In the volatile world of real estate, there are a few things you can count on.
There are many uncertainties in life and in the real estate business, but amidst all the chaos, there are a few things you can count on. Looking at your career and the world through a realistic lens will allow you to capitalize on these things and use them as foundations for building your business and yourself.
It is inevitable that you will encounter misconceptions about all manner of issues as you navigate the real estate world. These misconceptions will come not only from your clients, but also from colleagues, the media, and professionals in other fields for which the health of the housing market is a tangential concern.
Misconception may seem like an odd thing to rely on, but banking on it can be quite freeing. Because you know you can count on it, you can take the liberty to be as prepared as possible. Put yourself in the shoes of those for whom these misconceptions arise. What recent trends or events might cause professionals in other sectors of the economy to be wary of the housing market, of lenders, or of real estate agents themselves? How has popular culture and sentiment shifted in recent years, relevant to your career area? What have you learned over years of interacting with clients about the sources of these misconceptions?
Asking these and other questions allows you to begin compiling answers, not just for yourself, but for those who rely on your expertise.
You can rely on everyone you meet having expectations (some of them influenced by the aforementioned misconceptions), yourself included. Clients, especially, will even have expectations about their expectations, such as the degree to which they will be met and how they are entitled to feel when this happens.
In addition to individual expectations, the aggregate input of experts and amateurs alike will influence larger-scale expectations. The cumulative effect of social and mass media cannot be underestimated. By being honest and having the knowledge to back up your claims, you can influence public perception, even if it’s just in your local community. You can also use patterns of expectation to make informed choices in negotiations.
The number one thing you can count on is that you and your clients will learn something. Idealistically, you can hope to increase the net “street smarts” of the homeowners and homebuyers in your area. Practically, you can commit to educating yourself and your team so as to best keep abreast of trends and developments in your world.
Experience is the best teacher, as they say, but it can also be a brutal one. While you should never shy away from learning opportunities, it is also prudent to anticipate them and try to be as prepared as possible. Seek out the opinions of experienced colleagues, whether directly or through TED Talks, interviews, and blog posts. Never assume that a person or experience does not have something to teach you. And above all, whether the learning opportunity is blissful or painful, harness it as motivation to improve and achieve.