Common Fears of Real Estate Agents
Yesterday I taught a class about understanding today's home buyers. Sometimes when I teach this class the majority of the attendees are brand new agents so I answer a lot of basic questions about what to talk about with buyers and what they expect from agents. Yesterday the class consisted of agents who had 2-40 years of experience in real estate so there was an incredible wealth of experience in the room.
It's amazing to me that no matter how long agents have been in business, there is a reluctance to require buyers to attend an initial "orientation" meeting and to sign an agreement for fear of losing a potential buyer. There is also a fear of setting boundaries.
This mindset is frankly, driving me crazy.
When you go to a dentist, you don't ask to get a few fillings filled before you sign any paperwork agreeing to pay for future dental work. And if there was one dentist that did that, it would likely go out of business quickly.
Agents who allow buyers free access to their services are hurting everyone else in the industry. I think that agents should focus on mindset. I recommend reading the Preamble to NAR's Code of Ethics to remind agents of our purppose.
I'm in the ongoing process of understanding the importance of mindset.
My daughter is a very unselfish basketball player. Over the years, she has probably racked up more assists and blocks than points. Now that she's interested in playing in college, she knows she needs to start scoring more. She told me she usually gets 10 points a game and had the goal of a double double each game (which is 10 points and 10 rebounds or blocks or steals). She sometimes gets a triple double. She wanted to score more. We realized that when her team is winning by a a comfortable margin, they put other players in and she doesn't get the time to score more.
I spoke to her about seeing herself as a 20 points and 10 rebounds a game player. Then she talked to her high school coach about getting the chance to score 20 points a game.
I am not a quiet parent in the stands, but I have coached basketball and I don't coach from the stands. I cheer the team on (and sometimes yell about bad calls :)) However, I got permission from the coach to yell 20/10 to my daughter and it is working.
Last night she scored 22 points and had16 rebounds plus a handful of steals, blocks, and assists. This mindset thing seems to be working
Real estate is moving at an incredible speed. I could certainly be working 24/7 if I didn't want to do anything else. It takes effort to set boundaries so you can have a life and real estate career. I have learned to set boundaries.
- When I first started in real estate I worked in nine counties and worked every day. Over time and as traffic has increased, I've reduced my geographic area.
- When I had small children, I took Wednesdays off all summer so I had one full day that my girls knew they had my undivided attention.
- When my girls had an 8:00 bedtime, I told clients I was not available from 6-8, but was available from 8-10 each evening and that worked for most of my working clients.
- And I don't miss my daughters' basketball games.
Setting boundaries reminds the public that Realtors are human. That although we are professionals who work outside of the M-F 9-5 norm, we have lives and families and time off.
Mindset is Everything
When real estate professionals act like professionals and like humans, the public will treat us more professionally. This is a mindset I strive for personally and hope to see as a reality for all REALTORS one day soon.