at all cost.

It will come back to them, at some point.

Oct 30, 2015 05:08 AM
Ernest Villafranca
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate - Oakland, CA
3923 Grand Ave. Oakland CA, 510-418-9443

"People come to this firm for one reason only: To become filthy rich. That's it. We're not here to make friends. We're not here to save the f**ing manatees."

- The Boiler Room/Jim Young (Ben Affleck) speech

Another 'greed is good' guy. He should have added, "We're not here to help our clients."

Oct 30, 2015 05:56 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Burlington, MA
Metro Boston Homes For Sale

Olive Gallagher, Soldera Properties, Inc. what matters most is, how much people trust you - and then money will flow in!

It is good to make money - however, how it is made is very important.

Oct 31, 2015 02:46 PM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Olive, I found your blog by accident, by way of Kathy Streib and Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner . And I'm glad I did. I discovered your other blog,  The Inner Bottom Line, and am a fan. Welcome to ActiveRain and thanks for adding quality content. I'm a new follower.

Nov 01, 2015 12:42 AM
Irina Tibbits
Panhandle Real Estate, Inc - Panama City, FL
Investment, Sellers, Buyers,Relocation

great article

Nov 01, 2015 03:31 AM
Rakesk Taak

Well pigs grow fat while hogs get slaughtered.

Nov 01, 2015 09:18 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

So true!  Putting others' needs as our first priority will reflect on the outcome either being positive or negative!

Nov 02, 2015 03:53 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Burlington, MA
Metro Boston Homes For Sale

Olive Gallagher, Soldera Properties, Inc. - Greed is not good for sure. Specially when something wrong is done.

Or....we all know Karma Bites, isn't it?

Jan 10, 2016 02:55 PM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Greed brings short lived rewards...but times change. Excellent post!

Jan 10, 2016 10:59 PM