10 things I learned about real estate

A colleague of mine used to have this poster above his desk. It was a cartoon of a wagon train being attacked by Indians. The wagons were circled and there he was, a cowboy firing his shotgun at them. Standing beside him was a World War 2 soldier trying to hand him a modern day machine gun.

“Not now”, read the caption, “Can’t you see I’m busy”.

Not politically correct, but that was long ago, when we still worked in offices and cubicles, went out for a smoke at break time and casual Friday meant you didn’t have to wear a tie.

The point of the cartoon was that we get so busy doing work things that we forget to look around for a better way. We forget to pause and reflect and take stock. Over the holidays, I had some time on my hands. Besides getting this and my real estate website updated, I had some time to pause and consider. Here are some thoughts


It takes a long time to buy or sell a house. 

There is lots to know. Patience rules the day. Two of my 365 Rules about Real Estate are:

1) Never be in a hurry to sell

2) Never be in a hurry to buy


Referrals are good. 

If you do a good job you will get referrals. If you “burn ‘em and turn ‘em” you will always be looking for new business. Sales trainers tell you to “keep the funnel full” and “ABC – always be closing”, but I’ve noticed that established real estate agents just quietly go about their business and show up in the office once in a while to submit paperwork and pick up their commissions cheques.


Phoney is make believe but fake is enhanced reality. 

Often fake is better than real. I don’t know why fake gets such a bad rap.

I was reading that you should act the way you want to become. With that in mind, many Realtors should be more careful how they act.


You can steer, but you can’t drive.

Often things just have to play out. You can always watch and comment.

It is so difficult from stopping clients making the same mistake that everyone makes (like pricing their house too high just to “try out the market”).


I’m not being cryptic. I’m being careful. 

Thoughts can be very powerful. If I say it, it’s likely not true. If you say it, you think it’s probably true. If I write it down and you read it, it’s definitely true.


Perspective is everything. 

For some the glass is half full, others half empty. The fear of loss is a stronger motivator than the opportunity for gain. Many people procrastinate because they are afraid of making a bad decision. It is a safety mechanism buried deep inside our lizard brains.


Vision is more important than reason.

Trust your emotions over your logic.


Home builders operate very differently than resales real estate.

It is a false future reality rather than a stark, informed one.


It might be a sunny day. But someone’s dog just died.

We all go through life living our own lives. Those around us are doing the same thing.


We think that everyone thinks like us. 

They don’t. We’ve all collected different knowledge and had unique experiences. Our individual views of the world are based on these.

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