October 16, 2017 | April Comstock
I believe we can learn things from everyone we encounter; even those we least expect.
1. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder- As an agent I often choose the homes I send to my clients to look at; thus, if a house does not seem appealing or like a home I think my clients would like, then I may choose not to send it. I have learned that sometimes what I think is best for someone else is not at all the case... hard for me to believe but unfortunately, it is true :)
Many times I have thought a client would not like a home and it ends up being the one they choose. Therefore, I have learned to send to my client any home that might meet their criteria and let them decide for themselves.
In life, we encounter many different types of people and places. Learning that this unique beauty is what makes our world wonderful was a good lesson for me.
2. I will not know everything- when I first started showing houses and meeting clients, I would get asked questions that I had no idea would be asked. For example, one of my first open houses I had a guy ask me when the chimney was installed and whether it was made of cement or mortar. I was like “umm that is a good question; I have no idea.” So every house after that I would try to remember the odd questions I had been asked and look up the answers prior to the showing. However, I learned that no matter how prepared I tried to be someone would always ask questions I did not know the answer to; so I learned to be comfortable saying, “I do not know but I will find out.”
In life, we will never have all the answers. Being confident enough to not know was a good lesson for me to learn in many areas of my life.
3. A person’s loyalty is not always a reflection of me- there have been many clients I have worked many hours for; clients I have tried hard to do right by; clients I have been available to at all hours of the day and night; clients I have driven miles to show houses to and ultimately these clients decided to work with another agent. This is often difficult for me as I try hard to be kind; available, and honest with my clients. Thus, when they go somewhere else for whatever reason, I often take it personal and spend far too many hours trying to understand why and what I did wrong.
In life sometimes people we are loyal to turn their backs on us, or hurt us in some way we never fully understand. Sometimes we have to accept that is a reflection of that person’s character and values and not about who we are. Learning to accept that not everyone has the same sense of loyalty that I do is a lesson I am learning to apply in real estate and in my relationships with others.
4. If I do not care about my time, others won’t either- As an agent, my job is mainly on my phone and computer. That being said, most people have their phones with them 24/7 which can really impact your ability to “leave work at work.” People call on the houses they are interested in whenever they have time; some people think as an agent you are just sitting around waiting for their call; some people forget that agents have families and lives to. Unfortunately, if you do not respond to a call right away, a client can make another phone call to an agent who is available…within 5 minutes of not responding you can lose your income from that client. There is a difficult balance between generating an income in an industry where there are more agents that are needed and making time for yourself, your family, and your friends. I am still learning how difficult this balance can be and have struggled to set limits with clients.
In life, people will take advantage of your time if you let them. What I have learned is that once you make a connection with someone being upfront about your availability can help with your time management. However, on new clients, you might have to be available to take those calls during nights and weekends if you want to continue to build your business. The reality is: if you want to have a balanced personal and professional life you will lose some clients through that process. Learning that more clients will come and respect my time is something I am still trying to believe.
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