Ok, so I have a passion for flying, but this analogy I believe will resonate with many of you. We have all been schooled on the old adage that a windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror for a reason – so that we can see more of what lies ahead and less of what fades off behind us. Well, how about in the cockpit of an airplane? There is no rearview mirror; you are forced to only look forward and use your gauges (or your glass display depending on the age of your aircraft). Cognitive reasoning, interpretation, experience and correct action are required to keep the rubber side down.
I was told when I was learning to fly to not make sharp or abrupt changes, only little corrections as you fly, to keep it straight and level. Use the trim to set it and forget it; this allows you to do other things rather than fight to keep it on track. This is good advice, because it doesn’t take long to go off course a couple hundred feet or degrees in any one direction (and it keeps your passengers from having to use the sick sack!).
Human error seems to be the verdict in many airplane accidents, and unfortunately it is often true. You see, we as humans are often our own worst enemies. In flying, you can literally drill a perfectly good airplane into the ground if you don’t keep your eye on the gauges and trust your skill, your training and your experience. This is one example of where listening to your gut may not be the best choice. Spatial disorientation and vertigo in poor weather causes your inner ear to trick your brain and tells you to do one thing when your gauges tell you another. This is no time to panic; you have to trust your instruments.
Compare this to real estate. I believe we are entering another seven-year cycle (or hopefully more), and there will be many companies and agents getting back into the business or becoming even more competitive. If we live in fear of what our competition is doing, we cannot perform at our individual best and be effective. In fact, it often leads to office chatter where fear rings out and everyone is more concerned about everyone else than their own business. You have to stay diligent and trust your gauges – where, in our case, is our skill, training and experience. Focus.
It really doesn’t matter what the competition is doing; it only matters what you are doing. It is good business to be informed of what others do to compete so you can stay sharp, but my advice here is focus on you, your company and what you bring to the table as a Realtor professional. After all, that is what you have to sell to your customer; they are buying you and you are acting as their trusted advisor. They need to know you are stable and looking forward, and your actions demonstrate this. Keep your eye on your instruments and let your plane do the rest.
Make it a great 2013!
Craig Witt is the president of the North Central Division of EXIT Realty Corp, which includes Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.