Mindful Real Estate
What does it mean to be mindful in real estate? I know mindfulness is a bit of a catchphrase these days so let me define it for the purpose of this quick post. This is the definition put forward in a UC Berkley publication called 'Greater Good'.
"Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens."
As a practitioner in real estate, I aim to bring mindfulness into each client interaction, contract drafting, negotiation, and strategy meeting. One of the things that first attracted me to real estate as a profession was the constant need for quick thinking and critical analysis. As a busy Realtor, I have seen the benefits of mindfulness training and practice many times over the years. In a fast-paced market, it is not unusual to be dealing with 3-4 negotiations at one time, and being able to identify and be present to the needs of each client during this critical time is crucial to being an effective and trustworthy agent. It is absolutely necessary to maintain clear thinking regardless of how busy a day might become. As a Realtor, mindful real estate enables me to be present with the client while discussing all details of a potential purchase or sale, bringing a calm and centered approach that enables the critical information to be communicated and received clearly. This is key to a successful and profitable real estate experience.
Another interesting benefit of mindfulness is highlighted on Wikipedia: "High levels of mindfulness correlate with ethical decision-making and increased personal awareness and emotional regulation, mindfulness training has been suggested as a way to promote ethical intentions and behavior for business students."
In my own business experience, I have also found this to be true. My undergraduate degree was in Philosophy and Applied Ethics and so I find the ethical considerations of a real estate negotiation to be extremely fascinating. Realtors adhere to strict ethical guidelines but there are often grey areas and this is where mindfulness can help. Ethical decision-making is one of the cornerstones of being a trusted agent and I know first-hand that mindfulness practices have helped me slow down and talk clients through the multifaceted ethical dimensions that sometimes arise in real estate deals.
Here is a quick example:
A few years ago in an extremely busy market, we listed a client's home for sale and asked all buyers to delay submitting offers for 72 hours. This was a common practice at the time because there was so much pent up demand and delaying offers allowed us to stagger showings to allow all prospective buyers the chance to visit the home prior to reviewing any offers. After 24 hours we received an offer, and the agent only left the contract open for review for a few short hours. The ethical and practical discussion that followed with the sellers (my clients) were nuanced. Did they have an obligation to the other interested parties who had not yet viewed the home? How should they respond to the early offer? If they rejected it would it mean that they wouldn't re-submit 48 hours later? If these buyers did re-submit should they be given first right of refusal? The discussion that followed was long and complicated. After much discussion, the sellers decided to reject the early offer and wait the full 72 hours. In the end, a better offer was received, and so in hindsight, it all worked out but in the heat of the moment being present emotionally and intellectually is crucial - both for the sellers and for their agent (me).
I'd love to hear your thoughts or experiences of mindfulness in business. Reach out in the comments below!