I’m shy about announcing my success in 2016—my personal best as a Realtor®. At McGuire’s flagship Lombard office, I was #2 in production. Among the 175-ish agents in our seven Bay Area offices, I was #3 and had the year’s biggest sale.
Sharing this news makes me squirm a little. I wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea, since—to begin with—there are many misconceptions about my profession.
The primary myth is akin to the sentiment expressed in the famous Dire Straits song: “Get your money for nothin’ get your chicks for free.”
Chicks aside and stated differently, the refrain about Realtors goes something like “Real estate agents aren’t smart, don’t care and don’t actually do anything for anybody. They are lucky and make a bunch of money doing nothing.”
Ah! Would that it t’were so simple. (Speaking of simple, check out this clip from Hail, Caesar!)
I’m mindful and grateful that I’m not digging ditches all day for my living, nor cleaning toilets all night. But what I do is not “nothing.” I do a lot of somethings to steadfastly serve. Occasionally that results in a sale (and me being paid). More often it brings the simple reward of knowing I helped. In that way, my job is a practice.
Literal “house calls” are part of my practice. Interrupted Christmas dinners, missed school plays and tropical vacations spent on the phone are included in the job description. If an offer has to be written, there’s no saying “later” or “tomorrow.” If water is coming through a ceiling, there’s no waiting until Monday to locate a roofer.
Buying or selling a home is inevitably stressful, yet I bring a buffer of calm to the process. In interacting with my buyers and sellers, I am pleasant, non-reactive, curious, accessible, enthusiastic, selfless, informative, tireless, attentive and bluntly honest. On their behalf—as I cooperate with other professionals (agents, title officers, lenders, contractors, accountants, attorneys, city personnel, etc.) and steer toward closing—I am quietly vigilant, exacting, strategic, anticipatory, educated, competitive, respectful, creative, organized and communicative.
Of course, I can be the best damn agent west of the Mississippi and still not make a dollar. But this diligence and dedication—if all goes well—can translate into dollars. Which translates into being a top Top Producer.
I’d like to think I’m an A+ agent in 2016 not because I made a bunch of sales but because I care, because I’ve paid my (30 years of) proverbial dues, because I’m good at what I do, and because my clients keep recommending me to their friends, co-workers and relatives.
I’d like to think it’s because “I must have done something good.” So, take it away Seth MacFarlane as I thank you ALL for a rewarding year as a San Francisco real estate agent!
Cynthia Cummins is a Top Producer and Partner at McGuire. For more information on San Francisco real estate visit CynthiaCummins.com. For the REAL scoop on residential REAL estate visit RealEstateTherapy.org.