We can be heroes
"We can be heroes, just for one day" - David Bowie
“The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow” - Seth Godin
I am not a leader. I have no employees, and very few followers. Nor am I an entrepreneur, not by my definition anyway. If I had to categorise myself as anything, I would call myself a marginal improver.
Estate agency is one of the least complicated jobs in the world. It boils down to helping people achieve their objectives. We’re treading a well worn path too. Whilst the tools we use to achieve this have changed over time, the job itself has remained the same since people first decided that land had value, and wanted someone to help them realise it.
Writing a blog is new to me, in fact I’ve only been doing it for a couple of months. As I begin to settle into some kind of rhythm or pattern of doing so, I have realised that more often than not I use the events of the previous seven days from which to draw my inspiration. A single event often forms the basis of what I write about.
This week, there was a lot of complaining. Thankfully, not about me. Well, not from my clients, anyway. It made me think. When we first walk into someone’s home, or a development of homes, we have a wonderful opportunity.
We can be heroes.
Because all people really want is help. Help so that their family can move on to the next stage of their lives. Help so that parents who have watched their children grow up in a home can leave it, and allow someone new to create wonderful memories there. Help to sell a new development that someone has taken huge risks to create. Help to balance the achievable price and acceptable timescale.
More than that, people are relying on us. To give them good advice, to repay their trust in us, to guide them through an incredibly stressful process and to ensure that their interests are aligned with our own.
The good news is that we don’t need billion dollar inheritances, expensive gadget laden cars, tight black suits or a butler named Alfred to achieve this. All we actually need to do is remember that we’re in a service industry, that the client comes first, that we have an obligation to be honest and transparent and a willingness to be held accountable.
There are some amazing real estate agents and real estate agencies out there giving us all a great name. There just needs to be more, and perhaps more urgently, some kind of licensing system, like they have in the US.
That way as an industry we can all be held accountable to a higher standard, because customers deserve it, and real estate agents should be obligated to provide it.