The Advantages of Following the Golden Rule During a Down Economy
Currently, and for the past year or two, parts of Canada have been in a recession. However, Alberta native Benjamin Loates, who is a top producing real estate agent, has been able to stay ahead of the curve and not let his business be negatively impacted by these tough times. In our recent conversation, he explained how to successfully approach a down economy in order to keep your business going in the right direction.
Back to the Fundamentals: The Golden Rule
During a down economy, Ben finds it best to revert back to the raw fundamentals that created his initial success. These are the things that he did in the beginning of his career that got him clients and got him referrals. When starting out, Ben took in new clients and treated them like gold. He performed at his absolute best and tried to make each person feel like they were his number one customer.
This strategy, or Golden Rule, works especially well during a down economy, because it keeps his business flowing through client retention and referrals. In general, people want to work with quality human beings. But when business is down, character may be an even more important trait for a real estate professional to have. There is a reason that certain people always do well, whether the economy is good or back. Ben believes that it is because they operate fundamentally in “other-oriented” principles that are unshakable.
Golden Rule’s Manifestation
This mentality manifests itself in two main ways.
First, Ben doesn’t cut corners. One of the biggest cut corners is placing money above the person you are working with. So, Ben does everything he can, within reason, to refrain from putting his own self-interest ahead of clients. He is willing to make sacrifices, both financially and time-wise, to help his clients achieve his or her objective.
Secondly, Ben believes that this mentality, combined with not cutting corners, makes him act smarter and consistently. He prides himself on doing a lot of social media — Instagram and Facebook live — to educate current and potential clients. He also does the groundwork of calling people, networking, joining business groups, etc. Ultimately, Ben says it allows him to “not suck.”
Golden Rule Example
Ben operates from this Golden Rule mindset for every client interaction he has. A great example is when he gave up a portion of his commission to help a client close a deal. Ben and his client were in negotiations on a primary residence and got to the point where the buyer and seller were off by $3,000. Ben contacted the selling agent and stated that if they both gave up $1,500 of commissions, his client would close. After agreeing, he realized that there was a miscommunication. Instead of the $3,000 going to the buyer, it went to the seller. Ben owned the mistake, called his client, and offered to pay the $3,000 out-of-pocket. It turned out that the buyer was absolutely in a crunch and needed the $3,000 to buy the home. Although, Ben’s commission check went from $8,500 to $4,000 in the blink of an eye.
Six days later, Ben went to an annual realtor appreciation event. Much to his surprise, he randomly won a $7,500 all-cash grand prize. Ben attributes this to the power of giving. When you give, everything changes. By operating with the “giving mentality,” you can only increase from that. Ben went from giving away $4,500 to randomly winning $7,500. Is that coincidence or fate?