I like quotes. Some resonate so much that they become more than just a quote, but rather guiding principles to live by. I strongly believe in the quote, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. Years ago, when my partner and I started Stacked Sandwiches in Grover Beach, we made sure we had everything detailed and in place so that when we opened for business, we made a positive and lasting impression. Our goal was to be a “complete package” from the food, design, logo, customer service, and all that goes into creating a positive customer experience. Many customers thought we were a new chain and obviously had years of experience.
Now that I am in Real Estate, I believe even more in the principal of making strong first impressions. Admittedly, to be a real estate agent is a very low entry point. You take a few classes, pass a test with a score of 70% or better and then get aligned with a broker. That seems simplistic, but that really is all it takes to begin a career. Once becoming an agent, you are exposed to several different ways to market yourself and build business.
I will never stray from a quote that has become another guiding principle and that is to “always treat people as I would want to be treated.” I have studied many real estate business building systems. Several of them are outside the boundaries of my personal integrity and character. I have always told myself that I will lay my head down at night full of integrity.
As much as I like quotes, I also like movie analogies. As I have been working in this business for a couple years now, I always keep reflecting on the movie Jerry Maguire. A sports agent that makes over two hundred phone calls a day in an attempt to convince himself that he is maintaining relationships and providing a needed service to his clients. While at a convention he has an “Ah-Ha” moment of consciousness. He writes a personal and heartfelt manifesto and in the middle of the night, makes copies at Kinkos and then delivers to all the other agents at the convention. He feels that he can’t bullshit anymore and lost what he really wanted which was to have true personal relationships with his clients, not pseudo-relationships from phone calls and gifts.
From script by Cameron Crowe
And suddenly it was all clear. The answer was fewer clients. Caring for them, Caring for ourselves, and the games too. Starting our lives, really
Jerry touched the hearts of many people in the industry, but in reality, everyone knew that the business was a “numbers game” and that “each NO brings you closer to a YES”. He was fired because his bosses knew that his revenue to the company would go down because he started “caring.”
He lost all his clients except one, Rod Tidwell. The bond that these two developed and the relationship they developed was one that Jerry always wanted, even though it was at great financial risk to him along the way. Rod trusted Jerry would, “Show Him The Money” and get him his “KWAN”.
As the movie goes on and their relationship grows, they get to know each other very well. Then one night after a game Jerry is pushed to a point where he had to be “Passionately Blunt.” Jerry told Rod that when he is with his family and wife, he is all about Heart, but when he is playing football, he is all about his Head and getting his KWAN. If he were to ever play football with his Heart and not just his Head that he may play better. Of course, this pissed off an egotistical star player. However, from that time forward he played with Heart and became the league’s leading receiver which led him to his KWAN! (I know, I know, I didn’t mention the “You had me at Hello” scene in the movie, but it’s irrelevant here, really!)
Bob Sugar’s is the agent in Jerry Maguire that fired Jerry from his position with the large agency. Bob was a numbers guy. He felt the more phone calls an agent made a day the more business he would get. Jerry felt differently, that he wanted to make true relationships with fewer clients and build from there. In Real Estate, there are a lot of Bob Sugar’s. They sit on the phone for many hours a day reading scripts to potential clients in the hope a few may fall for their scripted sincerity. Some even have photos of themselves with their headset microphones on! Basically, they are telemarketers.
As for me, I like taking the “Jerry Maguire Approach” in working with clients. I work with a select few and get to know them as a person on a more personal level. I listen to their desires and have a sincere conversation, instead of reciting a memorized script of “if they say this, I will say that”. And in doing this approach, I can show my clients the “KWAN”!