Often times we ask ourselves “HOW” are we going to get something done versus “WHY” we want to do it in the first place. If you want to be the best Realtor, business owner, photographer, etc in your field, the most important question to ask is why do you want to be the best?

Is it for notoriety? Is it as a reward? Is it to serve others?

I’m a huge fan of Patrick Lencioni and in his newest book, THE MOTIVE, Lencioni discusses that having the right motive and the right WHY is paramount, without it you will certainly hit a ceiling with how far you will go, and you might even fail.

As an example, Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines has a strong why. Their mission as quoted from their website is:  “dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

And Kelly doesn’t just tout that as Southwest’s core values, he lives them. Early on with Covid-19 (around March 10, 2020) Kelly announced he would be taking a 10% pay cut. He stated: “I can’t promise you we won’t have to ground airplanes and furlough employees. I can promise you it will be the last thing we do, not the first.”

Kelly leads by living out Southwest’s why every day and as a result, Southwest’s culture has taken root in the person at the ticket counter to the person flinging bags. It gives employees the authority, bravery and decision making ability to interact with every single customer and make decisions that align with the company’s mission, whether traveling in Boston or Orlando, Southwest’s customers know what to expect.

In real estate, especially right now, this is a great time for Realtors to take a look at what their why is.

– Is it to sell the most real estate out of everyone in the board of Realtors? Why?
– Is it to help everyone who needs to buy or sell every single day? Why?
– Is it to be a resource and provide honest answers no matter how hard it might be? And why?

If your answer is one or two, it’s possible your why could be self motivated. If the answer to selling the most real estate is notoriety, self elevation, rewards or even money, that is self serving. If it’s to help everyone who needs to buy or sell so you can brag about it to your friends or coworkers, that motive isn’t great either. If it’s to be a resource and provide honest feedback even if that means having difficult conversations, at the end of the day, that is serving your buyer or seller, not yourself. When you have the right why, you will be able to help everyone make the decision that’s best for them, as a result, you’ll sell a lot of real estate in the process.

A few weeks ago, my assistant and I did a “What are you FOR?” Bible study that talked about how we can live as Christians in the workplace. Part of the devotional that stood out to me was this: “When what you WANT to be known for is actually what you ARE known for, customers become a free sales force by telling others about you. When customers experience it, they will gladly be a source of positive word-of-mouth advertising.”

My WHY: to be relentless for my customer, and I do that by putting myself in the customers shoes. I want to do things, not because they benefit me, but because they are in my customer’s best interest. while always being honest, ethical and transparent at all times. Sometimes, I have to deliver tough news, (the buyer is walking away, the seller won’t agree to this new term, the deal is falling apart). Sometimes I have to be the bad guy because that’s why I was hired. It isn’t always fun and it isn’t always supposed to be. But I always handle the mission, delivering the news, presenting the offers right away. Honest = Policy for me. It doesn’t matter if it negatively affects me, what matters is that my customer is elevated above me, it matters my customer’s know they can trust that I put their interests ahead of my own. When my team and I work from that standpoint, we don’t have to worry about how many sales we’ll have, how Covid-19 will impact our business or where the next sale will come from. We know that we have a source of positive word-of-mouth advertising out there, and the business will come, if we keep our why where it belongs.