BY ARI LAHDEKORPI
When I was a kid, one of my favourite imaginary roles was
the superhero. I remember running around the yard and hiding behind the hedges
wearing my tea‑towel cape and saving the world. In those days, the serial
Superman used to play on television. Day after day, Superman tirelessly saved the world from evil consequences. As we
played in the backyard, I was Superman in a nine-year-olds clothes.
The other day I came across one of my old comic books about
the “man of steel” and my thoughts went to how the role of the modern
day Realtor has a lot in common with my favourite superhero. There are even a
few things we can learn from Superman’s example.
Superman was known as being “faster than a speeding
bullet”. The modern Realtor has to be quick as well when it comes to
responding to the increasing demands of the Internet-savvy consumer. More often
than not, a Realtor is judged on his response time when the consumer is shopping for an agent. The quick and reachable are the
survivors in this day and age…if you don't have a cell phone and/or a pager,
you really don't stand a chance in the real estate business today.
Superman was able to “leap tall buildings”. The
modern Realtor has to overcome many hurdles in the day-to-day business of real
estate. Problem solving is building leaping for the Realtor. Some days it seems
like everyone is out to kill the deal — from the home inspector, to the banker, to the lawyer — even Uncle Louie! All kidding
aside, issues arise in a complicated real estate transaction, but more often
than not, if there is a willing buyer and a willing seller, with some creative
thought, things will be sorted out. Albert Einstein once said “creativity
is greater than knowledge”. For a Realtor, building leaping is
using resourcefulness and creativity to solve problems.
The other part of this attribute is that you have to want to
do the leaping. It has been said many times that lack of motivation is the biggest killer of
real estate agents – you have to make the decision to leap. If you only live by
other people's expectations, it brings so little energy and so much resentment
that you de‑motivate. Like the
advertisement said, “Just Do It”.
Superman had x‑ray vision. For a Realtor, the ability to
“see things through” helps keep perspective and focus. Goal setting
is one of the ways that we can all develop X‑ray vision. When you can see
beyond the problems you are facing this minute, or this week, you keep
motivated and keep on track with what you want from your career. This business
is cyclical, it will always have ups and downs. The trick is to remember that
fact when you only see the problems you are facing at the moment.
The Man of Steel was
immune to the bullets that were fired at him. I have had many a day when agents
in our office have come in to tell me about the rejection from a potential
client — sometimes a close friend or a relative. The modern Realtor has to
treat such emotional “bullets” as stimulants rather than tranquilizers.
Think about the rejection…it can help you to learn and improve. A
“no” should be treated as a call to action, not as something that
will cause you pain. Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “No one can hurt you without
True words indeed. The feeling of rejection comes from
inside. You have the power to choose how you will respond to negativity . Keep emotions away
from the issues and you might even find
strength and knowledge in the “no” that you have received.
Superman's best trait, in my mind, was his strength of
character. Although Superman had a lot of power, he chose only to help others.
He did not seek out personal gain at the expense of others.
As Realtors, we have a certain amount of power in the
progress of a transaction. It's our strength of character that helps to build our careers. As we
meet people and help them find their perfect home, the sense of trust
in them sows the seeds for future deals. A happy client goes on to
good-will ambassador on your behalf. Building relationships into future
sales contacts is only accomplished by a job well done. Just
as Superman squeezed a lump of coal into a handful of diamonds, the
Realtor can build a profitable career from a network of happy clients.
Finally, Superman did have a weakness — Kryptonite. Each of
us has some weakness that could slow our career down. For some it is found in a
bottle, for others it is a psychological wound or a “script” that goes back to childhood. The good
news is that once the source of weakness is found, it can be tucked away…just
like Superman would put the poisonous kryptonite into a lead box where it
wouldn’t hurt him.
Realtors can learn a lot from old Superman. But the tights
and cape are optional!
Ari Lahdekorpi is Broker of Real TV Realty Inc. in Thunder
Bay, Ont. Email: [email protected]‑tv.com