Work with People You Want to Work With – Thoughts From A Real Estate Agents Perspective
I have spent much energy and time by trying to please everyone, trying to be accepted, trying to be liked but realized I had to change my ways. I began eliminated those I didn’t want to work with, play with, be with, progress with, achieve with and love. It’s an elimination tactic that helps you thrive. Here’s why.
“When you please others in hopes of being accepted, you lose your self-worth in the process.” Dave Pelzer
As a real estate agent, I had to deal with people every day. A big part of my job was to ask people for their business, to select me as their agent to sell their house.
My goal, obviously, to make a living for myself. However, I wanted to do the very best job I could. Provide excellent service through open, transparent and honest communication so we could work together to get the very best price for their property in the shortest possible time frame.
Why be in service to others or do anything for that matter that lacks pure intent, good ethics and morals and is only one-sided?
I believe most agents start out with this authentic approach to sales but as they become conditioned they forget why they are in the industry in the first place. They become desperate. Tell lies. Create false hope. Set high expectations they cannot meet. And lose touch with their own core values. It becomes more about the transaction and less about the value of the relationship. In part, it happened to me.
Looking over the busiest six months of my real estate career I noticed a pattern. I had a high amount of sales for that period but an equal amount of properties that didn’t sell. They either withdrew their home from sale, signed up with another agent or sat, without any motivation or effort, on the market with me.
In assessing why this is what I discovered. At that time the market was quite competitive, and in being so, I did what I could to get a listing. I choose to work with anyone rather than choosing who I wanted to work with based on my values and listing criteria. I opened the doors to try and please everyone.
I listed people who had no motivation to sell. Individuals who didn’t want to commit financially. Couples who didn’t like me but went with me because I could list them for free. If they wanted an unreasonable price, I’d agree. I aimed to please and did whatever it took to try to do so. This strategy doesn’t work.
The additional time and energy that went into keeping up these charades were wasteful. On top of that, it added more stress and pressure to my already busy life.
It helped me list more because I had more properties on the market than most other agents in the area at the time but it also meant I was listing more people that weren’t my ideal clients.
What I noticed is that for those properties that didn’t sell over that six-month period were those which belonged to the people who ordinarily I wouldn’t want to list or work for in the sale of their home.
I put half my time and energy into trying to please these people who, no matter how hard I tried, I found I just couldn’t please. Probably more than half, because those that wanted to work with me trusted me to do my job and required less time, energy and effort.
The “haters” were quick to find fault and blame in my methods.
Partly it was because my approach wasn’t honest and partly because I had to be someone who I wasn’t to get their business in the first place. Also, because these vendors had unrealistic expectations that I didn’t manage correctly.
It is challenging to try to make someone like you, understand your approach and methodology when from the onset they didn’t like it. It’s not that they didn’t appreciate me personally but rather what I had to offer. You end up adjusting your style in attempt to try fit their needs and desires. It’s is a recipe for disaster.
There are only a few reasons in my opinion why a property won’t sell. The owner’s expectations are too high, and they don’t wish to meet the market price or that person selling the house doesn’t know how to attract buyers to view the property. If buyers see a house, they like they will buy it or at the very least make an offer. If both parties can agree on a fair price it’s a deal.
Half those properties I listed I knew were probably not going to sell. The reason being that they were either hoping to win the lottery (unrealistic price expectations) or because they didn’t want to invest financially in the marketing of their property. A lack of investment impacts my ability to attract potential buyers, by using advanced marketing techniques, but also indicates a lack of commitment on the seller’s behalf.
Seller’s that are not willing to commit or put skin in the game are less motivated to put in the effort required to present a home for sale. They are likely less motivated to sell and unknowingly become time wasters of both their time, the agents and the buyers. As agents we are also to blame because we create false promises or hope just to gain a listing. Sometimes, with all integrity, we simply just get it wrong.
A long winded story I know. The lesson is that if I stuck to my values and listed only those people who wanted to work with me according to my rules and who I also wanted to work with in return, I would have been better off. The clients would have been better off.
Yes, some properties may still not sell because as an agent we cannot always get the property value right and some sellers just aren’t as motivated as others, but with these, as an exception, I still would have saved myself many headaches with those I listed which I shouldn’t have.
Don’t become a ‘yes’ man. What’s that? Someone who aims to please everyone by saying yes regardless of whether it is integral to your beliefs or values.
We say ‘yes’ because we fear rejection. We say ‘yes’ because we are desperate. We say ‘yes’ because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. Saying ‘yes’ to all external demands beyond your best judgment or will remove you from being aligned with your best Self and as a result will affect your Self-worth.
When dealing with people who we don’t want to work with or those who don’t really want to work with us, we spend time and energy in trying to influence them to our ways. They do the same. If we never saw eye-to-eye in the first place why did we begin the relationship? How did we think it was going to work. We are both at fault.
We can infuence others perspectives about many things in this world but we can not change anothers desires.
To improve my results, I adopted the 80/20 rule. This rule explains that 80% of my results come from 20% of my activity and 20% of my results from 80% of my activities. If I was going to improve my results I was going to need to do less of the 80% that was giving me very little return – like working with those customers I didn’t want to work for.
Essentially, when you are not being yourself and acting aligned with your values and beliefs you spend most of your time in activities that produce very little of the results you desire. As an agent, this is what I was doing, spending all my time trying to please people who were unpleasable when I could have better spent it pleasing those that wanted to work with me.
Shift your focus. Stop trying so hard to fit in and be someone you are not. Not everyone has to be your friend. Not everyone has to do business with you. You don’t have to try please everyone by being someone you’re not.
Who cares what shoes I wear or clothes I buy. Who cares if others find offense in my thoughts. Who cares if the way I conduct myself or live my life isn’t pleasing to everyone else. This is me! This is what I do! This is who I am!
If we can see this and stop focusing all our attention and efforts on pleasing others and rather use this time doing what we love, operating how we wish to be only then will the results we desire start rolling in.
We upset people more when we try to be or promise something that we cannot deliver on. We cause ourselves more unease and dissatisfaction in this approach. It’s better to leave it alone and avoid a situation that isn’t integral to our core values. People won’t notice it, nor will they care. People are more receptive to those who are as they are.
My final thoughts.
Do work you love and do it with people you respect and those who respect you.
Work with those who are as excited and as passionate as you are.
Don’t try fit in for the sake of fitting in. Quality relationships are a fundamental human need, but they won’t grow into quality relations if you cannot be yourself.
You will be more productive and produce greater results in both business and in life when you be congruent to your values.
Effectiveness in life comes from being purposeful. There is very little purpose in trying to please everyone or being someone who you are not.
“The only way to do great work is to do the work you love.” Steve Jobs
“I say what I want to say and do what I want to do. There is no in between. People will either love you for it or hate you for it.” Eminem
“You can please some of the people some of the time all of the people some of the time some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” Abraham Lincoln
Further Reading and Resources
A Thought on not Drinking by Leigh Martinuzzi
I often feel like I am trying to offer others or suggestions on how to live life more correctly. Honestly, that is not my wish even though some people have told me at times I comes across that way. I hope that in reflection and introspection and I can share different perspectives that challenge the way others think.
Here is my thought on drinking inspired by a conversation I had with my brother. It is relevant in our attempts to remove all those habits that are non-conducive to a life of deeper happiness. It starts with knowing our ‘Why.’
I had to find my ‘why.’ I’ve been searching for a long time to discover my reason to give up drinking. It has been a big part of my life, something I believed I loved doing, and perhaps still do. I began to notice the pain of drinking was starting to outweigh the pain of not drinking. At some point, I think we all start to see the habits that slow us down in life, that cause more pain than good. You may be experiencing it now. (more…)
7 Rules to Guide Your Through Procrastination
A few weeks I posted an article titled – Procrastination: Is Procrastination the Thief of Time?. This week I wish to highlight several rules I use to help guide me through times of procrastination. I hope they are of value.
RULE 1: When in a state of procrastination ask yourself the question, “Is this something of importance or can I eliminate it from all thought?”
If something is important to us, you wouldn’t think we would struggle to act upon it, right?
Putting off those things or importance whether for an hour, a day, a year we will certainly delay the fulfillment and joy it may bring into our lives. Procrastination can stop us from living our lives to their fullest, living our dreams and even prevent us from finding purpose in our lives. (more…)
A Thought About Changing Habits
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
I wrote this post about changing habits over two years ago. I have learned a great deal both in the personal experience of changing certain habits and in theory. And as I stated then, the topic of changing habits is much more significantly complex than I can address in this post. (more…)
The Self Is Not Real – Attachment Will Lead to Suffering
Is the concept of Self an illusion? That is the question that I’d like to discuss in this post. It’d be great if I could give a definite answer. However, I am not sure I am wise enough. And of course, if there is no Self how could ‘I’ which is an identity or attachment to a form of Self possibly know the truth. Contemplation and reflection may be my best attempt.
We can describe the Self as a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflective action. In teachings of the Buddha, there is a concept of no-self or not-self referred to as anatta. It is a controversial topic that’s difficult to understand, and I think beyond that even harder to accept.
For me, my interest in the concept of Self is a result of my search to reduce my Self-imposed or Self-created suffering. As I have traversed the last several years and committed to trying to figure out life, I have discovered and begun to realise that much of my dissatisfaction in life is Self-caused. (more…)
Procrastination: Is Procrastination the Thief of Time?
Have you spent time in procrastination today? If so, over what? It is usually not a matter of if you procrastinate because most of us do daily, but what you procrastinate over. When I think about all the time I’ve spent in procrastination, I wonder how much time I’ve spent over my life.
Is procrastination a time killer, is it time wasted, or is there actual benefits for procrastination?
Putting off things due to indecision, fear or a desire to pursue things that bring more immediate satisfaction on surface value seems purposeless, yet perhaps there is a reason for this act of procrastination.
Procrastination: The act of delaying or postponing something. (more…)
Part 2: When Is It Time To Quit & When Is It Time To Persevere?
In part one I discussed my thoughts on the meaning, we often attach to the words ‘quit’ and ‘persevere.’ In summary, I believe it is important to understand that ‘to quit’ something is not a sign of weakness, and therefore it shouldn’t be used as a reason or “fear” not to pursue something in life. Secondly, the act ‘to persevere’ is challenging and it is natural for most of us to steer away from a challenge as it is human tendency to prefer pleasure over pain.
I say “most of us” because some people who are already in good practice understand and know that in struggle or difficulty magic happens. We’ve all heard that significant growth and transformation occur outside our comfort zone. In perseverance we are more likely to experience progress while quitting has adverse effects, resulting in a lack of growth, acceptance of the status quo and even stagnation! Quitting can, however, also prevent us from spending much time and energy on futile pursuits. (more…)
The Story We Tell Ourselves
The story we tell ourselves. How does our story affect our everyday life? Why is it important to be mindful of the story we tell ourselves? Can we change our story?
We all attach ourselves to a story. It becomes the identity of our Self, forming who we are, or who we think we are. It is our internal narrative or dialogue used to guide our beliefs, behaviors and our life that can have both positive and adverse impact on the reality we live.
Our story is our reality! If we don’t like it, we can change it. And in changing it, we can thrive. (more…)
Why I Lay Awake in Bed Night After Night & Practices That Help
This article is the very first blog I wrote for The Hidden Why. I thought it might be worth my time to revisit old posts with an effort to reflect on how my thoughts and beliefs have adjusted. It also gives me the opportunity to correct grammatical mistakes and clean up my writing without promising that there are none in this revised article.
In all transparency, I was not surprised by the amount of errors I made and the poor quality of my original writing. The good news is that I have certainly noticed how far my writing has come. I wrote this piece about 2 and a half years.
What I enjoyed was seeing how my perspectives have changed and yet my voice has remained very consistent. I have tried to keep this post as close to the original as possible without taking too much away from my initial intention. However, I have summarized and closed with slightly different thoughts. (more…)
Recently I listened to a podcast by Tim Ferriss on knowing when to quit and when to persevere with something. He had a bunch of special guests report their thoughts and advice to this question, most of which he has interviewed in the past. Have a listen if you haven’t already.
In this article, in parts one and two, I wish to share my thoughts on this question. I may not be as highly regarded as some of the guests on Tim’s show, but I have had my fair share of times when I’ve quit and when I’ve stuck with it. Including times when I should have quit or stuck with but didn’t that have resulted in both favorable and unfavorable outcomes.
I think it is necessary first to determine what it means to quit and what it means to persevere because sometimes the image or definition we attach to words can skew the meaning and affect our thoughts and how we behave. (more…)