“Never be a prisoner of your past. It was just a lesson, not a life sentence.” Unknown
Whether you are new to the real estate business or a seasoned professional, being betrayed by a client, friend or family member can feel like a stab in the back or even worse! It can also affect how you continue to do business. It’s not just an unfortunate circumstance that affects your immediate income. Not being prepared to handle adverse outcomes can affect your self-esteem and future success in the business.
At a networking event, the conversation grew excited among a group of real estate agents. The question was raised to agents as to whether they had ever experienced a “perceived” or actual betrayal in their real estate business. They were also asked how it impacted them. One could hear several breaths being drawn in, followed by silence. Then the flooding of responses began.
Here are some examples of betrayals and deal-gone-sour.
Next Door Neighbor
The first agent that spoke up told his story about the next-door neighbor that he plays tennis with and has known for years. His neighbor listed his home with another agent, and he felt badly bruised because he considered this person his friend. If you are thinking that maybe he was a new real estate agent, the answer is no. He was a broker associate and worked along with one other agent as a duo team for over 25 years.
The second agent who spoke up said that a few years ago she listed the home that she had sold to the Buyer. The Buyer said he was very grateful to her and would list the property with her when he was ready to sell. She kept in contact with him, and he did sign with her when he was ready to sell four years later.
She spent three months guiding him as to the repair work that needed to be done, along with the staging, so the home would sell for top dollar. The home was put on the market and three weeks later, the seller was complaining that he should have received an offer already. What the client failed to acknowledge was that four years earlier, it was a hot sellers’ market. Now it was a buyers’ market. The home was priced correctly and there had been several showings, but no offers yet. The average days on market in that area was about two months.
He refused to speak with her after his initial complaint and hired an attorney to fire her. She did not understand why he would not speak with her.
Her broker advised her that sometimes it is better to let a client go that does not want to work with you. So reluctantly, she canceled the listing.
Remarkably, the home was under contract two days later. As told by the neighbor, someone had come to their door interested in the property, and the owner saw the opportunity to sell it without paying a commission. The real estate agent that had put in her time, caring, and experience left with nothing. Even though she was protected within the contract for the expenses she incurred in marketing the property, he refused to pay a dime. The broker told her to move on. She said that to this day, she is hurt and feels that she cannot trust people anymore, as this seller was no stranger.
Buyer Who Ends Up Buying Home with Another Agent
Another agent was distressed over a buyer to whom he had spent six months showing homes. He felt, based on the buyer’s pre-qualifications and motivation, he was going to buy. Well, the buyer did purchase the home. Only NOT with him.
One of the homes that was shown to the buyer had gone under contract and became available again. The buyer went to see the home with another agent who wrote up the offer. The agent felt incredibly betrayed and could not believe the buyer would do this. Unfortunately, since he did not write up the offer or have a buyer’s agreement, there was nothing he could do. He spoke about the missed time with his family and the amount of time spent with this client. He felt betrayed.
Letting Go. How to do it so it works for you.
These are just a few examples. The list could go on and on. Letting go is important to be able to move on, although many times it is not easy. The good news? As the new Spring begins, now is the perfect time to begin anew.
What Lesson Did You Learn?
Even the biggest thinkers and successful entrepreneurs have all experienced hurt. There is something to be learned from every circumstance. Don’t beat yourself up and go over and over the situation in your mind and experiencing the hurt over and over again. This only creates more anguish. Instead, think about how you can set up your business model or do things differently in the future. Sometimes things happen, and we don’t know the reason. The past has already happened and can’t be changed. When you continue to dwell on the person or situation that hurt you, it only brings your more pain. Instead, focus on the lesson.
“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.” Steve Maraboli
Replace It with Something Better That inspires You
Here are a few suggestions:
- Learn A New Skill – Rather than spending endless time going over past negative experiences, consider expanding your life and learning new skills.
- Exercise – A great way to heal from a negative experience is to let it go through movement. Take a kickboxing class, run, dance, or take the gym class that you have wanted to take for a long time.
- Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga – Learn to meditate and/or do yoga to bring you into the present moment and feel peaceful within. Yoga is amazing for your mind and body.
Give yourself permissions to forgive. Many times, it is about forgiving ourselves, and not the other person. Spending time going over and over relentlessly in your mind what you could have done differently keeps the experience alive. It goes against letting go and releasing the pain of the past.
“I think the first step is to understand that forgiveness does not exonerate the perpetrator. Forgiveness liberates the victim. It’s a gift you give yourself.” T.D. Jakes
Take action this Spring.
The time is NOW to refresh and replenish your energy with things that inspire you from within.
“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present” – Bill Keane
Life happens. What we do next is what matters. Letting go is Powerful. I encourage you to begin with at least one thing you will do differently this Spring.
Written for Form Simplicity by Janice Zaltman, a Realtor, LEED AP, Marketing Coach and Writer with more than 20 years of experience in the sales, marketing and media fields.