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Good Intentions Don’t Excuse Poor Results

The world has changed dramatically in the last 50 years. There has been more innovation and more technological progress in the last 80 years than there were in the previous years added together since the beginning of time.

Moving at the "speed of business," our society is more results-oriented than ever before. Realtors, like other professionals, are judged by the results they get, not by their intent to provide quality service to clients.

Realtors are judged by bottom-line criteria: Did the home sell? For what price? Did the home close?

Vince Lombardi said it best: "Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will all be judged by only one thing — the result."

Sellers are like any other consumers. Drivers want their cars to start every time. Computer users want their programs to work every time. Sellers want their homes to sell — no excuses. All that matters is the result … getting the job done well.

There are no rewards for good intentions. As an Agent, you can’t pay the mortgage with good intentions. I believe all Agents desire to sell the homes that they have listed. All Agents intend to do the best job for their clients. But you only get paid for the result. You provide for your family based on the results you achieve.

You also create long-term relationships and long-term referrals based on the result of a completed job … the result of a job well done. I have never heard of anyone referring an Agent based on the fact that the Agent was nice when the result wasn’t achieved. Think about it. Why would you recommend an attorney who lost your case, or a hair stylist who didn’t cut your hair well?

So why would your clients refer business to you if you didn’t get their homes sold? The fact that you are a nice person is a bonus that your client will appreciate only when the job is complete.

Focus on doing the steps to ensure that you achieve the result that the client hired you to accomplish. These steps include:

  1. Tell the truth to all of your clients: We often hope a miracle will happen such as finding a house at under market value or having our listing get activity even though it is over priced. We are betting our commission on a long shot. In many markets nationally, we are playing against the odds. Don’t make them longer by not telling your clients the whole truth.
  2. Communicate the changes today: If the marketplace has changed, tell the seller. If the competitiveness has increased or there are more homes on the market now than when the home was listed – tell them now, don’t wait. If the deal is starting to go sideways, tell the client. Tell them now before they hear it from another source. Give them fair warning that it doesn’t feel right or look good, so when it does die, it is not out of the blue. Rarely do deals die without signs of trouble. By helping a client face a disappointing reality, at least you have a chance for the sale and for long-term referrals.
  3. Marketing versus price reality: One of these two is more important. One really controls the other. Which one is it? Price. Price is truly king. The marketing is in the king’s court, but it is not the king! I believe we owe it to our clients to disclose this fact. We often confuse being a nice guy with having to tell the truth about price. If the client’s price is an obstacle to achieving the desired result, say so — honestly, fairly and convincingly. Ignore that inner voice that whines, "But they won’t like me." Trust me — they won’t like you anyway when their home doesn’t sell. Often, we know they are not going to like the true price, so we hedge. We don’t share the real truth with conviction. I am sure doctors would prefer not to tell their patients they have cancer, but they do it anyway. The patient needs to know. Your seller deserves to know the truth about their property, price, and expectations. The most respected professionals in other fields do not sugar coat reality. They lay it on the line.

We all participate in a business that is pretty straightforward. We are in a competitive world, and our clients expect results. We ultimately get paid from the results of our effort. In many cases, for realtors, that isn’t fair, but that is the game we are in. The bottom line is if you sell the home, you win. If you fail to sell the home, you lose. The truth is winning is a habit, so is losing. The big question is which habit are you forming?

Written by Dirk Zeller for www.RealtyTimescom. Copyright © 2008 Realty Times All Rights Reserved.