When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to get out of Indiana, and had run away to California.
There was an old man I met. His name was Walt. He drove an old beat up Chevy pick-up. Every time I saw him he had on a plaid shirt and blue jeans. You would never know he had an income of over a million dollars a month. The only sign of money was the 3 karat diamond ring. He would come into the local coffee shop each morning, just like the rest of the guys.
One time, I don’t remember what we were talking about but he said to me “The risk of insult is the price of clarity”
Now I’m not sure but I think he read that in a book somewhere. But what he was telling me is that sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth. The truth can be blunt, and that just flat out ticks people off when it’s not what they want to hear. Especially in this politically correct society we have become.
I wish I could go back and talk to this man again now. There have been many lessons along the way that I was forced to learn the hard way. The old guy was right. I’m sure he could have save me a few bumps and bruises along the way.
Is clarity and truth worth the risk of insult? Some say I’m blunt. Some just say I’m a jerk, and that’s OK. I think it is worth the risk because I will never be accused of telling someone an answer they want to hear, just to make a sale.
If a person comes to me with a house they want to sell… I tell them the truth, whether they want to hear it or not.
At times I have been asked if telling the truth has cost me any business. I don’t really think so. It may have cost me the listing on a few houses but actual business? I don’t think so, because the ones I have passed on, or that passed on me, that didn’t want to hear the truth, those are the ones that hired some agent that just told them what they wanted to hear, and then didn’t get it sold.
Speaking the truth has not always made me very popular with other real estate agents. Sometimes, like the old saying goes, “The truth hurts”. But I didn’t get into this business to hang out with other real estate agents. I got into it to help people sell their houses. Those are the people whose opinions matter. Like Roger told me after I helped him and his wife sell a house. Roger said “I know you had other clients but every time I called you made me feel like I was your only client.”
I didn’t tell Roger what he expected to hear at first. Those are the kind of comments that make me think I am on the right track.