Shift from hustle to purpose in your real estate business

If you’ve played a leadership role in a real estate business, in any capacity, this year may have made you painfully aware of two things: It’s impossible to please everyone, and anxiety is high — very high.

The best thing we can do as community leaders is show up for those in our care. How we choose to show up is one of the most important aspects of how we lead this year and how we will lead in the coming New Year.

Recently, I had an agent who found himself in a conflicting transaction with not only the buyer and the seller, but also the agents. As I listened to various sides of the story, each roadblock seemed to return to the buyer’s agent because I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, so I decided to call.

After some small talk, “Are you okay?” were the words. Those three words were met with disdain at first.

“Excuse me?” she asked.

“I’m not talking about this contract or real estate, I’m just wondering if you’re okay?” I asked. the silence What I heard next were the deep breaths of someone fighting back tears.

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“My marriage fell apart a few months ago and I admitted my daughter to rehab…”

“I’m sorry. How do you feel?” I asked.

“Angry, lost … really angry,” she replied.

“We all hope you’ll get this deal together when your life is falling apart,” I said. “That must be hard.”

“That,” she said. “It’s all I can do now to get ready for the morning.”

I was proud of her willingness to be vulnerable; That conversation was a lot to share with a stranger — and it certainly was a lot to share with your competitor’s CEO. I’ve thought about that conversation countless times over the past six months, and in many ways, it helped shape half of this year for me.

How often do we find ourselves with a coworker, employee, client, or even a competitor when we’re not aware of the stage being set before we enter? How many times have we “here’s all of us hoping” that you get this thing together with someone?

It would be easy to leave this story with me as the hero as someone who asked that question from a deep intellect. It wasn’t. It stems from a person who needed a lot of counseling, suffered a lot of exhaustion, and had many failed attempts at pleasing people. Everything I learned came from losing myself; I guarantee I’ve gotten it wrong more times than I’ve gotten it right.

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Many times I’ve walked in and assigned a task to an employee without making eye contact, not even asking a question. To me, busyness is the archenemy of presence, which is difficult because it’s one of the more glorified elements on the periodic table of real estate business economics.

If you are leading a real estate business heading into this new year, I encourage you to shift your mindset from busy to purposeful and from management to presence. Management is 90% presence and 10% strategy. If you know how your people work and how they perform, you know exactly how to encourage them to reach their full potential; Otherwise, you will spend most of your time guessing.

One of my favorite quotes from the most important book I’ve ever read is from Jerry Colonna’s “Reboot,” “The simple, hard work becomes clear: Lead from the position of your true self. Do so not only for yourself, but for those who love and entrust their careers to you.

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I believe we all have one thing in common: a desire for connection, and I would argue that this desire is as visceral as ever mid-pandemic. My encouragement to you in late 2022 is to show up and connect with those you lead. Ask the questions you want to be asked.

Answer the questions that require a lot of courage. Spend more time asking yourself “Who do I want to be in 2023” than “What do I want to do in 2023?” Who you were to someone else will always surpass what you have achieved.

Justin Bailey is the CEO of Realty Executive Associates in Knoxville, Tennessee. Realty Executives Associates has 875 agents and 15 offices and is ranked #54 on the RealTrends 500. Justin is a graduate of Harvard Business School.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial department of RealTrends and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Justin Bailey at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Tracey Welt at [email protected]


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