Improve Your Luck

Attain these traits to create your own good fortunes in real estate.

January 1, 2005

A very bright man I know once told me his favorite saying—"I'd rather be lucky than smart."

Is he right? Or can you bend luck your way by playing it smarter?

An intriguing article called "Is Success Just Dumb Luck?" by writer by Kate Lorenz, suggests some people don't really get all the breaks—they help create the breaks they get. Lorenz interviewed author Susan RoAne about her new book, How To Create Your Own Luck, which reveals that luck is good fortune of our own making.

People who create their own luck remain open to possibility and expect good things will happen, RoAne says. That's how they take the experiences "we call kismet, karma, or serendipity and turn them into success," Lorenz writes.

RoAne says the “lucky” people possess eight specific counterintuitive traits that set them apart from the rest and allow them to parlay opportunity into something positive. That's how “luck” is created. Lucky people do the following:

  • Talk to strangers.
  • Make small talk.
  • Drop names.
  • Eavesdrop.
  • Ask for or offer help.
  • Stray from the path.
  • Make timely, gracious exits.
  • Say yes when you want to say no.

These are wonderful suggestions that you can use to bolster your career. Here is the same list with some real estate sales advice:

  • Talk to strangers. Don't be afraid to knock on doors and introduce yourself as the neighborhood real estate expert. Contact vendors who assist in the transaction and introduce yourself.
  • Make small talk. Next time you're passing anyone in the street, nod and say hello. Small talk, according to RoAne, is about the little things—the weather, traffic, movies, etc. Listen to others.
  • Drop names. While RoAne admits this is risky, build on people you might have in common. If you find out a prospect is from a certain town and you know someone there, drop the name and see what happens.
  • Eavesdrop. Listen to what others are saying about the real estate market and be especially attuned to information that can impact the market, such as a corporation coming in with lots of jobs.
  • Ask for or offer help. Tell everyone you know—family, friends, and acquaintances—that you would like help finding prospects. Tell them you need inventory to sell (or buyers, if you are a buyer's agent). Create buyers' or sellers' seminars where you offer free advice for how to properly buy or sell a home.
  • Stray from the path. Making money in real estate is often about being counterintuitive: buying while others are selling, and then selling when others are buying. Don't be afraid to go against the herd. Don't worry about what neighborhoods are hot; tell your customers which are a good buy, and they'll never get stuck at the top of the market.
  • Make timely, gracious exits. Don't stay too long on the phone or in person. Be sensitive to when your prospects, buyers, or sellers are tuned in or turned off.
  • Say yes when you want to say no. Volunteer in person rather than by check at your local association and charity of choice.

(c) Copyright 2004 Realty Times. Reprinted with permission.

Blanche Evans is a writer/editor and CEO of evansEmedia. Formerly, she was a senior editor with Realty Times, where she was named by REALTOR® Magazine as one of the most influential people in the real estate industry.

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