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Mindset is Everything

Real Estate Agent with Hollish Hill Group, JPAR Stellar Living

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 REALTORSdon'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 JumpBallhad 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 


Setting Boundaries

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. 

Posted by


Dana Hollish Hill
REALTOR * Broker * Coach 
JPAR Stellar Living
800 S Frederick Ave, Suite 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20877
office 301.944.9070  
cell  202.271.5301
web danahill.jpar.com

Comments (41)

Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

Boundries are important and your blog was eye opening for me.  We are human and the family needs a little more of us than we sometimes realize.  

Feb 06, 2019 04:44 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

With potential buyers, I would love to ask for a retainer...just in case they don't buy anything!  That has happened.  Over the years I have developed a system for working with potential new buyers that seems to work .  Of course, as a new agent, the desire is so strong to get experience that often the boundaries aren't there and their time can be wasted.

Feb 06, 2019 07:14 AM
M.C. Dwyer
Melody Russell Team at eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Thanks for an insightful post - mindset is something I look at nearly every day.     And maintaining boundaries is key to a balanced life.

Feb 06, 2019 08:06 AM
Amy Christiansen
Christiansen Real Estate - Gunnison, UT
Residential Real Estate/ Land

I have a hard time setting boundaries.  It is something I am working on in my professional and personal life.  Mindset is so important and something that needs to be worked on each day.  When I have a positive mindset about my career, I sure can see a difference.  Great post!


Feb 06, 2019 08:58 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Love this blog.  It's key to have the right mindset and to remember that this is a business, just like any other business.  Setting those boundaries for personal time is so important!  I've gotten away from this and need to return to it.  Just because I don't have any family in town doesn't mean I don't need to set boundaries!

Feb 06, 2019 10:15 AM
Alesha A. Wilson, M.Ed.
Buy and Sell Oklahoma LLC - Oklahoma City, OK
Buy and Sell Real Estate with Confidence

I am big fan of Dr. Brene Brown and her research.  She mentions "Compassion does not exist without Boundaries"
Setting boundaries definitely takes practice - and I'm still working on it 
Thank you for sharing!
Congratulations on the Feature!!

Feb 06, 2019 11:13 AM
Dana Hollish Hill

I am just about to start a Brene Brown book and have been told I will love her. 

Feb 06, 2019 12:35 PM
Ann Wilkins
Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty - Oakland, CA
Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont CA

The mindset really struck home - why limit yourself with boundries of just 10 points and 10 steal/blocks.  So impressed that your daughter made it to a 22/16!  I sometimes limit my thinking in real estate and just take it easy - not stretching and going the extra mile.  I do well but could do better.  Of all the sports out there, women's basketball - especially high school and college level, is one of the very best sports to watch.  You really see them set up the plays and work the ball. Congrats on such a great post and awesome daughter!

Feb 06, 2019 02:23 PM
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

Wow! I need to rethink my boundaries!!!

Feb 06, 2019 04:14 PM
Greg Mona
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!

Great food for thought Dana Hollish Hill. While I wish I could say I get every buyer to sign an agreement up front and don't show any homes without one, well, that wouldn't be entirely correct. But you are correct, the face to face meeting to set the ground rules along with a signed agency agreement are a must. Everyone knows where they stand so there shouldn't be any (well, maybe a few!) surprises later on. Great post! 

Feb 06, 2019 05:29 PM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Dana, Iloved your reply! I drive agents around me crazy with my 24/7/52 style. I always tell them “it’s hard to teach old dogs new tricks”!!!

Feb 06, 2019 05:51 PM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

I have read some of the comments about being doormats or taken advantage of because making yourself always available. I promise you as a Mack Truck dealer I have had to deal with some the most hard nosed people on this planet. I have never had a Real Estate client as difficult as most truckers and truck owners. You’ve never seen anger like a truck owner that just paid $150,000+ for a new truck, and it is sitting on the side of the road with hot load on it. Just because I’m always available does not make me a pushover!

Feb 06, 2019 06:13 PM
Barbara Todaro

old dogs... woof woof.... we're all cut from the same cloth.... Tom Bailey 

Feb 18, 2019 06:05 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Dana,

Good reminder for us to set boundaries. Usually, we thrive more within contraints, so that is a good thing.

Feb 07, 2019 08:21 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Fabulous story and mindset.  Congrats to your daughter and for having a great Mom!

Feb 07, 2019 09:42 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Dana Hollish Hill ,

Congratulations on the well deserved featured post. It is all about mindset and you are right when we act as a professional we get treated like one!

Feb 07, 2019 05:01 PM
Monique Ting
INET Realty Honolulu, HI - Honolulu, HI
Your agent under the sun

Dana, thank you for reminding us about the importance of treating our business as such... while the business can and sometime does take over our life, it is important to set those limitations in order to be able to strive in the long run. Aloha and much continuous success to you!

Feb 10, 2019 01:23 PM
Tom Thornton
Realty Austin - Austin, TX
Broker Associate, MBA, ABR, CRS, GREEN, GRI, SRES

The T-shirt graphic in your header feels like my family's life right now. A good reminder that we're all juggling!

Feb 15, 2019 08:30 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Dana Hollish Hill most agents focus on the money and it's before they earn it.... as a result, they miss much of life... good business can be done without eliminating personal life events...  and Tom Bailey is right with his comments.... the old dogs (I'm one of them!!) realize toward the end of a career that there is life beyond real estate.... I do marketing for my team that my daughter runs... and I begin every day at the gym with my workout and then training others... I begin every day with personal first!!

Feb 18, 2019 06:10 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello, Dana - I don't know how I missed this post but it is full of good messages that apply to real estate and to life.  Well-written.

Feb 18, 2019 06:39 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Hi Dana.  Wonderful post that I missed the first time.  But, thanks to the re-blog from Joan Cox I didn't miss it forever.

Feb 19, 2019 07:54 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Love seeing your daughter in action, Dana Hollish Hill!  Look at that vertical leap!

Feb 26, 2019 08:25 AM