Some people believe in Santa Claus and some don’t. Some believe in magic or angels. In our industry people are looking for something to believe in again and they are looking for leadership. Most of us know there isn’t any magic, just hard work, but we are always looking for ways to make it easier.
Last Friday I wrote a members-only post on the ActiveRain real estate network. I wrote a fictionalized story on the site about a blog post that led a seller to list a $5 million home with me.
The story continued: On my way to the appointment to list the home a cash buyer contacted me and wanted to spend up to $5 million. I wrote an offer and sold the home before I listed it. A few hours later I got a call from a neighbor who heard about the deal and asked me to list his home.
Later the same day I was contacted by the Obama administration. They had been reading my blog posts and decided that, along with ActiveRain, I was the solution to the housing crisis and they wanted to appoint me to a newly created cabinet position. They believe it will only take a few weeks to stabilize the housing market with my help. The end.
Shortly after I posted this work of fiction it collected 40 comments. By the time I went to bed that night it had 104 comments. When I woke up the next morning and checked there were 122 comments. At my last count the post had received more than 150 comments. I suspect that by the time this article is read it will have received 200 comments.
Not everyone who read the story believed it, but an astounding number of readers did and found it inspirational. Those who did not believe it had a good laugh. Realtors are looking for answers, leadership and inspiration. They want to believe in something or in someone.
Later the same day I read a blog post written by Larry McGee in Denver, Colo. He and his wife, Kristal Kraft, own a small independent real estate brokerage.
What impressed me about Larry’s post is that it showed leadership, all too rare these days. He acknowledged that things are a little tough right now. He didn’t give any magical answers or lectures about having to work harder. He instead showed leadership and compassion and gave some sound advice. As I read what he wrote I wished that I was part of his company.
He acknowledged that things are tough in our industry right now. He let his agents know that it isn’t all that wonderful out there and that if they are feeling some stress they are not alone. Larry wants to lead his agents into the recovery and I suspect they will follow.
He encourages his agents to reach out instead of isolating themselves as we all tend to do when things are not going well. As salespeople we are taught to always report that everything is wonderful and we say little or nothing when there isn’t any good news. We need to talk about the bad things just like we need to talk about the good.
This is the height of the agent-recruiting season. Several of us have written about new brokerage models and what agents really want and need. Agents are looking for leadership, inspiration and something to believe in again.
Teresa Boardman is a broker in St. Paul, Minn., and founder of the St. Paul Real Estate blog.
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