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Real estate is always changing; it is challenging and it is fun. Having the right attitude could be the difference between success and failure this year. We are often faced with opportunities to help people. They come to us as trusted advisors and the way we respond to even the most simple questions often determines whether or not they will engage our services. In fact, a well thought-out response to the question, “How are you doing?” could change your future.

I recently ran into a casual acquaintance at church who came up to me and asked how I was doing. I paused before trying out some new dialogue. I responded with, “Well, Dennis, I have been very fortunate to be able to help a lot of people take advantage of the opportunities that exist in this crazy real estate market.” (pause) “Have you thought about buying any real estate?”

His response could not have been scripted any better. He said, “Well, it’s funny you ask. I am actually looking to buy some additional property right now.” I picked up Dennis as an investor/buyer, but the real story is that Dennis owns a lot of real estate and manages the money of many other investors. The answer to that simple question has produced an entire new book of business for me.

Think about what it is we do and then consider the enthusiasm—or lack thereof—with which we do it. We help people. We create opportunities. We solve problems. At the end of the day, our business is all about the people we serve. My father used to say that “attitude is more important than aptitude,” and that is more true today than ever. The attitude that we project is contagious. If we whine and moan about deals not closing or having to do another short sale or buyers wasting our time, I promise that your clients will feel it and they’ll hold back and look elsewhere for solutions. I am confident that we give off an energy that is either positive or negative and I don’t believe you could or should fake it. It’s up to each of us to decide how we want each interaction to end.

Brokers, look for agents who have a personal light in their countenances, bright eyes and great attitudes. Recruit them with enthusiasm and create a positive environment. If there’s an attitude problem in your office culture, fix it. Be the source for positive energy and love what you do.

The next surge in our industry will be led by the agents and brokers who, like me, love being in real estate.

Verl Workman is a speaker, coach and business consultant.

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