Last week I went to one of my weekly meetings. Recently we have had some guest speakers. The people who have come in to speak with us have been realtors who have been in the business for on average 20 years. These are the realtors who are top producers and have really seen it all.
I have felt incredibly lucky to have been able to get in front of these people and hear what their experiences have been like. The wealth of knowledge I have attained from these individuals has been priceless.
This last meeting really stuck out for me. We had a woman who came in and discussed her views on how she runs her business. The part of her discussion that really hit home for me was when she talked about her attitude towards her clients.
I had just come off of a week where I had put in some serious time with a renter. They had finally found a home they loved. After submitting their application to the owner, they were accepted as the renter for that property. The client spent a few days dragging their feet while this owner had pulled her listing from the market. In the end, I received an email stating that they had decided to go with a different home.
I have no idea if there was really a different home. I don’t know if they had another realtor they were working with on the side or if they had worked with someone renting out their own home. The hardest part of the experience was not knowing the true circumstances behind the change of heart. I just had to accept what had happened, wish them luck and move on.
At the meeting, the realtor had spoken of some highlights she had with clients and some of the rough moments. What had happened with my client was far from unique. It has happened to every realtor at one point or another.
The realtor who addressed the group was a mild-mannered person. She reminded me in many ways of the way I look at things and how I choose to handle them. She is resigned to the fact that things will happen that won’t be of benefit to you. It is the nature of the business. It brings up the question of are you happy enough in the business that you are ok helping someone out even if it doesn’t result in a sale?
The realtor made an excellent point that really brought the whole discussion full circle. Realtors (for the most part) really aren’t sales people. Realtors are consultants. People are making huge financial and emotional decisions. It is not up to us to decide what works for them. It is are job to show them options and support their decisions.
I look at it like this. If you go to the department store for a new outfit, you might have a salesperson assisting you. They are there to show you options. They give you a selection of wardrobe pieces to try on. The salesperson can go on and on raving about an outfit and how you must get that particular item. If the price is too high, you don’t like the color, you can’t imagine where you would wear such an outfit or you feel the garment isn’t a good fit, you most likely will look elsewhere. It doesn’t matter how hard the salesperson tries to convince you to buy it. Their job is to consult and give options. If a sale is made, great! The salesperson, to be good at their job and be able to enjoy their job long-term needs to be happy as a consultant no matter what the outcome. If not, they will burn out. They will no longer enjoy their job.
I got into this business because I like assisting others. I like getting to know different people and feeling as though I have helped them in a very personal decision in their life. As far as I am concerned, money is the bonus you receive on occasion when everything falls into place. It’s the only way to look at this business if you are in it for the long haul. If money is something you feel desperate to get every time you meet a new client, the deals are just going to fall apart.
People are savvy. There are a million realtors out there. When a decision is this big, a customer needs to feel a sense of trust and loyalty. Your intentions must be pure. You want to help them find what’s best for them. The moment your needs come before theirs, you are no longer servicing them as you should.
This in my opinion is the way this business must be looked at. You are a consultant and are in this business to assist others in what is important to them, period.