Don’t Be a Dick
[Drama vs Reputation]
Pardon my vulgar language, I guess I could have also said don’t be a “egomaniac” or “drama queen” or “self-absorbed narcissist.”
However, there no point in censoring the truth. We all know and have worked with someone like this. Luckily most people do not fit one of these descriptions, UNLESS…
They are stressed out and panicked about a real estate transaction.
It’s human nature.
When it feels like we are being backed into a corner, our bodies react. We can become more bold (demanding egomaniacs) and more focused (self-absorbed). Our survival instincts kick in and we fight the threat, which often isn’t pretty, hence the term “jerk” or “bully”. You get the drift.
Anyone who has been around small children sees this behavior all the time, because kids lack the control mechanisms to help them resist those impulses. Their minds don’t really understand that they are not truly in a survival situation, so when they don’t get something they feel they need, they react violently, rudely, they are mean about it. They scream, throw fits, become ever more demanding. Their brains are in survival mode, and they’re doing everything they can think of to get what they want.
My daughter Ivy was the champion of this. Very strong willed, her survival instincts were legendary around our household.
Most kids can put up a pretty good fuss for 5-15 minutes when things don’t go their way. Ivy would battle for hours. And when I say battle, I mean battle. It was exhausting.
As kids get older, they begin to learn social cues and norms.
They learn to have better control of the survival impulse.
Ivy is the perfect example of this.
She is now one of the sweetest and kindest kids you’ll meet. She has a high level of empathy, completely the opposite of her toddler self. [Thank goodness]
In theory, as we mature from kids into adults we should have a good grasp of how behaviors impact those around us.
However, working in real estate for the past 15 years, I’ve seen all kinds of toddler-like behavior from grown adults. It’s often unclear if they are just at a breaking point or if that is their normal mode of operation.
When you are toddler, you get a pass.
When you are an adult, you are just being an ass.
Many agents are amazing with their clients, but then a two-headed dragon with everyone else involved with the transaction. Get out of their way or they will bite.
Somehow these agents have convinced themselves that what they are doing is best for their clients, or worse, they don’t care and are just focused on doing what is best for them.
It doesn’t matter if it’s on purpose or if they are oblivious. Being a bully, a demanding jerk, two-headed dragon, or anything close to that, doesn’t actually work. At least not in the long run.
I don’t have any illusions that I am going to change any behaviors with this letter.
We don’t pick which agent we get to work with on the other side of a transaction. Our clients pick for us.
However, what we CAN CONTROL is who we surround ourselves with.
You don’t have to work in the same office with a bunch of egomaniacs.
You don’t have to deal with Daily Drama from within your own office.
I’ve never been a fan of DRAMA. I especially don’t like when people deliberately create drama inside a workplace.
At FSB, we’ve taken great pains to create a culture of low or no drama inside our office.
We try to be extra careful to not bring on high-drama agents.
This may have been the smartest thing we’ve ever done as a brokerage, as it has done wonders for creating a wonderful office environment.
We are not surrounded by egomaniacs, drama queens, and self-absorbed narcissists.
It’s like a family, (but without the family drama). Cheers to that!
It’s quite taxing (mentally) to be stuck in an environment of high drama.
It also can be quite damaging (monetarily) to have that constant distraction.
When it comes to your business, your ability to maximize productive hours is critical.
You might be happy with your broker split, but have you calculated how much time you lose to regularly dealing with drama?
Even if you are not impacted by drama in your office, your broker is. And if your broker is constantly dealing with egomaniacs and drama queens, then that doesn’t leave them much ability to assist you when you really have a problem you need help solving.
Maybe you are a lone wolf. Highly competent at your job.
You don’t need much assistance from your broker.
Well, it still matters who you hang your license with. Because if you submit an offer today for your buyer, the listing agent may not know you, but chances are high they certainly know your brokerage. And if they have had many difficult situations with agents from that same brokerage in the past, it does not bode well for you if you are in a competing offer situation. Your brokerage may be negatively impacting you.
Reputation of your brokerage does matters.
A negative reputation is like skin cancer. It starts like a small spot on your skin, and then before you know it spreads through your body, eventually getting to vital organs.
The good news is there are brokerages that have far less drama, that make purposeful decisions to not bring on jerks, that put the reputation of the firm and office culture ahead of profits.
FSB is one of them.
- So, if the drama you are surrounded by becomes a distraction…
- If the reputation of your brokerage is not helping to win more competing offer negotiations…
- Then maybe, just maybe, it’s time to find a new home.
P.S. I have used some language in this letter and in others this past week, that some find extremely “off putting.” I understand this, and totally get it if you feel compelled to “unsubscribe” from my emails. I hope you don’t, but no hard feelings if you do. I rarely use voguer language in my letters, but I occasionally I do when my emotions bubble up high enough. It’s not the norm. I’m mean no disrespect. I’m just being me.