Lorie had been struggling in so many ways all year. She had a number of late payments on credit cards, her landlord told her she could not be late again with rent, and keeping enough food in the house for her three kids was a constant struggle. She felt beat down by life. She knew most of what she was experiencing was from poor decisions with money and relationships, but she could not help but think that life had dealt her a bad hand. She needed to catch a break; just a tiny success to keep her going.
Helping other people had always been something Lorie enjoyed and took great satisfaction in doing. She chose a career in real estate because it allowed her to meet new people, literally every day, and advise people through one of the most important financial decisions of their life. Lately, the paychecks had been few and far between but the requests for help, advice, and counsel kept coming with no promise of a listing or future sale. There were lots of meetings but few actual clients. It was just that type of market.
When Lorie began her career she chose to run her business by a few simple convictions. She would always provide great customer service, she would focus on repeat-referral business, and she would never compromise her integrity. These convictions had guided her through many transactions and years of success.
Recently, though, her convictions seemed like just words. With her marriage ending in divorce just a few months ago and her recent financial challenges, Lorie wondered if all her hard work and living by her convictions was really worth it. Did it really matter or did these challenging times require her to get down in the mud and be more aggressive in her approach to getting new clients. She could snag a lead off someone’s desk late at night or talk to a seller that was already working with someone in the hope they could be convinced to work with her instead. She could over promise to potential clients, knowing she could not deliver the results they wanted, just to get the business.
One rainy Sunday afternoon as Lorie sat alone at her office desk considering these tough questions and challenges to her convictions she met a nice young family looking to buy their first home. The family could not afford much, only $75,000. There would not be many homes to show them and many of them would not be a home Lorie would ever consider living in, herself. Nevertheless, the couple touched Lorie’s heart in a special way and she decided to help them find a home. After all, Lorie could use the commission and even though it was far below the price point she was used to working in, beggars could not be choosers.
As Lorie and the couple searched for homes, she noticed her attitude changing for the better. She focused on pouring everything she could into making sure this couple had a great experience buying their first home. She felt alive again. The couple found a home and Lorie helped negotiate a great price for them. She went out of her way to facilitate a smooth closing and the clients told her they were so grateful for everything she had done for them. The day she handed them the keys was a great day for them and Lorie. She felt a sense of peace and joy that comes from serving someone else.
Lorie received her commission check and immediately deposited it into the bank. She needed to buy groceries and make a 30-day late payment on her credit card. As she spent every last penny of the commission check reality started to set back in. The fear of where the next paycheck would come from, and if she would be able to pay her rent on time started to consume her thoughts. She could feel the panic rising up within her. But, then the phone rang.
It was a man she did not know. He shared that he and his wife were going to be selling their home and buying a new one. They felt this market was the perfect time for them seeing as they had a great deal of equity in their home and wanted to take advantage of the low prices on larger homes with acreage. The man went on to explain that the home they would be selling was probably worth $750,000 and the homes in the area they wanted to buy had come down in price to about $950,000. He asked if she would be willing to work with them. Lorie could hardly speak and actually fumbled over her words as her mind transitioned from fear and panic to amazement and joy.
“I’d love to help you”, she said. How did you get my name again? The man explained again how his little sister and her husband had just bought a small home through Lorie. Even though it was only $75,000 they felt they were treated like royalty and could not stop talking about how much they trusted Lorie and how she was a true advocate for them throughout the process. The man explained that he was looking for that same level of service and commitment, and did not need to interview anyone else based on the experience his sister recently had. Lorie sat down and smiled as she started to take down the man’s information and schedule their first meeting together.
Lorie had caught her break. It was not because of some new fancy marketing scheme where she made ridiculous promises. It was not because she stole leads from her peers or compromised how she approached her business. She lived by her convictions and reaped the benefits of doing so. Lorie’s faith in her convictions was restored through her actions and service to that young couple. Because she was willing to live by her convictions when she earned a small commission she was rewarded with an even bigger payday in the future. It became the tipping point for her in a season of life that had been full of broken relationships, unmet expectations, and shattered dreams. Lorie would never question her convictions again, and would strive to live by them each and every day. Even when she did not feel like there was hope in her reality, she would be faithful to her convictions.
Make it a great day!