When life gives you lemons, how do you make lemonade?

We’ve all heard the saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.  But in a busy profession like real estate, especially in today’s red hot market, REALTORS® don’t have time for the “lemons” of life.

So what do you do if you are served a lemon? Maybe this “lemon” was a sign that you need to slow down and focus on other things.  It’s a great way to quickly re-evaluate your situation.

Lemons can be anything.  They can be an illness, a death, an injury or even a bad client!  In my case my lemon was a broken driving foot (8 weeks now, 5 more to go).

When something like this happens in our fast paced business, our first reaction is to panic!  How am I going to show property? How am I going to list property? Who is going to take care of my clients?  Or if you’re dealing with an illness or death you’ll ask What if someone calls when I am unavailable?  What should I tell my clients?

Well the first thing I learned is to tell the truth.  My clients were extremely understanding, even offered to pick me up.  My clients understood why I was sending another REALTOR® to meet them, but knew they could then speak with me about the details after.  They still trusted me and still called me, no one else.

Having someone in your business who you can trust is key to being prepared for the lemons of life.  If you don’t have a colleague you can trust to attend to showings, home inspections, offer presentations etc. on your behalf, it’s going to make the lemons more sour.

I was lucky to have colleagues who I could count on to help when I was down.  Yes, I compensated them but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  My theory was – “if I don’t compensate them for their work, then I am going to get 0% of nothing.  I would rather get x% of something!”  And we all know our time is valuable!

A great way to make sure a lemon won’t interfere with your career is to have a plan.  We work so hard every day to make sure our clients plans are executed smoothly.  We have backup plans if their home inspection doesn’t go so well, or things look like they’re starting go south.  Do you have a backup plan to keep your business running smoothly if you’re not there?

There are lots of different types of plans.  But think about this one.  We all have contracts with our brokerages outlining policies and compensation, what about a contract with a colleague to work for each other, when needed.  Outline the scenarios, discuss and agree to compensation, then if you’re thrown a lemon, you’re ready to make lemonade!

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