This video made me jump up out of my seat and cheer! Finally, a businessman who isn’t embarrassed by what he earns – and is willing to defend it in front of the mass purveyors of guilt, the Media. Every REALTOR should watch this clip and see what it looks like when someone stands up and says, Yes, dammit! I’m worth every penny! I may get paid a lot, but I create a LOT MORE value in return. We need a lot more of this kind of attitude in the industry these days – rather than the doom, gloom, hat-in-hand wimpishness that’s rotting our industry. From the inside out.
REALTORS face this kind of “you are overpaid” attack every day. From the media. From dis-intermediaries who think their fancy websites can kill the traditionally paid agent. As if there were something wrong with being paid, traditionally. And of course, we hear it from consumers sitting across the table from us. You want how much in commission? Wow, that’s a lot! Do you deserve it? Shouldn’t you charge less because my house is declining in value? And suddenly, the consumer has the upper hand, doling out guilt without the facts. And most REALTORS simply cave in.
They could learn a lot from Jim Calhoun.
What Mr Calhoun showed us in one minute is the result of years of pride of ownership. He owns his career. He earned his pay. And he did it by producing more for those he “serves” than they could have on their own. Jim certainly was rude – he even admitted it. But it’s the kind of rudeness we need a whole lot more of in real estate these days.
It is the rudeness of self respect that refuses to accept guilt for being great.
In previous blog entries, I have asked REALTORS why they don’t have the success they deserve. Some agents blame the market. Others the consumer. Brokers blame lame agents. Or the secretary. Or technology. Yet Jim Calhoun’s sixty-second outburst reminds us who is to blame for our failures. And for our successes.
And if we want to be paid what we’re worth, we have to believe we’re worth it, and be willing to say so when it counts.
The Calhoun Outburst makes a perfect business principle for overcoming much of our industry’s challenges. For example, when faced with a seller who insists we list their home at an overpriced amount, a Calhoun Outburst recommending they “get some facts” would certainly put things in perspective. Equally helpful, an Outburst telling sellers to just “shut up” when they insist we run a newspaper ad would nicely remind them who knows how to do the job: Go out and show me the newspaper ads YOU are using to find YOUR next home, Mr Seller, and then we’ll talk about using the newspaper to find a buyer for your home….
Maybe if our industry’s leaders had a few more Calhoun Outbursts, confidence in the housing sector would recover sooner, too. The next time the media claims house prices dropped another 20%” last quarter, without offering a baseline or a location, brokers and agents could “Go Calhoun” on them. Pick up the phone, call the radio and newspaper, and post on their blogs, “Like hell it did! Get some facts – because there are more than 25 major cities in America where prices are stable or rising!” It’s not all doom and gloom. But we have to learn to speak up for the facts, and loudly, Calhoun-style.
I’d even go so far to say that a few Calhoun Outbursts might work wonders inside many real estate offices. Brokers face the firing squad like Calhoun faced the media every day, especially from whiny agents who haven’t sold a thing in months. Has the agent done their homework, following up on every lead, before making claims and demands for more from their broker? Like the off-camera journalist in the video clip, many agents take for granted that the best of us – like Calhoun, and brokers – have to “sacrifice” for the sake of others. Calhoun should take a pay cut because times are tough; so brokers should spend more to generate more leads – even though the agents just throw them away. Calhoun-style Brokers need to just say, “meet me outside” and we’ll settle this once and for all.
Of course, none of this is really surprising to me. Jim Calhoun is a coach. His outburst was really a coaching moment: He was trying to teach the journalist an important lesson. His style was classic – something lacking in today’s “be nice, don’t offend, hug everyone” world. Maybe it’s time the for a little less tolerance for “say anything, do anything” antics from the media – and from non-producers in our offices? Calhoun wasn’t willing to accept guilt for being successful – especially from someone who didn’t do their job well (get the facts) in the first place. Could there be a new model here for dealing with agents who feel entitled to more of the broker’s money while simultaneously refusing to prospect or come to meetings? Hmmmm?
At the very least, the industry as a whole can learn from Calhoun: Sometimes, we need to stand up and demand a little respect for ourselves. And any journalists, agents or sellers who don’t agree can meet us outside to talk about it….