just seems like yesterday that every other phone call coming in
was a “live one”. A deal we could count on that would
appraise, fund, and close, before the end of the month. Ah, the
good old days! Even in my business, as a settlement services
provider, I grew to get very comfortable with the thought
that these calls would never end. But, as time would tell, they
have surely come to a screeching halt! Or, maybe it is better described
as a slow drip….
One of the questions everyone initially asked themselves, was, WHY?
Well, the answer to this question will be debated for years to come.
Suffice it to say that there is no one reason why it happened. But
Generally speaking, you can point to a number of reasons, some are
valid and some are nutty.
They include; Greed,
Stupidity, Hurricanes, Global Warming, Predatory Lending, Over-Inflated
Home Prices, the War on Terror, Speculation, Artificial Demand,
Over Supply/Over Building, Illegal Immigration, the Devalued American
Dollar, the Stock Market, Interest Rates, and on, and on, and
on, etc…. Obviously, no single reason can explain why our
phones have stopped ringing. However, there is one thing you can
count on. It will recover, eventually.
The next question I hear asked,
almost on a daily basis is, “what are we going to
do now?” Some of you have already answered that
question, by leaving the industry. I can’t tell you how
many folks I have met at local networking events that tell me
that they are a “Professional ______________”, but
am now selling Avon products until the market changes. Or, I am
a “___________, by Trade”, but I am now working at
Macy’s until the market stabilizes. (That one is my favorite)
Now, don’t get me wrong, these people have made decisions
that they felt they needed to, to continue to put food on their
table. But, these are exactly the same folks that should not have
been in our industry anyway. If they were a real Professional
anything, or a Tradesman of any sort, there is no reason for them
to be working anywhere than within their chosen profession or
trade. Obviously, they were only in the business for that great
boat ride to the top of the wave. And just as obvious, they are
not in it today because they have no idea what it takes to survive,
when the ship is riding down the backside of the wave….
They never learned what it takes to be a Professional nor did
they ever possess the tools of the Trade they were working in.
If you are reading this article, you know who I am speaking about
and you can probably name five people, without blinking an eye,
who fit that description.
I know I can.
Remember, being a Professional isn’t
about alphabet-soup designations or titles after your name. It
isn’t about driving a $50,000 car while wearing a $3,000
suit, and flashing Gold or Platinum plastic to pay for a double
cheeseburger at the drive- through. It is about providing
exceptional service to your clientele who depend upon
you year after year. It is about staying updated with the most
current information and employing the best technology in your
field, so you can give accurate information and superior
results to those clients, which is why they keep coming
back to you. It doesn’t matter that you may change companies
within your chosen profession at some point(s) in your career.
It matters that you are still the go-to-guy or gal that those
individuals have counted on to help them over the years. It takes
a true professional to gain the continued trust of an individual
when you are dealing with their biggest asset and their life savings
in every deal you do. Just think about that for a second. Every
transaction we deal with is about someone’s biggest asset.
Every transaction we deal with is about someone’s life savings.
Only a true professional can handle that kind of pressure. And
only a true professional has the talent and tools to stay in business
when the market conditions change to less than ideal.
Most of the people that I have met in my career that I consider
to be true Professionals or real Tradesmen, have been Optimists.
Optimists know that the market will get better. They may not know
when, but that doesn’t matter. They are sharp enough to
realize that this industry, like most industries, has its ups
and its downs. It does not bother them. It comes with the territory.
Right now, just happens to be a down year. No matter. It will
get better. Put simply, the Pessimists get nowhere. They are the
washouts. They are always willing to try the newest great thing.
They don’t join the industry groups. They don’t get
involved. They don’t stay the course. They jump ship.