Win-Win A Noble Idea Reduced to Meaningless Jargon?
Recently I was on the phone with a younger agent from one of those Mega-Companies discussing some details about his offer on one of my listings.We had just about wrapped up our discussion when he told me, “Thanks Mr. Lewis, I hope we can make this a “WIN-WIN” situation…” I paused for a moment of silence (something I rarely do) and then said, “You know, things were going so well and then you had to say that”. His startled reply was “What do you mean?” I responded, using some humor to say that I had been involved in several transactions with other agents at his company who had chanted the same phrase like some sort of trained Mynah birds. However their actions did not in any manner follow the words! During our conversation I mentioned that I was also a fan of Dr. Steven Covey and his book The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People. This also turned out to be a surprise because he had never heard of Steven Covey and in fact was under the impression that it was a part of his corporate culture. We ended the call on friendly terms and I later realized that he sincerely meant what he said. During the course of the entire transaction, he was professional on every level and we were able to work out agreeable terms for both sides.
The problem these days is that I see lots of folks paying “Lip Service” to any number of laudable ideas, concepts, buzzwords and soundbites while not putting these things into action.Sounding a lot like all those “sales scripts” we hear on the phone, in seminars and maybe even from a desk near by, repeating the words in a way that can only be described as disingenuous. And really, who is being fooled here? It’s become so rampant in all walks of life, business and certainly in the empty words of every politician. Over the years we have learned that there are winners and losers in every facet of life and without sounding preachy it’s just a fact, not everyone is going to receive a trophy. However our business does not ALWAYS have to be adversarial. I began my real estate career after spending sixteen years in the construction industry as a Journeyman Carpenter, Foreman and Furniture Builder. One of the big differences between construction and real estate is that if you have a serious confrontation on a construction site, someone is liable to get punched in the face…for real! In real estate, the worst case is nothing more than some yelling, name calling, obnoxious posturing and attempted intimidation. And really, I rarely see this type, it’s more the passive agressive approach. That does not bother me at all because I am not the sort of person that can be bullied and it’s not at all as painful as a black eye. I know from personal experience and I am not proud to admit I’ve had a couple.
During my first few years in real estate (an extremely tough time in the depths of the S&L Crises) I was pretty aggressive and in fact one of my first Brokers used to say,”Russell is one of the easiest or most difficult agents to deal with…it just depends on how the other agent acts.” Over time I began to learn that I could represent my clients without creating conflict and eventually, to not react to unprofessional or abusive behavior from agents seeking to intimidate. As my friend and fellow blogger Alan May wrote in a recent post, “We need to remove our egos…and there is no need to make them cry, “UNCLE” In fact, our job is to do our best to facilitate a transaction that is acceptable to everyone imvolved and yes sometimes the perspective can be different. Winning (and not the Charlie Sheen version) can mean lots of different things based on the circumstances. But please…don’t try to hide behind useless platitudes while engageing in completely contradictory behavior! AS the saying goes, “If you are going to talk the talk, you better walk the walk!” We have a job to do which involves actually showing up, listening, staying educated, advising, returning calls and handling the hundreds of detals that are involved in any successful real estate transaction. There’s a lot more to this profession than spouting jargon…
My name is Russell Lewis, I have twenty years experience assisting buyers and sellers in Austin’s finest neighborhoods. I am not all things to all people and concentrate the majority of my business in Central, West and Southwest Austin and the Westlake/Eanes School District. If you or anyone you know is anticipating purchasing or selling real estate and would like to learn more about living The Good Life in Austin Texas I would be happy to be of assistance. Email or call my mobile listed below for a private consultation at your convenience!