Cliff Baird By Cliff Baird

An echo can only give you back what you say. The way your life is today is merely an echo of what you have said, what you have done and what you have expected. If you are facing a personal crisis in your real estate career, it is not solely the result of the market slowing down.

Be careful not to dwell inordinately on what’s wrong, but begin a determined focus on the opportunity that still exists and get back to the basics of real estate. Get back to what it was in the early days of your career that brought you success.

Let’s realize that buyers are still going to buy and sellers are still going to sell. Yes, there may be fewer for the moment, but if you are serious about your future you will do the math and simply conclude that you need to do more of the activities that generate leads, not the same as you have grown used to. Indeed, you probably need to do more “personal” contacts and stop being seduced by the power of the Internet and emails. If there has ever been a time to truly be “in-touch” it is now. This is the time for consistently working your contact base with emotional professionalism.

Intellectually we all know that this season will end and real estate will flourish and thrive once again. Just when that will occur we are somewhat uncertain, so until then stop giving in to the urges of dismay. Stop waiting for some future occurrence to recreate your success.

Here is the advice I gave to many people when they were longing for a future event to secure their peace of mind.

“Stop waiting for your happiness! Stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose 10 pounds, until you gain 10 pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, until you get a new car or home, until the home is paid off, until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter, until the first or 15th, until your song comes on, until you’ve had a drink, until you’ve sobered up, until…. Decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy about life.”

We all have a dark side and a bright side. Do you know which one always comes out on top? It is the one that we feed! The one that we nourish survives. This is just another example of the echo principle. We are always moving in the direction of our thoughts.

During this period of reorganizing, rebuilding and redirecting your real estate career you need to create a peace of mind about where you are headed.

You need to focus on the truth about the future and how to get there. Fear is not your native soil. The only way we can attempt to predict the future is to see it in the light of history. For those of us who have the endured the past storms of real estate, we can say with certainty that it will pass quickly. There are those amongst us who succeeded when interest rates were over 20 per cent! We survived and thrived and so can you. It’s your choice!

The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything they have.

Cliff Baird, MBA, PhD is a clinical psychologist and a former professor at Wilfrid Laurier. He has spent more than 35 years in real estate. He created a 32-office franchise, developed several online recruiting profiles, was the keynote speaker for every major real estate franchise in the USA and Canada and was a featured keynote speaker for 12 years in a row at the NAR convention.



  1. This was a great, uplifting article. Some of it was a bit too preachy for me but the gist of the message was inspiring: real estate is first and foremost a relationship-driven business and it DOES require constant personal interaction. And the bright/dark (I took this to mean “brooding” not “evil”) side that wins is the side that is nurtured. I see this conflict in real estate associates and clients all the time. I would summarize then that perseverance is the operative word for weathering the storms.
    A positive attitude is so cliché (so “yesterday”) but a fact is a fact. The happiest people are those who accept what they have and feel blessed if they get more but don’t resent it if they don’t. Unfortunately, the real estate industry is not populated with many people of that personality type. I believe many of us, me included, get caught up in the pursuits of other people’s often arbitrary goals.
    Cliff’s article, as well as the end-year holiday season, are triggers for introspection and retrospection, to remind us of why we “really” do the things we do, what our “real” goals are or should be, and whether we’ve made “real” progress towards them.
    Thanks Cliff.

  2. Excellent read! I hope people really understand your message because it is loud and clear and should be ABSORBED!

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed the article. I was licensed in 1981, the
    worst possible time, and survived. Today’s agent appears to be SEDUCED by the anyone
    offering internet – do no work – let the prospects come to you in droves. Years
    ago we had other seducers pitching work 10 hours a week and make a million. The
    pitch is the same, what is different is what is being pitched. Greed and laziness
    are here to stay! (it’s human nature)

  4. “…stop being seduced by the power of the internet…” (Cliff Baird)
    The key word above isn’t “internet”, it’s “seduced”.
    Only people susceptible to being seduced, thus addictive personality types, become seduced by the internet. It looks like the majority of commissioned sales types fit this personality type. However, the advocate types may not be so inclined. Comments?

      • I think that the internet is a great research tool. However, as Cliff implies, one cannot work one’s contact base with “emotional professionalism” via the internet. Emotion simply does not compute through cyberspace.
        Cliff is a Psychologist. Ergo, he specializes in psychological standards. His advice is psychology based. The internet has no psychological patterns and/or behaviours. It is deader than a dried out sucker lying on a beach for a week or more. It only has never-ending linear parades (non-patterns) of characters and spaces as entered by computer nerds as its predictably programmed brain. Cliff advises one to be “in touch” with one’s contact base, not by fingers on key strokes, but by real-time face-to-face encounters. The internet will continue to quickly evolve, but we humans are no different that we were thousands of years ago. What’s old is new again.

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