The Golden Rule

The theory of Karma is something we have touched upon in past columns and as we head back into the crazy world of multiple offers, it reminds me again that in fact, Kindness Matters. If you’ve been in our office, you will see this proudly displayed on our wall. It’s our “motto” so to speak and we stand by it whole heartedly.

Often times we are approached by new licensees coming into our business wanting to learn the ins and outs of real estate. Usually they will invite us to coffee, pen and paper in hand, eager to take notes on all the tricks of the trade. When we graciously accept to spend some time with them divulging all our secrets, the majority are first, surprised and secondly, elated that we are going to give them our recipe for succeeding in this business. Ahhh, or so they think. We really don’t have a magic wand that makes everything come together. The intricacies of each transaction is always different; the motivation (or lack thereof) from each party behind the sale, the emotional attachment (or detachment) is always a little different and on and on. What we have found that regardless of their situation, speaking clearly and with kindness is the absolute best thing you can do. And that is really what it’s all about. Whether it’s regarding value of their home, condition (i.e. it smells like a locker room or a litter box), or if the birdhouse wallpaper has got to go, it’s all about delivery. This doesn’t just apply to our particular buyer or seller. This applies to each party of the transaction including the lender, escrow officer, home inspector and especially the other broker. Who would ever think that following the Golden Rule is the driving force behind our success?

In the not so distant past we hit a rough patch in our business. It felt like no matter what we did, the pieces of the puzzle would not fall together. Yep, you guessed it… freaking Mercury in Retrograde again; but this time it was more than that. It seemed many in the world around us were being rewarded and in many cases, they were being rewarded for being devious. Nothing gets a bee in my bonnet more than someone who slithers about, conducting themselves unethically and then prevails. Grrr.

So, after Dyan talked me off the ledge we started recapping about us….. what sets us apart and what we want for our legacy. We quickly reminded ourselves about the gift bestowed upon us parents and that we have a responsibility to set an example for our children, if for nobody else. In tears, I unloaded on my husband the same day and so sweetly he reminded me… “So babe, when it’s all said and done and you have passed on would you rather someone come up to our boys and say, “Oh you’re DeAnna’s son? Well, let me tell you something, your mom was the best realtor in the entire valley and she made a sale no matter what the cost.” OR would you rather have them say, “Your mom was kindest person I have ever met. She was always fair and treated everyone with respect?” DAMN. He got me. Can’t I be the best and the nicest? Maybe so.

A small wooden plaque given to my husband by his late father so often brings me right back on track. Proverbs 22:1: A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. And while it’s easy for two competitive spirits like Dyan and I to get caught up in winning and being #1, what it really boils down to is we only want to get there if we are doing it fair and square. We have all been part of tough negotiations. Negotiations that make you rethink this career choice and tempt you into crawling under a rock and never coming out. In some cases they get ugly but if you don’t lose focus on your true self and commit to being clear and kind, it takes all the pressure off. I think it’s easy to forget that WE are our business. WE, meaning we can do it however the heck we want. The house is the house but who we are is the element that sets us apart. We are so blessed to have some top-notch brokers in this valley; agents who really do see this as team approach and who work together to make the pieces fall into place. Sure, there are still the handful of “turds” out there who are always going to go about it the most self-serving way they see fit but I hope it never finds its way into our little bubble. I truly believe that transparency plays a monumental role in the success of anyone’s career. Treating each other the way you wish to be treated is the best advice I can give. You may not want to hear what we have to say but we do have an obligation to represent our clients as best we can and it’s simply amazing how being calm, clear and kind can deliver information in such a way that you can’t help but to accept it. It doesn’t mean you have to like it, but you can easily see why “shooting the messenger” is counterproductive.

We interface with so many different people throughout the course of a transaction. The appraisers are the gatekeepers in so many ways so when they call you, call them back. It’s not always convenient to do so but more often than not, the only home they get access to is the one they are appraising so if they need your help in comparing it to three others by all means lend them a hand. If the escrow officer should plan on an extra hour (or two) for signing your client because they are THE most anal person you have ever worked with and fully intends to read every.last.stinking.word of the contract then give them a heads-up. We are in this together, through thick and thin, so we might as well cover each other’s backs.

I wish the old saying, “Karma’s A Bitch, Only If You Are” was actually true because the universe would just take care of itself but I remind myself that we will set our standards higher because it’s the right thing to do. We appreciate the tremendous support from our clients, for those you have reached out to us to list your properties because you have gotten to “know” us through this column and just genuinely like us. Those who support us not only as full-time realtors, but also as mothers and wives who have families that we adore and every so often we want to just reconnect with them. We do choose a good name over good fortune but can honestly say we have been blessed with both and it’s because of you.

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DeAnna Sickler & Dyan Lane

DeAnna Sickler and Dyan Lane, Brokers 320 E. Main St. Ashland OR 97520 541-414-4663

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