This I know to be true…Working in a Competitive Business World

Oprah exacts on “This I know to be true…” and it varies on the topic but the purpose is to speak the truth, or her truth and share with others her knowledge. As a licensed Real Estate Agent I have had the opportunity to meet many people across the financial divide over the past eight years. Some were struggling some were not. Dealing with the public is very different from being in a business to business scenario such as public relations consultant. In that role I’m dealing with business owners, agency personnel who need to get their message out to the world or a part of it. I’m frequently hired to help them make their message, be heard, seen, and increase recognition of their product, service, or brand in a positive way. Media relations, writing, messaging, content, social media and strategy, sometimes planning speaking opportunities too, are key parts to the work I do. I’m paid hourly or upfront in a retainer for monthly based work. I work from a distance most of the time, virtually or remote, and don’t meet my clients in person usually over the phone, Skype or other online conferencing.

As a Realtor I help people buy, sell, market their real estate properties in person. No money is transferred up front. When a home sells, the commission a Realtor gets is paid out of the proceed of the sale. No sale – no pay. You could spend weeks, even months promoting a property or helping people find that ideal home for themselves and they simply walk away from finishing the deal. Many reasons are attributable, but that is part of the job, that’s the truth. It’s not a job for everyone, it’s more competitive than you know, not just with another agency but with colleagues, other independent contractors in your own agency. Some agents are more truthful than others. I’m direct, No B.S. Some rely on volume and persistence in pursuing their next listing. I’m strategic and can get your home in the media at no additional cost – That’s ADDED Value to the buyer and seller. Most days are not like on Million Dollar Listing, especially the price points and commissions. Sometimes the rivalries can be similar but, there are more female agents.

Here are some other truths to being a Realtor:

  1. Recommend and Referrals. Referrals are part of the business. Past happy clients are the best reference.  If Your Relatives, Close friends, Don’t Recommend You, They Undermine Your business. When there are 200 agents to choose from within a 35 mile radius, you are either helping to grow your relatives business or you are hurting it. You basically are saying ” I want this other person to get money, not you, my relative.” Would you do this to your own/sister or brother? Not okay. Referrals and other methods can be used if there’s a personality conflict.
  2. Familiarity Breeds Contempt. Your lifelong Neighbor chooses another agent to sell their home. This hurts. Happens for many reasons, such as: “Well, I know the other agent they live next to my sister.” The other agent doesn’t have a family history with your neighbor, and that may be why the other agent got the job. Sometimes, neighbors may like you, but they don’t want you to know all their finances. Also, the other agent persistently reaches out to them giving them falsehoods about the industry, other agents, and lying to them about the probable sale price of the home. Unethical-Yes. Is that against Realtor ethics -Yes. Happens too often.
  3. Marketing Matters. There are MLS systems throughout the country but if you know how to market off MLS you have a leg up. If you can write, pitch the media on your new listing, or the history of the area a home happens to be in – score more points in servicing your clients. Writing, copy on the listing matters as do photographs. Getting your home into the media, online, print, etc, gets my buyers more value in the home they are looking, certainly gets the seller more eyes looking at it, AND is part of my customer service. Paying for ads that people don’t act on isn’t always winning.
  4. Pricing Matters. I’ve managed $50 million plus at my first job out of college working as a Network Negotiator on a very large account – Proctor and Gamble at what was one of the largest advertising agencies in the world – DMB&B. I never lost $5 of their money and increased their ad values along the way. I can analyze current inventory and price a home correctly. It is up to the owner in the end to agree or not agree. But, if a home doesn’t get offers in 3 months of being listed and the home shows well, no other major obstacles, it is the price.
  5. Be A Professional.  You will need to get along with all kinds of people. If you are not a people person, it’s not the business for you.  Being ethical and following your own integrity is part of any business professional out there-whether you work for yourself or someone else. If your gut is bothered by what you see, hear, speak up and tell the truth. Passive aggressive behavior doesn’t happen in the business world as much as the personal. But, if your business is with the consumer directly prepare to be direct and confront communication traps head on.  Let it go and move forward. Just don’t forget.