Buying or selling a house is the most gravitational transaction of a person’s LIFE. It’s a multi-hundred thousand dollar decision that has an effect on EVERYTHING. Your happiness. Your stress. Your family. Your lifestyle. How well you sleep at night… maybe how well you sleep at night for the next ten years.
In spite of these truths, I hear a lot of belly aching in and around the real estate industry about how “hard” everything is… as if this is an excuse for this modern standard called “good enough.” Yep, everything is hard and no one is happy. A sample of the many things that are sooooo hard:
- How hard it is to make clients happy (they’re so picky!)
- How hard it is to keep up with the latest technology (changes all the time eh?)
- How hard it is to keep up with new regulations or (gasp!) standards
- How hard it is to build a house people will buy (more picky clients!)
- How hard it is to write a binding real estate contract (silly legal stuff!)
- How hard it is to make a good living “these days” (everything costs so much!)
Are these things really THAT hard? Or are they delightfully compelling challenges to be embraced for the opportunities they are? And why is everyone running away from challenge and racing toward “easy” anyway? What about making things better? Or even doing them right at all?
Have we manufactured so much stress in our society that the pursuit of excellence is now a luxury?
I’m not buying it. We have more leisure time NOW than the western world has ever had in its history! And in something as monumentally important to people as their personal real estate, excellence cannot be a luxury. The stakes are too high. It was not so long ago that we experienced crisis-level repercussions of sloppy thinking with our real estate (2008 global financial meltdown, anyone?). How short our memories have become.
Seems to me that this tattered old thing called Excellence needs a push back into the spotlight.
Excellence is a worthy goal unto itself. ‘Good enough’ is not.
Good enough is for making sandwiches or making the bed. For tidying up the house before last minute company arrives. Good enough is an 8 out of 10 on a pop quiz. A bad hair day. A garden that doesn’t produce perfect tomatoes.
Good enough is NOT for our personal real estate. Our home. Our shelter. Our permanent stake in the ground. And it’s certainly not for the hundreds of thousands of dollars that it will take decades to repay, at future unknown interest rates.
We are so preoccupied with—devoted to even—this minimum standard called ‘good enough’ that we teach our children to strive only for that. Don’t push too hard too fast or with too much force. It’s only important that you show up, we say.
Can you imagine if I said that to my real estate clients? “Hey, at least I showed up.”
Tragically, excellence is not in the conversation anymore. And a lack of it is considered … admirable. Why knock yourself out if you don’t have to? It’s cool to be casual.
Our forefathers would be astounded by this attitude. They knew in their bones and from their graves that we did not get here by being ‘good enough.’ The quest for excellence was the entire point. It meant survival. Today, excellence is necessary for our continued evolution as intelligent, willful, human beings.
So, the next time you hire a REALTOR®, a contractor, a builder, a lawyer, or any service professional at all… please, do not settle for good enough. Ask for excellence. Insist on value. Demand a standard. Respect the difference between perfect and wonderful. Look for the Wow. And ask yourself if you are offering your own brand of excellence too.
It’s worth it.