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Real Estate Lessons from Veteran’s Day – by Dana Sparks 


Veteran’s Day is celebrated on Monday November 11th.   This is the day we honor all of America’s veterans both living and dead. Each year on November 11th, we demonstrate how much we appreciate all the sacrifices that our veterans have made to keep our country free.  Thank you to veterans everywhere and especially to all of our veterans at Maximum One!

As we think of the concepts of sacrifice and honor if we can relate these concepts to our clients and co-op agents and lenders and attorneys, we can not only enjoy our careers more but we can enjoy more business as well.

People Are Doing the Best They Can in the Moment – People are who they are in the moment given the situation in which they find themselves.  So if you find that a client is being difficult to deal with, take a step back and try and view the situation from their perspective.  Is your Buyer’s frustration level mounting because they have lost out on their third offer for their “dream house?”  As an agent, you are familiar with the market, the inventory, the prices, etc… your client continually hears on the news that we are in a “Buyer’s Market” and they should be able to get the “deal of the century.”  Consider that perhaps it is easier for your client to vent their frustration on YOU rather than take out their anger and confusion on their spouse or children.  When you co-op agent is rude and uncooperative with you, perhaps they just received some bad personal news or just had to put a beloved pet down.  Instead of being offended, compassion may be the emotion that would serve you best in this situation.

People Hire You to be the Professional – Your clients hire you to guide and lead them through this process.  Honor their intelligence and maturity although they may not be familiar with the processes, procedures or terminology of real estate.  It is YOUR duty to educate them about real estate rather than getting upset with them when they think you are fibbing about the availability of inventory.  As the professional, you know the true status of particular listings in an area; you also know that the websites that public has access to (Zillow, Trulia, etc.) does not reflect the current status of the market.  So your Buyer calls you up and wants to go see houses this weekend, you tell them that there is nothing available to show.  They go home & look online and see PLENTY of active listings.  So they drive around on the weekend, call on another agent’s sign, that agent meets them after lunch to show them that listing.  Agents know that the house is under contract but agents also know that fewer than 1% of Buyers actually buy the first house about which they call.  The listing agent gets a new Buyer and you get the boot!  Your Buyer thinks that you were simply being “lazy” and didn’t want to show them houses this weekend.  When they fire you, you are the one to direct your anger and frustration towards… not your Buyer! This is your profession and it is your responsibility to educate them about the market, the current level of inventory and it is up to you to future pace them on what they will see online on the public websites.  When you scratch your head as to why your co-op agent is not presenting your client’s counteroffer, maybe that agent is not as confident and skilled as you are and does not how to deal with their very headstrong client.  Instead of getting upset and thinking how inept the other agent is, perhaps you could give them a way to present your counteroffer to their client.  Start your conversation with, “Obviously you are aware that the due diligence period expires tomorrow and I’m sure you have reminded your clients of the consequences of…..”

People May Be Making Sacrifices of Which You are Unaware – The majority of our clients are relative strangers to us.  They tell you what they think you need to know to assist them with their real estate needs; they do not necessarily tell you everything that is going on in their lives (at least most of them don’t!)  You may have clients that have to sell for an undisclosed financial reason and selling may not be their first option but perhaps their last resort.   Perhaps a couple needs to buy a house to accommodate their grandson that they are raising.  This couple obviously loves their 8-year old grandchild but they were just set for the time in their lives where they were “foot loose & fancy free” and now they are thrown back in time ten years.  This couple will be all smiles and light to you but perhaps deep down this move represents a huge sacrifice on their behalf and a huge alteration of their life.

In conclusion, honor your clients and co-op agents for their position and the stressors they may be experiencing at the moment.  Don’t be offended or get frustrated by their behaviors or comments; consider a different way to present your information because their reactions may have nothing to do with you.  Just like we honor our Veterans on Veteran’s Day, honor your clients and colleagues with patience and compassion and you will achieve greater rewards in your business, feel a sense of grace and enjoy this crazy real estate market we are experiencing!  Afterall, we are all working towards the same ultimate goal in each transaction.

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