What do you do for a living, really?

Real Estate Agent with The Ben Kinney Team 287360

What's it all about, really? I mean, as a real estate "agent" - what do you do for a living, really?

Recently, during an interview with a newer agent who was considering joining our expanding team,  I asked her what did she think we did for a living? She replied, "We SELL Real Estate!" To which I responded, "You see, that right there is the problem!"

Actually, that's not what we do, I told her. We don't sell. We don't buy. We SERVE. We are in the service industry (SERVE comes from the word SERVICE = the action of helping others). The faster you can understand that concept, the better off you'll be. This is the difference between the salesperson and the serviceperson.

A salesperson is just in it for the sale, the transaction, the close, and ultimately, the money. That can't be what gets you out of bed. That's not sustainable. It becomes a drug, "when will I get the next high?" vs the fulfillment of understanding your role in someone's journey.

I'm sure you are familiar with these types of agents, who have never been shown another way. They aren't interested in the collaboration or the win/win, just the end game. Eventually, it catches up with you.

When you come from a place of contribution, you note that you offer a great deal to your clients. You are a consultant, an advisor, often, a true friend. That's how a referral business is built. 

Unfortunately, the outside world has branded us with a bad reputation. We haven't lived up to the SERVICE standards. 

It can be changed but it must start with each and every one of us, internally, with MINDSET. 

Come from abundance, not scarcity. Remember, you have a lot to offer! Do some soul searching. What's it all for? What do you have to offer? Are you operating at your highest level of service? How can we change perceptions of what we do?

If you strive for your maximum capacity and contribution, the law of attraction will surround you with blessings. And then YOU can be the blessing to others!

The next time someone asks you what you do for a living, you can proudly answer - I'm a connector, a consultant, an advisor. I connect Buyers and Sellers, houses with buyers, vendors with clients. I consult my favorite people in real estate transactions. I am a leader and a teacher to my team and my colleagues. I GET to be a blessing to others!

Always looking for like-minded people so drop me a line to connect: karen@benkinneyteam.com






Posted by

Karen Smyth

Keller Williams Realty

Comments (46)

Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Says a lot about you ....all good

Feb 25, 2017 07:45 AM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Very true... serving people in order to meet their goals within their time-line in a way that best suits their needs. You said it!

Feb 25, 2017 07:46 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I have often said, I don't buy or sell real estate--I help others do that!  You are so right!  We market homes, we have no direct influence with the buyers (although sellers think we do).  Good blog!

Feb 25, 2017 07:50 AM
MaryKay Shumway
The Kellstrom Ray Agency, Inc. (Est. 1948) - Sister Bay, WI
Door County Wisconsin's Real Estate Expert

Nice post, captured the essence of the career in a nutshell--not easy to do!!!

Feb 25, 2017 08:32 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

I have never agree with those who tell me I am in sales whether I like it or not. I am not in sales.  I am a service consultant. 

Feb 25, 2017 09:34 AM
Eileen Burns
Trans State Commercial RE Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Palm Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
FLorida Real Estate Connector

Florida RealEstate Connector Eileen Burns congratulates on your featured post and words of wisdom.  Looking forward to cultivating a long-term relationship with you.  Although you are not new to our real estate profession, you appear to be fairly new to Active Rain so I will bestow the following to you

Active Rain Newbie  Welcome to Active Rain Karen Smyth 

Feb 25, 2017 10:12 AM
Karen Smyth
Love it, thank you!!!
Feb 25, 2017 10:19 AM
Karen Smyth
The Ben Kinney Team - Atlanta, GA
Delivering The Dream of Home Ownership Everywhere!


Feb 25, 2017 10:19 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

We are in service industry. Some think we are crooks and some are. Majority are serving people's needs.  I mentioned to a Zillow employee, a client (Silicon Valley) and stated majority have engineering background worked on Pentium chips, IC, internet. Many were programmers. He stated he is a cyberattack specialist and now correlates granite countertop and fire pit as a machine language specialist. He was suprised how many realtors had high tech background.

Feb 25, 2017 10:58 AM
Rene Fabre
ARFCO Media - Renton, WA
Practicing Philosophical Eclectic of the Arts

This resonates with me Karen Smyth !! To serve, there is no higher calling! Well said!

Feb 25, 2017 12:11 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I've managed to earn a living at his job for 25 years now. But what I do is help people.  I help people find the right house, the right lender, sell their home, negotiate, find someone to do the repair, the list goes on and on.  But I love this job SO much because I love helping people.

Feb 25, 2017 12:33 PM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

You nailed it, Karen. We are definitely in the service business. Helping others helps us. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Feb 25, 2017 12:48 PM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Karen, I really love your attitude as it is definetly in the right track.

We don't buy. We SERVE. We are in the service industry (SERVE comes from the word SERVICE = the action of helping others). The faster you can understand that concept, the better off you'll be. This is the difference between the salesperson and the service person.

People do not like sales persons. They do appreciate Service people.

Feb 25, 2017 03:54 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Years ago I had a supervisor chastise me after he heard me talking to a customer on the phone.  He let me know that we are a service industry even though we had a product to sell.  If we forget that we are there to impart our knowledge and let the clients know we can be trusted we fail.

Feb 25, 2017 05:25 PM
Karen Smyth

Thank you for sharing that!!

Feb 28, 2017 05:32 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Karen,

It is possible to make a living by doing the right thing for others. Looks like that is your philosophy too.

Feb 25, 2017 09:01 PM
Karen Smyth

We are here to serve others, not ourselves!

Feb 28, 2017 05:32 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Well put and welcome to AR. Like your outlook. As others have said, says a lot about you.

Feb 26, 2017 04:35 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

A very strong message delivered here, Karen Smyth ... and timely too, as we head into a busy spring/summer housing market.  This message isn't just for agents either ... it pertains to all of us in real-estate related services, including mine ... lenders ...


Feb 26, 2017 10:17 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Agent Retired

Great post Karen.

Feb 26, 2017 02:21 PM
John Oman
Newington, CT

You are in the the people business.  

Feb 28, 2017 08:05 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Karen,

Congrats on your feature!

I have been in a service industry my entire life and understand what it takes to provide World Class Service. We don't sell products, we sell service. !!!

Mar 04, 2017 05:35 AM
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Our licenses say "salesperson" even though I have always said the same thing as you have said in this post.  We don't sell anything (except for maybe our services).  -Kasey

Mar 07, 2017 07:48 PM