If you are anywhere near my age you will have heard the phrase, “It’s your little red wagon, and you have to pull it.” There’s another phrase used for the same meaning; “If you make your own bed, then you have to lie in it.” Both phrases are generally used to express that everyone must be accountable for their own actions. When I was growing up on the farm I heard these phrases a lot. I was always bringing home some type of strange animal that I wanted to keep for a pet. Mama would say when you have your own home, you can do whatever you want to, but I won’t have these animals in my home. Her statement had basically the same connotation as the other two phrases. I was a hand-full as a child. I didn’t get into bad trouble but I was constantly getting into mischief. I am so thankful for the lesson’s my parents taught me because I use them every day.
People in general poorly accept responsibility for their own actions. It seems that it’s always someone else fault. Someone else caused it to happen. We never want to accept the blame when a less than desirable result occurs; yet we are very quick to accept the credit for a good result; even if we don’t deserve it. Pride is a lot like salt. We need a little bit but too much can be harmful. If you are a God fearing person, we are told in Proverbs 11:1-2 “A false balance is abomination to the Lord; but a just weight is His delight. When pride cometh, then cometh shame; but with the lowly is wisdom.”
I think real estate agents should demonstrate a since of pride by dressing and handling ourselves professionally. It seems our entire country has given way to justifying comfort over appearance. Especially in some resort type areas, sales people think they are in style by dressing very casual. I call it under dressing. If you are in sales you dress professionally. If you are selling drinks or sandwiches on the beach, shorts might be appropriate. If you are selling real estate on that same beach, politically correct attire would be a suit; at least a dress shirt and tie and dress pants. It’s your business. You own it and you can decide how you want to dress. You may however, be held accountable by prospective buyers without ever realizing it. Nobody is going to come up to you and say, “I would have done business with you but you didn’t dress professionally.” They simply ignore you or lie to you and look for an agent that looks and sounds trustworthy of handling hundreds of thousands of your dollars. Whether you like it or not, buying consumers may hold you accountable.
Real estate sales people are independent contractors. They own their own business and make all their own decisions about every aspect of their business career. They don’t have someone supervising their actions and holding them personally accountable. Therefore they may not realize the level of success or failure for their individual actions. Even though they don’t have tangible accountability, they are still responsible for the things they do and they made the choice whether or not to do those things.
When it gets right down to where the rubber meets the road, we are all responsible for everything we do. We decide for ourselves what we will or will not do. It is totally our choice! If the actions we take are of our own choosing, then the results from those actions should be credited to us; whether good or bad. As a people of choice, we do what we want to do. This statement usually riles tempers but it shouldn’t. Be totally honest with yourself. Name one thing you do that you have no choice in. You can’t, can you? Life is filled with choices and each choice we make has consequences. The consequences can be either favorable or unfavorable. Personally, I have made millions of choices in my lifetime but I’ve never had anyone hold a gun to my head to sway my decision. I made all of them freely!
As a productivity coach for sales people, I deal with these accountability factors every day. People denying the consequences from their own actions. As for the sales people I coach, they all admit they have a time management problem. They let little non-productive things hinder them from accomplishing the productive things they needed to do. A common problem in all offices is that we let other people interfere with the things we need to do. Whose fault is that? Most people will blame the other person by saying, “so and so came into my office and started talking and I didn’t want to be rude, so that conversation keep me from doing the things I wanted to accomplish during that time frame.” This may not set to well with you but it is your choice. Had you rather be friendly or wealthy? I know. You’d like to be both friendly and wealthy. That is totally possible if you are well organized. The real problem with most sales people is they are not well organized. They spend most of their time putting out small fires rather than working on the things that prevent the fire to begin with. We all have the same amount of time; 24 hours in a day. It’s what we do with the time we have that determines our accomplishments.
Should you have specific questions concerning various issues, please let me know and I’ll research the answer for you. I also want to encourage you to subscribe to our “News & Updates” weekly report so you can stay abreast of issues that might affect you when buying or selling real estate. If you haven’t visited my website, please go to www.AlabamaRealEstateInstitute.com and view previous articles.