“be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”
theodor seuss geisel
Many agents, but especially newer agents, try very hard to be all things to all people for fear of offending someone, anyone, who might want to use them as a Realtor someday. In truth, this is frequently nothing but a “fake it ’til you make it” routine and nobody is fooled by it. People quickly surmise that the agent is after any warm body they can fast-talk into working with them. And they’re right. Furthermore, why should anyone submit themselves to be represented by an agent who doesn’t really care about them beyond what it takes to make a commission?
The irony is that most people want to work with people they like. If an agent is guarded and inauthentic while making her pitch, the person they are trying to impress is unlikely to want to hire her. I firmly believe an agent’s best marketing plan is turning strangers into friends, and friends into customers. (Seth Godin made this simple tagline famous in his wonderful book: Permission Marketing.) Friends will give you the latitude to be imperfect because they believe you honestly want what is best for them. And they’re right again.
If you’ve read The Millionaire Real Estate Agent you’ll recognize this as the directive to convert your “Haven’t Met” group into your “Met” group while you convert the “Met” group into your “Advocates.”
So take the risk to show your true colors to the people you meet. Be yourself, rather than a characature of a “real estate professional.” If they like you, chances are they would enjoy working with you. If they don’t like you, then why would you want to work with them anyway? Besides sharing an unpleasant time, would you really give them the same level of service you would give to a friend? If your answer is “no” then I think the most ethical thing to do is to refer them to an agent or two who you think they might work well with.
In summary: Stay true to yourself, make friends with people you think you’d enjoy working with, and do the right thing. And one more thing — Be obsessive about your niche.