This month marks my 25th year in real estate. During that time, I have learnt a lot of lessons, made every mistake possible and interacted with literally thousands of people during my real estate journey.
I have met some incredibly inspiring people and others that are, well, let’s say less inspiring.
I thought I would share 20 lessons that I have learnt over this period; these are not listed in any particular order.
1. Up to 95 per cent of your performance is dictated by what is going on between your ears at any one time. Your mindset is not an involuntary state. You can choose your attitude and your reactions, but it requires a level of self-awareness – and it requires practice.
2. If you have to make a major decision, make sure you get all the information before you do. Don’t trust your first reaction. First reactions are often emotional.
3. Decisions based on ego are generally bad decisions, especially in business.
4. Learn something from everyone you meet whether you like them or not. Some of the best lessons in life come from the most unexpected sources.
5. The customer is not always right. They often lose perspective with the emotion of selling their largest asset. We need to be there to help them when they most need it.
6. Be curious and never stop learning. There is so much more to understand and it’s an ever-changing environment. Embrace it.
7. Happiness is a choice. Regardless of your situation, your attitude is everything and it affects all those around you – whether you think so or not.
8. Some people love drama. It makes them feel worthy. Once you recognise this, they are much easier to deal with.
9. Every now and then you will meet a person who is pathologically frugal. They are the most mean-spirited people you will ever meet. Avoid them if possible.
10. Never ever judge a book by its cover. Some of the best people I have ever met have little money. On the reverse side, those who expect to be respected just because of their wealth are the worst people you will ever meet.
11. Don’t wish for a problem-free life. It will never happen and you will resent the problems when they arrive. Embrace problems as part of a full life because they will occur every day. Life is whitewater, not a serene lake. Not every problem is a bad problem.
12. The vast majority of people are genuinely good people who are just seeking a happy life for themselves, their friends and their family. Our perception of this has been skewed by the totally irresponsible mainstream media who think pumping misery into our lives every day is okay. It’s not.
13. Choose carefully who you surround yourself with. Be brave and remove poisonous people from your life. You will never regret it. You will only regret that it took so long to make the decision.
14. Prioritise your health. Nothing is more important. Do it for your family if you don’t consider it personally important.
15. Those who speak the loudest and with the most authority in their voice are often not right. They just think they are and desperately want you to think they are too. Do your own research. Generally, people are rarely completely right.
16. When buying anything, we always go through two stages. We emotionally attach first, then we self-justify the attachment. Being aware of this can save you a lot of money. We all buy things that seemed a good idea at the time but we never use. Our egos are very persuasive.
17. Look for the best in people and they will respond positively.
18. If you lose your perspective, you must temporarily change your physical environment to regain it. The old adage of not seeing the forest for the trees is certainly true. Walk out of the forest so you see the whole picture. Things become clear pretty quickly.
19. Past emotional baggage does not need to dictate your future. Look for the lessons and move on. There are always lessons and a finite number of days to implement them. Get on with it.
20. The ocean is a friend that will never let you down. It is always there for you when you need it.
I feel very fortunate to have survived 25 years in a very competitive and often highly emotional industry. I have only achieved this by surrounding myself with incredibly good people and with a very supportive family. Hopefully one or two of these lessons you may find of assistance in avoiding many of the mistakes that I have made along the way.
As usual, if we can ever be of assistance in any real estate matter please do not hesitate to call.
Marty Maher is director at Great Ocean Properties.