Leigh Brown, ABR, CRS, is a partner at Charlotte, N.C.-based RE/MAX Executive Realty and broker-manager of its Concord office. She is also a longtime speaker on real estate issues. Before she started working in real estate, her sales career included liquor, stocks, and chain saws. Contact her at email@example.com.
8 Ways ‘Star Wars’ Relates to Your Business
At the box office, we love a tale of good triumphing over evil. We love it in real estate, too.
January 1, 2016
The force can awaken inside you in 2016 if you take these principles from the latest “Star Wars” box office mega-hit and apply them to your real estate business. (Note: I don’t know what is or is not a spoiler since the last “Star Wars” episode I saw was in 1983. I’m a nerd — but an ‘80s nerd.)
1. Music puts you in the mood to kick ass. How can you hear those first few notes of the “Star Wars” theme and not immediately get excited? I bet even John Williams gets goosebumps when he hears them, and he wrote the dang thing. What do you listen to on the way to a buyer consultation or a listing appointment? There’s definitely power in music to change your mood and outlook! I like listening to Gary Allan’s “Like It’s a Bad Thing” before a listing appointment to get myself ready for the conversation. What’s your go-to?
2. Age is irrelevant. Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher don’t have to be young to be amazing. Except for a few nasty trolls on Twitter, I think everyone was glad to see them in their aging glory because Lord knows there is dignity in growing old. (It’s not for the faint of heart.) Plus, those youngsters who thought the Jedi were a myth? They were crazy awesome as well. Real estate has traditionally been the home for the second- or third-career folks, which is part of how we wind up with an average REALTOR® age of 57. But we are seeing a surge of agents making this their first career. And consumers don’t care about the age of their agent; they care about their knowledge, expertise, and compassion, none of which are age-exclusive. So rock on — no matter how old you are.
3. Old can teach new. I’m pretty sure Finn and Rey weren’t too thrilled about visiting with Maz, but boy did she rock their worlds. Han Solo and Chewbacca had the knowledge and background to get moving again. Princess/General Leia rocked the house, period. We see this in real estate all the time. Older/experienced agents are routinely taking new agents under their wings to show them the ropes, teach how to overcome objections, explain terminology, and be a sounding board in a crazy world. I think it’s happening more than we know, and I would love if we talked more about those who lifted us all up along the way. We need reminders that any experienced professional has an obligation to return the favor to newcomers.
4. New can teach old. Han Solo was thrilled to get the Millennium Falcon back but was a little grumpy at Rey having already been on board. He grudgingly accepts her help flying the ship and realizes that her expertise is a benefit. I see this with the newer/younger agents who have an organic knowledge of technology and who are reaching out to older agents who hold it at arms’ length. We are all better when we help each other. It doesn’t have to be a fist fight all the time, even in a competitive business.
5. We all need someone. Han Solo needs Chewbacca. Leia needs Han Solo. Luke needs someone (bless him). Ren needs a soul. Finn needs Poe. And Rey needs Finn, even if she hated to admit it. Life is lonely if you think you can manage by yourself. Not just lonely, but so much harder than it needs to be. I don’t know of many careers as lonely as real estate. When you’re a bunch of 1099s running around competing, it’s hard. When things get tough, your spouse/partner tunes you out, your friends don’t get it, and you can feel isolated. Find a friend, maybe in your market or somewhere else across the country. But build the support system that helps you survive because survivors do a heck of a lot better of a job for clients.
6. The chasm may open, but it’s not over. In the awesome battle scene in the snow, when the world is starting to turn on itself, the chasm opens. We never know if the one side is done or just resting — but that’s not where the movie or the possibility of saving everything ended. That’s kind of like a negotiation. Just when you think it’s over and the crazies have won, the world awakens and you have one more chance. Sometimes, that’s all you need. So never give up.
7. Screwing up doesn’t mean you’re done. Every character in any episode of “Star Wars” makes a mistake. Yet 38 years later, they are still here, saving the universe one system at a time. And guess what — we still love them. Even ol’ Ren still is loved despite his choices. In the trenches of real estate, it’s the same way. Some transactions go bad no matter how hard you try. But you get another chance the minute you pick up the phone and talk to your next potential client. You live, you learn, you get better.
8. Light wins. Of course, we don’t really know what’s going to happen when the next two episodes are shot and screened, but as long as there’s good left in the world, it will win out. Maybe you’ll run across an unethical, lying, cheating so-and-so, but at some point, they’ll flame out when karma hits ‘em from behind. Just do right by your client. Even if the client is screaming and yelling and cussing, do what’s right and protect them. Be their light in the darkness of the transaction and everyone will win.