I confess. Watching The Bachelor is my guilty pleasure. There, I said it.
After watching last night’s season premiere, my mind starting ticking. The quest for love (while on an elimination realty TV show) is a lot like real estate! From the bad to the good, here’s a fun look at five similarities between the two.
1. Your attitude can make or break you. The rose ceremony is my favorite part of the show. There’s just something about eliminations that is so much fun to watch from the safety of your own home where you aren’t being judged while sitting in your pajamas and drinking wine! Without fail, the camera scans the lineup of contestants and zooms in on an array of facial expressions – from the smiles to the grimaces to the outright strange. (To the lady with eyes bulging in anticipation of getting a rose, blink! Keep it together, America is watching and you know this!). I’m sure the show is cleverly edited to show dramatic facial expressions at just the wrong time on the contestants’ faces, but I don’t care about editing when I’m watching – I’m in the moment!
When the camera pans to a contestant I had been rooting for and she is frowning or rolling her eyes each time another contestant’s name is called, she drops a few levels in my book (you know, because my couch vote matters). I start to hope that she doesn’t get picked because no one needs that kind of bad attitude around. It’s no different in real estate.
If you’re competing against other agents for a listing, or even a buyer, your attitude can either keep you around or send you home. I’ve seen way too many agents pull the, “I’m-better-than-all-the-other-agents” card when really their attitude says, “I have a worse attitude than all the other agents – can you already see I’ll be a joy to work with.” The moment you make it about putting other agents down instead of focusing on your relationship with the client, is the moment you start working against yourself.
The fix? Stay passionate about why you got into real estate and why you want to help your clients. Block out the negativity by staying true to yourself. Perhaps a burn-out is fueling your bad attitude? If that’s the case, take some time to refresh and recharge yourself.
2. Fear of competition is everywhere. In the beginning episode of each season, limos arrive and drop off contestants by the bunch. The first groups to settle into the mansion develop a sense of entitlement, and as more contestants roll in, you start to see the first group get more and more anxious. Forget it if a curve ball is thrown and more-than-expected contestants are added! Viewers hear, “With each new person that walks through the door is one less rose that I could be getting.”
Agents can be the same way. Whether it is competing for a listing or just a general, “Please don’t let any new licensees come in this year,” the fear of competition is real for some agents. Bad attitude accompanies this fear 100% of the time. Notice how the contestants who make the show about competition wind up playing the contestants in underhanded, drama-fueled ways and then get booted off the show? This will happen to you too in real estate.
The fix? Whether competing for a listing or for a rose, be the best you that you can be! Give it all you have so that you know you did your best – and, if you don’t win, you know it must have not been a good match anyway. Embrace the reality that there will always be competition. Let it fuel you to be the better person/agent.
3. Communication will always be your number one success factor. In The Bachelor, we see contestants fight for attention, knowing that without communication, they’ll be sent home without a chance at love. Throughout the season we see how bad communication can send a budding romance into a downward spiral of drama and tears.
This is a lot like real estate. If you aren’t communicating with your database, they may run into the arms of another agent who is doing the communicating, only for you to learn that they bought a house from their Facebook feed. More importantly, a client’s experience throughout a transaction will heavily weigh on your communication with them. If they felt as though you communicated early and often with them and that you kept them educated on the process, you’ll get rave reviews. Drop the ball on communication and every blight on the transaction will be blamed on you.
Stay in the game. Keep your communications levels high and always be ethical.
4. In love with multiples. Ah, The Bachelor’s dilemma. He’s presented with so many good choices and it’s all too easy to fall in love with more than one. But, as the premise of the show goes, he has to pick only one in the end.
Sound familiar to you buyer agents? Your buyer wants to see homes. All of the homes. Homes they shouldn’t even be seeing (like, when we’re watching the show and we know the bachelor should never pick a particular contestant, but keeps her around anyway). Sometimes, they know there is “the one” but they still want to check out other homes to be sure. Unless they can purchase more than one home, this can become a crisis that you need to guide them through.
The fix for buyers who can’t seem to make up their minds – be patient (not pushy). Pick up on their cues when there is “the one” and have a heart to heart with them. Remind them of their goals and motivations and evaluate and changes or deviations. Educate them as much as possible so that they can make the best decision with the most knowledge at hand. They’ll thank you in the end for setting them up with the home of their dreams.
5. The high of getting the rose and the work it takes to keep it. Each episode is a build-up of the contestants wanting the rose really badly and then (hopefully) breathing a sigh of relief when she receives the rose at the end of each show. This goes on and on for several weeks.
Realtors can certainly relate. When the buyer chooses to work solely with you or when the listing agreement is signed, we celebrate! You did it, the client chose you! Then the process begins and the inevitable hiccups can cause agents to fear being dropped by their client – perhaps because of a listing taking too long to sell or a buyer alludes to being less loyal than you thought (“I had the listing agent show me the property because I didn’t want to bother you.”). Agents are in a constant wooing stage until the close – and really should be there long after the rose, uh, I mean close. This can be as mentally draining as bungee-jumping to prove your love.
Avoid the emotional roller coaster. Don’t lose the excitement you had when you signed on your client. Treat each day and each bump in the road with the same enthusiasm you had in the beginning and don’t lose sight of your clients’ goals. Make sure your clients know that you are always there for them and they are never a bother to you (and have systems in place for when you can’t be physically present).
The takeaway for real estate agents: have a good attitude, even if you are competing, and always have good communication with your clients – it can help your clients through their hardest decisions. And, don’t forget, pursue your career with the same ardor as you had when you first got into this business – it will make getting to the finale, aka the closing table, that much sweeter!