Come on, Rise to the Challenge, Persistence Pays, Stick with It, are all a few common phrases that we hear when people talk about facing adversity. Can a couple words actually help? What is it that really allows us to overcome adversity and why do some people do so well and others often seem mired down continuously?
I don’t think a phrase in and of itself is going to help us much when we are faced with adversity. And let’s be honest – we all face it and all too often whether it is in the workforce or our home life. As a Realtor, I face it often. You may think that sounds crazy, as many people’s perceptions and expectations of a Realtor are very low. Granted there will always be agents who live up to that low expectation, just like in any field. However, as a professional with two degrees under her belt and more importantly, decades of experience I can tell you the real estate world is full of adversity of varying degrees.
In real estate I face a couple different types. The first is pretty plain and simple – how do I get enough business to survive in this dog-eat-dog arena? The second is the type of adversity I face with clients. Sometimes this is personal, but I’m focusing more on the struggles that we face in trying to close a deal. A couple of recent examples have been, a buyer whose employer changed their manner of payment in the middle of a deal. The buyer being a caretaker had always received one bi-weekly check for taking care of multiple people. Week 3 of the deal, the employer decides to pay by the patient and the buyer now receives 7 different checks. This throws the lender into a fit. How can they verify the income? We’re involved with a big bank, supposed to close this next week. Seller wants to walk because we should already have the clear to close and now we need to postpone. It all sounds ridiculous to us but this is out of our control. We can’t do the bank’s work for them. What can I do? Well, yes I can rise to the challenge and be persistent. What does this mean specifically? That’s where overcoming adversity becomes possible – find out the specifics. In this case I needed to speak with the lender daily. I needed to speak to the seller’s agent daily to quiet their fears, to show them the income hadn’t changed, to talk to them about how putting it back on the market meant starting over and possibly a worse deal, etc. I needed to keep the spirits of my buyer up so they didn’t get frustrated over what seemed such stupidity and let them walk away. It took an extra 3 weeks, but my buyer is now happily in his new home and the sellers walked away with their check.
How about when as a listing agent you recommend strongly that the seller make some type of improvement that you know (from years of experience) it will not only make their home sell faster and for a higher amount – and they choose not to follow your direction? They may even think they know more about real estate than you do! What can we do? Stay the Course of course. Find those facts, show them homes that sell, dig up examples, find out how your seller’s brain works – will they respond to statistics? Or will they be more affected by photos of before and after? Approaching it one step at a time until you find out what works.
Your adversity is different than mine. We all have our own struggles. Though the cliché phrases aren’t going to do anything, if we think about how those phrases came about – we are on the right track to overcoming. What does it actually entail to “Stay the Course” or “Rise to the Challenge”? Figure out what the end result needs to be. Then step by step work toward that result. Life is not full of many one way streets. We may have to re-route or recalculate a few times along the way. But if you have a goal/end result that is the most important thing. Once we know where we want to be, we will figure out a way to get there. It may not all be clear at the beginning. But, we’re way smarter than we usually give ourselves credit for. Decide what you want and then go. And as another familiar saying says, Just Do It!