Cultivating the Art of Rainmaking to Transform your Business Forecast!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate

The Art of Making Rain

This past week was an adventure...the cost-a-fortune-college-trip adventure!  We just got back from a long trip up the east coastline to visit a few universities with our son.  Just prior to the trip, a scary Northeaster storm rammed the areas where we were headed.  Then on the way into New Haven, CT, news of the Virginia Tech massacre was filtering in on the airways.  With so much going on, including flooding reports in many areas, we were actually grateful that our final destination was simply blustery cold rain & moderate winds. 

We passed several areas which still remained covered by standing pools of ground water, the result of excess amounts of rain in a short period of time.  As I buried deeper into my winter coat to protect myself from the elements, the coldness of the rain was just one more element to plow through.  This rain was not refreshing...it was simply cold, dreary & depressing. 

We met all sorts of individuals on this trip.  There were the parents of fellow students, who like us were accompanying sons & daughters on a new phase of their life journey.  It was refreshing to talk to them; sharing stories about our children's dreams & accomplishments.  The students we met were also amazing.  Talking to young men & women who had optimism, hope and a desire to excel, was like refreshing rain that wipes away the soot & grime that dirties up life's lens.  In the wake of the sad news about Virginia Tech that we now began to understand in more detail, these promising young scholars nourished hope  in my soul and bathed away the cynicism & fear that shrouds the ability to see the sun through the clouds.

The term rainmaker has become a much tossed about term in business.  In ancient folklore, a rainmaker was one who was believed to have magical charms to produce rain in the community.  Today, the term describes someone who becomes known for achieving excellent results in a profession or field such as business or politics.  It's interesting to see how this term has evolved in modern usage.  Rainmaking today is not a function of luck or charm, it's the beneficial result of diligent, disciplined hard work.  The key is understanding that not all forms of rain merit consideration as being helpful or beneficial.

Storm clouds that dump excess amounts of rain in quantities which can not be adequately or properly absorbed do more harm than good.  In my zeal to accomplish things quickly, I have sometimes resembled a storm cloud.  I've come to recognize that feelings of irritation, anxiety, anger & impatience are not precursors to the highest good in my life, no matter how well intentioned my goals.  When decisions...personal or professional...have been made with the heavy laden energy of storm clouds, the deluge has not yielded the best results.  Like the storms clouds which dump massive quantities of rain with unimpeded fury; decisions with negative energy can result in massive devastation ...and can derail a promising transaction.

Refreshing rain has some distinct qualities.  First, it falls in the amount necessary at the time & it does no harm.  A little pitter, patter of rain on sun scorched earth is not tremendously helpful for a region ravaged by drought, and my lawn almost always looks better after a little thunder & lightening has increased the nitrogen content of the soil.  So, effective rainmaking is not about being comfortable or nice, it's about doing what is best for the right reasons.  When I run ads in a medium which I know yields limited results just to pacify a seller, I am making not practicing effective rainmaking...I am succumbing to the process of creating waste.  When I hope that a home will sell although the seller is unrealistic in pricing & presentation, I risk creating the makings of storm clouds which will eventually burst with a fury that can be destructive. Yes, truth be told, I've been guilty of both of these types of destructive tendencies.

Effective rainmaking requires the discipline of being grounded.  It's a curious combination of light & dark, soft & hard, practial & yet intuitive.  Sometimes difficult decisions have felt akin to being hit by a bolt of lightning.  Coming to the realization that changes in my company or location were necessary were not easy, but the aftermath has been much greater freedom & confidence in the path that I have chosen.  Effective rainmaking also strives to leave in its aftermath, a better situation than what preceded its arrival.  Sometimes, this is the only reliable indicator.  Peering through the rain does not allow for accurate judgements in most instances, but if you are able to evaluate the results of the aftermath, it becomes quite clear what sort of results, a rainmaking effort has achieved.  In financial business sectors, effective rainmakers succeed by bringing in new business on a largely consistent basis & are well rewarded financially & professionally for their successful efforts.

At Audu Real Estate, every client is given the opportunity to grade our services and to receive a gift certificate for their honest evaluation.  We know that we cannot respond appropriately to what we do not know.  While most of the comments are very positive, I have found it is equally important to fully explore situations which were perceived by a client to be less than what was expected. 

By choosing to harness constructive criticism to improve, we strive to become better rainmakers and to refresh and readjust areas of our lives & business that could use the cleansing power of a good downpour!  Developing a system of continual evaluation also protects against the reactive and often disasterous consequences of reacting blindly in the midst of a storm.

© 2007 Audu Real Estate  All Rights Reserved

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Rainmaker
387,816
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Just Curious...What are you doing to Create Effective Rainmaking in your business?  It's interesting that the term has evolved from being a function totally out of our control to something which is viewed as heavily influenced by the efforts of the rainmaker.

Apr 22, 2007 09:17 AM #1
Rainer
26,477
Brad Patshkowski
Heritage Home Loans a division of Mann Mortgage LLC - Spokane Valley, WA
Home Loans Spokane, WA
Your post was very inspiriational...it's not every day someone posts a blog that is useful for the business and spirit...great job!
Apr 22, 2007 10:26 AM #2
Rainmaker
387,816
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Hi Brad, Thanks for reading & your comment.  I'm thankful that you were positively influenced professionally & spiritually.  I find that the health of the Spirit directly impacts every area of life including one's professional life.
Apr 22, 2007 11:29 AM #3
Rainer
102,822
Earl Sorrells-Palmdale
Coldwell Banker Hartwig - Palmdale, CA
"The Pearl", Rosamond, Lancaster
I really appreciate your post.  You have given me alot to think about and put into action.  I would love to hear more and see more of your posts.  YOu are an inspiration to all us new Realtors.  Thank you Earl
Apr 22, 2007 05:05 PM #4
Rainer
158,133
Stefan Scholl
Buyer's Broker of Northern Michigan, LLC - Petoskey, MI
Northern Michigan Real Estate

Lola,

I also firmly believe in seeking feedback from clients to determine if there were any perceived shortcomings, or areas in which we could possibly improve on our service delivery.  I have found, like you no doubt, that the promise of a gift certificate substantially boosts customer survey completion rates.  An added benefit is the testimonials I receive.  Good feedback is always a powerful affirmation that we are making a positive difference in our clients lives.  Constructive feedback helps us to continually improve.   

Apr 23, 2007 02:22 AM #5
Ambassador
920,196
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
Thanks so much. I'm guilty some of time about doing OPEN HOUSES when I know they don't work.
Apr 23, 2007 02:55 AM #6
Rainmaker
387,816
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Hi Earl, I truly appreciate your visit & your comment.  I am still continuing to learn so much myself & appreciate the many writers who contribute excellent content here on Active Rain.  I am glad to hear that you found this post helpful.
Apr 23, 2007 11:54 AM #7
Rainmaker
387,816
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Hi Stephan, Thanks for your comment.  The Feedback form has become one of the most important changes I made in my real estate practice.  Today, one of our agents got one back with a perfect score.  Her comment said it all:  "This was the most important part of the transaction for me!"  Not only is the feedback form rewarded by a small gift certificate to the client, agents receive a bonus if a certain percentage is obtained on the score.  So, its a Win, Win for all!
Apr 23, 2007 11:57 AM #8
Rainmaker
387,816
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Hi Missy,  Thanks for your comment & honesty!  The more I think about my business as stewardship of resources whether that be time, money, energy etc., I find more clarity about what constitutes waste and ineffective activities.  Unfortunately, the time and/or money I've spent on unproductive or low yielding activities has also meant that this energy was not available to be used where the results would be most beneficial.  I, like you am continuing to learn...
Apr 23, 2007 12:01 PM #9
Ambassador
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. 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC
REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK - Asheville, NC
What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779

Lola~

As always I enjoyed reading your article. I am thinking that ..as you say, "So, effective rainmaking is not about being comfortable or nice, it's about doing what is best for the right reasons." is something we couldto keep posted on our bulletin boards and refrigerators. I am wondering how keeping that message in our face(so to speak) might play out in great PR for those of us who are dedicated to this philosophy, and those who would be if it were right before them each day...

Apr 23, 2007 12:13 PM #10
Rainmaker
387,816
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
janeAnne, thank for stopping by & commenting.  Your thoughts...as always...are very interesting.  You have a way of engaging people to think!  Unfortunately, it is possible to make a lot of money & think you're being an effective rainmaker only to find out that the sacrifices required were never worth the supposed reward.  Now, that discovery is TRUE Discomfort!
Apr 23, 2007 01:03 PM #11
Rainmaker
1,317,476
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services
I do like the quote above -- I have been outside my comfort zone -- and some probably think I have not been NICE -- I have always stepped up to the plate to be heard -- When I was youth, I participated in sit-ins so black people could eat where the rest of us ate -- and I spoke out against prejudice and hatred -- and it goes on and on!  Making rain is something I like to do -- sometimes, it takes a storm to get people to pay attention.
Apr 23, 2007 01:50 PM #12
Rainmaker
387,816
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Hi Joan,  Thanks for stopping by & for your comment.  Being nice is somewhat over-rated!  Being polite is incredibly important, but being chronically nice is often a cover-up for hypocrisy & a desire to hide the truth about what we truly think or feel.  Being true to one's self & to one's best understanding of serving a client is not always nice or comfortable.  But at the end of the day, there is a confidence & certainty that you can stand by the decisions made & be at peace with yourself. 
Apr 23, 2007 02:30 PM #13
Rainer
84,210
Mary McGraw
GLREA - Rockford, MI
2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine!

Lola,

What an insightful post! I read through it a few times to digest the information! You make several good points. I know I have been guilty of being a "storm cloud" at times!

I enjoy your posts! You have a great ability to bring your topics alive with analogies! Thank you!

Apr 23, 2007 06:05 PM #14
Rainer
102,822
Earl Sorrells-Palmdale
Coldwell Banker Hartwig - Palmdale, CA
"The Pearl", Rosamond, Lancaster
Lola,  You are quite insightful.  Let me know when you have another blog like this.  I would love to see it.  I am getting bogged down with so much to read and see on here.  haha  I am having fun though.  See ya Earl
Apr 23, 2007 06:49 PM #15
Rainmaker
387,816
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Hi Mary,  Thanks for stopping by to read & comment!  There is a time for storm clouds, but in business one must be very careful about making decisions with that type of strong energy.  Sometimes, storms force us to face what we may otherwise be unprepared to deal with!
Apr 24, 2007 05:06 AM #16
Rainmaker
387,816
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Hi Earl, Good to see you back!  Reading & Learning is what it's all about here on Active Rain.  Good to see you actively participating.  Thanks for your comment.
Apr 24, 2007 05:07 AM #17
Rainer
24,441
Bill Westel
Eco-Steward Realty - Asheville, NC
ECO

Hi Lola:

It struck me reading your post that your description  of rainmaking as a "combination of light & dark, soft & hard, practial & yet intuitive" is most likely the method the orginial rainmakers utilized.  Excellent Post!

Apr 24, 2007 01:00 PM #18
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