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When A Toilet Flushes: I flushed it my way

Posted by Esther Percal | on February 17, 2017

Categories: Miami Beach Luxury Real Estate, Miami Beach Real Estate, Real Estate, When A toilet Flushes

Competition is a good thing, it offers a dose of reality and a checks and balances system to keep businesses on their toes.

We as realtors co-operate with each other, which is the same as  forming a partnership lasting for that short span of time beginning with the showing of a house, negotiating a deal, culminating in an executed contract, cresting at closing. For that span of time, communicating with each other and working closely together creates a bond between the parties that will always be remembered and can never be broken.

The other side of our business makes us  competitors vying for listings.  We  compete against one another with the ultimate goal of beating each other over obtaining a listing.    Listings are our inventory, they are the merchandise in our store.

I sometimes wish I could be a fly on a wall of a colleague’s listing presentation.  I wonder what my colleague said to beat me out of a listing, I dwell on what I neglected to say.  I am also acutely aware of my limitations, it is extremely difficult and embarrassing for me to talk about myself.   I am the Sr. Vice President of EWM, I rarely use that line!  I have been a top producing agent ranking at the elite top of the of ½ of 1% nationally, for the past at least 30 years of my 40 year long career,  can’t even wrap my head around to say that!  Did I forget to sing my praises announcing that in 2016 my team was No. 2 Company wide, and the No. 1 top producing team in EWM’s Miami Beach office.   Will I ever remember that in 2015 we sold a grand total of $110,000,000! Or that in 2014 we were the no. 1 company wide producers with a grand total sales of $138,500,000!  Of course I didn’t mention it, that is not who I am! 

I clearly understand the value of selling yourself,  especially when it comes to obtaining a listing.   If at this stage of my career, my reputation does not precede me before entering the door than, frankly I have no business walking through that door or getting near the opportunity to flush that toilet.  Luckily my great source of referrals and reputation serves me well without my need to play the game of selling myself to the point of discomfort.

In a business where we work among the top 1% of wealth, it is easy for many to begin to see themselves belonging to this  community. Allowing these relationships to define you,  or  perceiving yourself to be an integral part of your clients’ circle, just because you sold them an important asset, which allowed you entry  into the inner depth of your clients personal life, by being in their  kitchens, their closets, and their toilets, does not make you part of their family.  We can never  mistake these  relationship into believing you “belong”, on the contrary, these are exactly the situations where you need to  adhere to the strictest boundaries.   Respect the privilege you have been given of entering someone’s inner sanctum  however, this privilege compels us to act even more discretely and  humbly  never forget that as  quickly as you were allowed entry,  you can just as quickly be discarded.

I knew a broker who, in my opinion, was the best salesman I have ever met, he could sell “ice to the Eskimos”, yet his ego, and his ability to enter the most exclusive and inner circles of Miami’s grandest homes,  jaded him into thinking he belonged. He began to buy real estate with money he didn’t have, hire drivers, housekeepers, assistants upon assistants,  dreaming big, and planning to be bigger, he lost it all…he lost his path and along the way he lost himself. The best part of this story is that he doesn’t realize it and is still dreaming and scheming to become once again the best, the biggest, and the richest.  The sad ending is that he never appreciated, or understood that he was the best  salesman that existed in the  Miami Real Estate scene, and the vast treasure that in and of itself was!


Which leads me right back to listings.

We all have our strengths within the grand panorama of life.  We all have our own unique ability to flush toilets using our own unique blend and style.  We at one point or another as Realtors in the business of cooperating will have the opportunity to flush toilets together.  Although we will continue to compete for listings in order to obtain the possession of our very own toilets whose flushing we will control for the tenure of our listing.


And as I continue to wonder what did the prevailing agent say to obtain the listing I lost,  I know that personality traits draw upon certain attraction that,  although we all have achieved successes in working with different personalities which may be polar opposites of ours and even fall within our disdain,  the likelihood is that the client who enjoys working with my personality  will not be the same client who enjoys working with a radically different personality than mine.  The overbearing will seek the overbearing, and the humble will seek the humble, and the bullshitter will seek the bullshitter, you see it over and over again, it is the same as the owner looking like his dog.

There is also the client that goes to the greener pasture, only to come back realizing the grass is not greener on the other side, that gratifying return is always accompanied by the line “you were right” and that feels good!

Our business is well known for “no one owning a client” which creates the propensity to step on your colleagues’ toes, and for us to be pitched up against one another for listings which will only result in creating a pattern of exaggerations and the one that is best at that self promoting, self aggrandizement, will for a short time prevail.  After all, the goal is to assert yourself as better than the competition.

The best and most qualified toilet flusher of all times with gazillion dollars of flushes under your belt, the one with the widest reach and longest sewer line of all, the one that can pat themselves harder, and say “I have, I will, and I can”  and let me tell you how great I am , may prevail over the one who will not, cannot talk about themselves for as long and as hard as the others.  But after all this is said and done you have to produce results and that is the true test of your real abilities.

Miami Beach NO FLIP

I work hard all day, every day, 24/7 as we say.  I have a team who works well together providing great service and exemplary professionalism with immense knowledge.  We have been flushing toilets successfully together for a long time.

EWM offers us great tools to market our listing, we are constantly informed of the pulse of the market and its current status.  Between the knowledge we learn pounding the Real Estate pavement and the up-to-the-minute information our company constantly feeds us, compounded with years of experience there is hardly a house I do not know, and very few I haven’t sold at least once!

So I will continue to flush toilets my way.  Focus on obtaining enjoyable sell-able listings, and most important of all, try to find lovable, nice, mutually respectful sellers who are realistic and a pleasure to deal with.  Those are the toilets that rarely skip a beat, those are the ones that make your job enjoyable, those are the ones that are grateful and send you referrals and those are the ones who inevitably succeed and who are a pleasure to work with.

We cannot expect to control all the toilets,  that would equate to a monopoly and that results in unhealthy business practice.  We have to share the toilets, and come together to flush together.

My lack of interest in a listing is generally due to 2 factors, one being overpriced and the 2nd a high maintenance unrealistic seller. I can deal with an over-priced listing (we all have) but, when the 2 come together, that is a toilet I rather flush than list!