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The Lies We Tell Ourselves

CEO Colleen Barry on Counteracting the Mind's Inaccurate Messaging 

Colleen Barry

Most of us are terrible at writing our own bios. We fumble at the keyboard, writing and deleting for 30 minutes, eventually landing on the same blank page where we started. The reason is that we lie to ourselves.

Each of us has special skills, value systems, and qualities that make us stand out among our tribe. But, our brains assume that EVERYONE has those qualities. So, they can't possibly be special; if everyone has them, no one would find them valuable

I've found that real estate agents see their efforts for their clients the same way. I've heard...
"Well, everyone helps their clients find a great mortgage agent."
"Any agent worth their salt would have let them know that the neighbor just got $100,000 over the asking price."
"Anyone would have driven to their unoccupied house in the middle of a storm to check on the heat."

Lies. Lies. Lies.

What you do for your clients is well above and beyond what the typical agent would do. Every day you are helping people find a new place of refuge from the world, a way to invest their hard-earned dollars in a solid investment vehicle, and a way to prepare for their future needs. You help them stay informed. You make a difference.

But, you might not be great at talking about it.

We need to share with our customers and clients what we do and why we do it. Don't take for granted that they know it. Our friend Thomas Wright from Summit Sotheby's International Realty does an excellent job of communicating value with his clients -- so well, in fact, that he rarely needs to defend his commission. Checklists are a part of that conversation.

Going one step further, our good friend Jack Cotton in Osterville has an impressive pre-listing brochure that details all of the research and work he does to prepare for a listing appointment. This establishes value BEFORE he has even started working with the customer and sets him apart from the competition.

We can counter your brain's inaccurate messaging with a few tasks:

  1. In your next few transactions, make a list of the things you do for your customer/client -- from prior to the listing presentation until after they close.
  2. Inquire with your colleagues which are your special skills or talents.
  3. Ask your clients what were the most helpful things you did for them during the process. That would be a great time to ask for a review.
  4. Read your past reviews!


Now that you have a clearer sense of what you do and do particularly well, it's time to talk about it. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Use it in your bio
  2. Use it in your listing presentation
  3. Create checklists for your buyer and seller clients
  4. Incorporate brief client raves in your marketing

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