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When you drop the sales pitch and deal with people in an ethical manner, you will gain more trust and a higher standing in the community. More trust equals more referrals and this will eventually translate into more success. When was the last time you reviewed the history of mortgage rates in our country? Don’t just tell your buyers that interest rates are great right now… give them the facts! Don’t just point out how low rates are…show them how financing a loan with a low rate will affect their lives, by explaining the implications in terms of dollars and cents.

If you did your job up front by asking your buyers detailed questions, learning about their lives and finding out what’s important to them, then you should be able to help them understand the benefits of home ownership. The opportunity to take advantage of today’s interest rates and excellent deals should not be missed. If you can’t prove to your clients that it’s a great time to buy, then perhaps they should consider leaving the market. Remember that first and foremost, we are here to help people make the best decisions for them.

Our clients have always deserved to have the best consultants on their side fighting for their best interests. As the impact of the Information Age continues to grow, more and more people are going to expect to receive the type of service provided by a consultant over that of a sales associate. What’s great is that you get to choose if that person is going to be you. You are the one who gets to choose, because you are the only person who can decide whether or not you will do what it takes to be the consultant that your clients will demand to have working on their behalf.

If you are apathetic and unwilling to apply the effort and time it will take to advance your knowledge of the industry, then you are making an active choice to not play the role of a consultant. To put it simply, if you genuinely do your best to help people achieve their goals, then everything else will fall into place.

The real estate industry constantly tests our belief in the value of our daily actions. I’m certain that all of us have stories about the necessity of having blind faith in the fact that what we are doing will work. Everything you do and everyone you help will not result in a closed sale or a commission. But at the very least, if you apply an ethical approach to your business, you can take comfort in the idea that you are helping a fellow American and their family who trusted someone in our industry in the past.

Playing the role of a consultant and doing the work that it takes to add a substantial amount of value to the service you provide for your clients will leave you feeling fulfilled, purposeful and enriched. Doing what’s right for your clients will not only enhance your personal reputation and advance your career, it will help our industry gain a more positive view in the public’s eye. If you believe in Karma, then you know that acting as a consultant for your clients is the equivalent of making a deposit in the ‘good’ account—and this will pay substantial returns in the future.

Elevate yourself to the level of a consultant in 2012…and make it an incredible year!

Alan Shafran is the No. 1REALTOR® in San Diego for Prudential California Realty, President of, author of BluePrint for 100 Deals Per Year in Real Estate.