January 2018

Stop Playing Musical Chairs…

It’s Not Them, it’s YOU

8 Important Questions You Need to Ask Prior to Backing-Up The Moving Van

It’s time to be vulnerable and shine a little light on my past behavior. I’m prompted to do this to illustrate a point very dear to my heart, as it relates to both personal and professional growth.

At the age of 60, I came to the realization that I am a Narcissist. I’m sure that is no drum roll to some, but to me it was a huge insight to my behavior.

The good news is that today with lots of personal work, I consider myself a “Narcissist in Recovery”; which in general terms means that rather than offend 90% of the people I come in contact with, I only offend 40% of those I encounter.

For those not familiar with Narcissism, one thing we are really good at, is blaming everyone else for things that go wrong. Or more candidly stated, we get “mad”, disappointed in others, or throw adult temper-tantrums if what we “expect”, doesn’t come in the package we feel we deserve. Then, to make sure everyone knows we are unhappy, we throw the baby out with the bathwater by arrogantly blaming others for everything that is “wrong” and stomp out of the room (or leave a brokerage) determined to prove that the grass is greener, once the “idiots” in our life are behind us. In personal life, I call this immaturity. In business I call it, Musical Chairs.

Musical Chairs (n): “a situation in which people frequently exchange jobs of positions”

In our industry, I see a lot of Musical Chair Realtors. Meaning I see agents who jump ship because they continue to find discontent with firm after firm. Or agents who quickly change business cards because they are blinded by the “Bright and Shiny New Object” syndrome when new companies come to town and offer “pies in the skies”, new technology not yet implemented or proven to work, or a piece of the “rock” (that might just be a mere sand dune.) Or agents who prefer to throw blame balls at the teams or companies they work with because their personal performance is lacking.

Don’t misunderstand what I am saying. Speaking from firsthand experience I certainly understand the need to move brokerages on occasion. I am contemporary enough to know that the days of a person staying at one job or company for a lifetime is long gone. Certainly, it is the norm for any of us to make a few upward moves over a period of time as we ascend in our profession.
But that type of shift and movement is not what I’m talking about. Today I want to address what I call the Serial Musical Chair Realtor and help identify the difference between playing real estate musical chairs, versus creating authentic shift and change for career success.

A Serial Musical Chair Realtor is someone who moves from company to company, always looking for the greener grass. They are someone who eventually finds discontent in every firm they join and much like the Narcissist, will blame the destruction of their career on others rather than own the responsibility of their profession themselves.

It is no doubt that changing firms is a big decision. Our instability, or too much mobility not only dilutes our personal brand but causes a lack of confidence in our clients as well. Therefore, if you find yourself discontent (again) in your current firm, or are considering moving to a new brokerage, here are 8 questions to consider before you move.

The 8 important questions before moving firms:

1. Before moving companies, make sure you understand your WHY. Meaning, what needs do you currently have that are not getting met at your existing company?

2. Make sure before jumping ship you have clearly discussed these needs with your current broker. Or in other words, have you given your current company the opportunity to make changes? And if “yes”, what is the timeline for these changes to be implemented?

3. If you choose to leave, make sure you have vetted your new company and ask yourself, is the new company aligned with your personal brand? Is it a company that you can become the best definition of Self?

4. Does your new company have a guarantee that the needs you are requesting will be executed? And what happens if they do not perform?

5. Before you jump, does this new company have the track record that proves they are a Rockstar, versus a karaoke singer? Meaning, will they be a group you just “work” for/with? Or will they become a family you can grow and expand with and more importantly a company that will be there for you when the market fluctuates? Are they interested in “You” as an agent/broker? Or are they just after your market share? Do they have the infrastructure to withstand the market changes? And do they have the capital committed to offer the on-going support required for sustainability even in a down market?

6. Is your decision to leave fear based or what’s truly best for you and your future…fear based decision hardly ever work out for anyone. And is this move truly a better opportunity or a promise of things based on false assurances?

7. The things that are enticing you to leave, are they a short term bandage or a long term solution?

8. Finally, coming from a Narcissist in Recovery who spent years looking for the next best thing, make sure you examine your ego and ask yourself, is your change rooted in clarity and strategic movement; or is it your ego? An ego that is pouting because you didn’t get your way, and now, you are taking your marbles elsewhere. An ego that keeps you on the never-ending game of being a Serial Musical Chair Realtor. An ego that is always looking for the next best thing rather than buckling down and appreciating what you have in your current firm.

At the end of the day we are responsible for our own professional and personal success. And when things don’t go our way it is easy for us to throw blame balls at our team and tell our self the narrative that we are not content at our brokerage because “they’ are the issue.

Maturity is learning that success and happiness is not found in every new shiny object that comes knocking at our door, but instead having the wisdom to see opportunities for what they really are…

If you find the time is right for you to make that move, make sure you do it with dignity and class and not like a thief in the night and let your boss know that you have moved on by walking into an empty office in the morning.

Remember, the grass is not always greener on the other side…most of the time it turns out to be AstroTurf. So, an important question before you jump is, where will you sit, when the music stops playing…


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