Passing Along Some Good Advice to New Agents
A few days ago I heard that an old friend of mine, Rick Bakke, had just passed away.
I hadn’t talked to Rick in a couple of years, but back when I was a struggling new agent 7+ years ago, Rick was kind of the maverick warhorse in the office – a high-volume agent who looked a bit like Santa Claus and often delivered purchase and sale agreements from his Harley Davidson.
(The fun part was that Rick always kept an extra helmet on hand, and seeing as I had few clients at that time, I was often available to tag along.)
Rick gave some good advice to me back then that took a couple of years to really sink in, and I often refer to it as “the best advice I’ve ever gotten in real estate.” It was simply,
“If you can’t be yourself in this business, hang it up.”
Now as easy as that sounds, sometimes it’s not. (Thus the couple of years, for me.:)
The fact is, when you’re starting a completely new business, it can be really tough to figure out when you’re just leaving your comfort zone, but growing in a good way, and when you’re crossing over into the zone of trying to become someone that you’re not.
The first is great, the second will never work. But since both involve fear and discomfort – and entrepreneurs tend to set themselves up for challenges – sometimes it’s easy to force yourself to plunge ahead when you actually should step back and say, “Hey, that’s just not me.”
So listen to your intuition – and be honest with yourself. If a dialogue feels uncomfortable, is it just because you’ve only practiced it a few times? Learn it by heart, so that you can say it without thinking about it, and then evaluate it again. Maybe by then you’ll just want to tweak a few words and it will be “yours”. Or, maybe you’ll think – “I would rather have a close encounter with a dead farm animal than ever say these words to another human being.” In which case, it’s on to Plan B.
The same goes for your mailings, your presentations, what you say on your website – however it is you interact with clients and prospects.
“You” will change over time, but it just always has to stay “you”.
I thought about calling Rick a few weeks ago and didn’t – now I’m kicking myself. So I’m passing along his good advice instead.