Why People Respond to Passion (and how it will grow your business)
People Respond to Passion
People hire you for why you do it, not just what you do.
Have you ever been talking to a client, a friend, or a family member about your craft and they say, "Wow, you are really passionate about this."? Or have you ever been talking to someone who excitedly chats about their hobby and they stop mid sentence and say, "Oh sorry, I tend to ramble on and on about this."? There's no need to apologize, that's great that they are passionate about that subject. A great example of someone who is passionate is Gordon Ramsay. He had a TV show you've probably seen called Kitchen Nightmares. Sadly, the US version was a steaming pot of garbage, but the UK version was exceptional. Mr. Ramsay is passionate about cooking and it shows in his interactions when he is teaching other chefs. He doesn't deal with ignorance gracefully (which is why a lot of people don't like him, a personality trait exasperated by US over-dramatization) but he is a smart businessman and a great chef.
When you are passionate about your craft, the first thing people will think is, "Wow, this girl really cares about what she does..." And you know what? There are so many people who don't care that you'll come across as having super powers. When it comes to your real estate business, your passion conveys value; it generates even more perceived value than the real estate transaction itself. People want to work with you because you actually give a damn. So how can passion be worth money? We are wired to respond to passion, it is infectious. Your clients want you to be passionate about what you do and they will happily pay for your services if you show that you really do care. And in turn, they will gladly tell all their friends about you.
Real Estate is a service industry.
You aren't delivering a good like a table or a couch. A more clear way to say this is that you are in the relationship industry and building relationships and delivering experiences is your job. Your passion, therefore, is your product AND your Unique Selling Proposition. It becomes a huge part of what you are selling.
Many people have their passion based on the wrong part of their business, and it outshines every else we talk about. Some agents are only passionate about money and everything they do is to put (or keep) dollars in their wallet. Other agents are not passionate about anything and aren't delivering an exceptional experience to their clients. These are the ones struggling for work because they are the plain mashed potatoes of the real estate world.
But when you have your passion in the right place, you establish trust with a client and show them why you get excited about buying and selling homes. This attracts your ideal clients and is what grows your business. Your certifications won't sign more clients. Your budget approach to marketing won't sign more clients. Your hollow sales presentations won't sign more clients. Your passion about helping people make the most expensive purchase of their life is what will sign more clients.
Let's use me as a real life example. When I first started doing real estate photography in Salt Lake City I thought that all I needed to do was to provide a few decent photos and then I could retire on a tropical island. I thought there was a hoard of real estate agents desperate for a photographer to come in and take pictures that I would be fully booked after about 6 weeks in business. I remember be absolutely crushed (devastated, really) when I wasn't booking shoots after being in business for 2 months. I got to the point where I was seriously considering quitting because I thought the industry was dead.
But instead, I reevaluated why I wanted to do real estate photography and why I wanted to be in this business. I tried to define my passion for photography in the real estate industry.
1. I knew I loved taking photos but I didn't want to do weddings or portraits or babies or pets. I also knew that while I love landscape photography, I probably wouldn't be able to make a living off that. Not that my landscape photos aren't good (they are great, just ask the Utah Arts Council) but because that takes more time than I could reasonably afford with 2 little boys and a wife. I didn't want to put my family on hold while I chased a dream.
2. I really enjoyed taking pictures of buildings and thought, "How can I make money year-round in Salt Lake by taking pictures of buildings?" Boom: real estate photography.
3. While I understood that I am in this to make money (duh, why else do people work) I didn't NEED to make millions of dollars doing it. I just needed to provide a comfortable life for my family and be able to go to Disney World every couple of years. I didn't think that was too much to ask. So I'm not in business to hustle people out of a quick buck.
4. I want to provide such a home run product, service, and experience that people can't say enough great things about it. I wanted to be more than just a guy doing a job who could be replaced at any time by anyone. I wanted to be seen as THE guy who's unique set of skills, experiences, and high quality products can't be found anywhere else. I used to work a job where all I was expected to do was to show up, push a few keys on a keyboard, and go home. There was no special requirements, no reason it needed to be me, specifically. Anyone could do the job. I didn't feel valued. And I hated that feeling. I craved the environment where I could be different, to be better, and to be recognized as providing the highest quality and best value.
I wanted to be the go-to guy who delivers more value than he charges. If anyone was going to hire me to help build their business, I needed to be making them money, not costing them money. And just snapping a few photos wasn't going to cut it. I realized that my driving force (my passion) is based on providing a unique set of [high quality] services that can't be replicated by just anyone. My passion is helping people stand out, helping them be prestigious, and helping them grow their business. Their success is my success.
Your passion is your product.
When you figure out what your passion is (either by realization or determination), the thing that gets you out of bed in the mornings, the thing that makes you look forward to Mondays, that's when you'll start attracting more leads and signing more clients. When people can see that you are passionate about WHY you are a Realtor and not just WHAT you do as a Realtor, they will be driven to work with you. Your passion is your product. Anyone can find an agent to fill out some papers and take some phone calls. But a "plain mashed potatoes" agent will never be able to replace what YOU do as a passionate agent.
Passion leads to value, value leads to self-worth, self-worth leads to abundance. Your [ideal] clients want to hire someone who is passionate about what she does. And my clients want to hire a photographer who gives a damn (like them). Passion is how you find these clients and build your business.
Here are some tips to help discover your passion and your Unique Selling Proposition with your real estate business:
1. Passion is defined as "the thing you love that you are willing to suffer for." I hate the definition of "the thing you'd do if money didn't matter." You know, I'd probably be on an around-the-world cruise if money didn't matter. But I'm not willing to suffer to go on a 180 day cruise. So instead, to find what you are passionate about, think about what it is that will get you out of bed every day at 4am to work on while the world sleeps. What part of your business is so important you are willing to sacrifice sleep over it?
2. Let's say we are meeting for the first time and you are giving me your sales pitch. What part are you most excited to tell me? Is it your marketing plan? Is it your rich connection to different communities? Is it your deep relationships with a large pool of investors? This is a good indication of something you are passionate about.
3. If you had a bad head cold, what part of your business would you still WANT to do (not feel obligated to do)? When I worked in a call center, I would call in sick with just the sniffles (because I hated my job). But now, I've loaded up the DayQuil and gone out on a shoot because I love taking photos. When that is really out of the question (because I'm too sick and it's inconsiderate to be spreading your germs around) I've edited photos or written blog articles instead of binge watching Netflix on the couch. So what would you still do regardless of being sick?
4. When you come home, what are you most excited to share with your spouse, girl/boyfriend, or pet? What part of your day was a home run for you? This is a good indication of where your passions lie.
5. Bringing this back to "something you love that you are willing to suffer for," ask yourself what you would keep doing even if it was painful? I heard a recent interview with Tony Hawk and he said despite getting a pretty serious concussion and knocking his teeth out, he still wanted to skateboard. Also remember, just because you suffer now doesn't mean you'll keep suffering later. Suffering usually isn't perpetual.
A word of caution.
Don't pretend to be passionate. People's BS meters will beep like crazy when they detect that you are just saying words with no emotion behind them. Don't be the agent who puts together a slick presentation then blames the "market conditions" when things don't work out as promised.
If you truly love being a Realtor, you should be able to think of at least one thing in response to any of those questions above. If you can't, you may have to come to the realization that being a Realtor just isn't for you (which is not the end of the world) and maybe there is something else for you. Knowing your passion will drive your success in business (and it can't be a passion to make money...that doesn't count). Remember, your passion is your product.
Keywords: agent, estate, find, how, marketing, passion, real, salt lake city real estate photographer, to, utah
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