Four Rules of Real Estate

Recently I was reflecting on what it took to be successful in real estate and life. My mind recalled a movie from the early 1980’s called Buckaroo Bonzai. One of the characters in the movie had a saying that caught on in my circle of friends at the time. The saying was “where ever you go…there you are.” Now it was a cute little saying at the time, but the truth is most of us have to struggle to live it.

How many times have we gone to show a property, list a home, go to work, spend time with our family, and we weren’t really there? “Where ever you go…there you are.” But are we really there? We are certainly there in physical body, but are we mentally there?

Let me share with you the four rules of real estate.

1. Be there. This rule means to show up on time. Being on time to a listing appointment can often mean the difference between getting the listing and not getting the listing. It means preparing before you go on an appointment so you are ready. Being there also means treating your real estate career like a real job. Show up at work everyday at the same time. My day started at 7 a.m. during my sales career. It was very rare for me not to be in the office at that time.

2. Focus mentally. Focus mentally means to be in the moment with intense concentration. The better you focus mentally the more results you will get for your time invested. If you need to listen to the client…focus on what the client is saying. If you are formulating your answer or response, you are not listening to the client. Learning to focus is one of the most valuable skills you can acquire. Focus always comes before success. Focus means to pay attention to what is happening around you, to pay attention to the details of success. It is usually a small thing that separates success from failure. Just ask the United States women’s soccer team or better yet, ask China. One penalty kick made the difference between first and second place. The difference between the number one PGA tour player, Tiger Woods, and number 150 is about one stroke per 18 holes and over four million dollars in earnings. Focus mentally in the moment you are in.

3. Tell the truth. In every situation tell the truth. Agents are often given the opportunity to tell people something they don’t want to hear. For example, their home is worth $150,000, but the seller wants $165,000. What do you do? Many agents will take the listing at $165,000 and deal with the $15,000 price reduction later. My belief is to tell the truth. You may not get the listing, but at least you will know you were honest. Too many of us hedge or shade the truth. Understand there will be a time of reckoning. It may not be now, but it will come. It may be when the market slows and you have a bunch of listings that will not sell. Remember the truth will set you free.

4. Accept the results and move on. Too often agents let the highs get too high and the lows get too low. We need to accept the results we get. Work to understand them and the reasons why, then move on to any necessary changes.

Mark McGuire realizes that striking out is all part of playing baseball. He knows he will have other opportunities. He will have other times at bat, some today and some tomorrow. If a pitch fools him he learns from it, so as not to get fooled again. We are all going to strike out. We are going to strike out with buyers and sellers, other agents, and our broker. It is just part of life. We must learn from our mistakes and move on.

If you are worried about the lost deal, you won’t be able to focus on the one that is currently in front of you. The process of your daily disciplines and improvement of your skills are what you can control.

Lawrence Taylor had a great thought that he shared at his induction into the National Football League Hall of Fame a few weeks ago. He said, “A Hall of Famer is not someone who never falls down. A Hall of Famer is someone who continues to pick himself up and gets back into the game after they have fallen down.”

I urge you to be there everyday at every moment. Focus mentally on the one thing you are working on in that moment. Tell the truth in all situations. If you have done the first three, then accept the results, and move on. Massive success will be right around the corner.

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