How To Earn Respect In A Negative Reputation Industry

Dated: 11/17/2015

Views: 1615

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Mastering Your Craft

Real estate agents, politicians, lawyers, insurance agents - are among the least respected professions on earth. Here’s an insider’s look at why that is true.

     I have thought a lot about this. As a real estate agent myself, operating in a negative reputation industry, where so many of my peers are looked down upon and treated worse, why do I not garner their same treatment?

     People think the term “real estate agent” and a bitter taste immediately forms in their mouth. But, for myself, I have not found that to be the case. I write articles. Have published a book. Because of these things, why does the public see and treat me so much different than the run of the mill agent?

     I have observed the same about Warren Buffett. He is treated differently than the other folks in finance.

The financial industry is wrought with fraud and deceit. Wall Street, of course, is painted as the villain, and constantly being attacked. Yet Buffett, who operates in that same industry…is one of our nation’s most respected men – treated differently than his peers and colleagues.

     The truth of the matter is, it doesn’t matter what industry it is: real estate, the political arena, whether you’re a financial advisor or a lawyer, insurance agent, or something else entirely. I think respect; especially true (though) when operating in a negative reputation industry, comes down to whether you have mastered your craft.

     And second, you are correctly serving the proper customer base. The importance of this is evident, by looking at the political spectrum. Someone who is a hardcore Hillary supporter will likely never love nor support Trump, and visa-versa. By their core base, though, both are loved, but to a big majority outside their core base, they are hated and despised.

     So yes, you need to master your craft but also, you need to be sure you are focusing that craft on those who can be best served by your beliefs, skills and ability.

     How do you master your craft? I read an interesting article the other day about Jay Leno. No doubt someone who has mastered his craft.

     Taken from the article, “According to Jon Macks, a writer for Leno for 22 years, and author of Monologue: What Makes America Laugh – Before Bed, Leno read more than one thousand jokes a day brought to him by his 12 to 14 writers and sent in by freelancers…picked out a hundred or so he liked…then he and his chief writer, Jack Coen, would winnow it to 25. Jay would then rewrite or polish them, put them in order, privately rehearse them, and finally go down to rehearse, then ‘live tape’ the show. Every day. Also, Leno has said he often took new material that was not super time sensitive to a local comedy club and performed free, to test it. Leno also re-worked and moved material from the monologs into his stand-up act material, and while hosting The Tonight Show five nights a week, frequently flew to Vegas after the taping Friday afternoon to perform there Friday and Saturday nights. He also did and does a lot of corporate events.”

     In other words, Leno worked. A lot. Continuously. Constantly. At his craft.

     Then you must ask, what is your craft? In Leno’s case, it is entertaining and making people laugh. By becoming masterful at that, he cultivated an audience that was willing to invest in the tickets that were offered to see his perform.

     Notice I said, offered, not sold.

     When you have mastered your craft, as Leno has, people don’t need to be sold. They already know you. They already like you. Love you. Trust you. So they just need to be offered the opportunity to see you perform or work with you.

     But the reason why certain people in certain industries are not respected is because they have wrongly tried to master a craft that does not serve their audience. Take my industry, real estate, for example, since I see it daily and have an intimate understanding of what takes place. Real estate agents work their tail off to master the craft of self-promotion. They practice and practice and practice scripts and dialogues, to use when cold-calling homeowners. They spend thousands of dollars on websites to market themselves, etc., all self-interest orientated, but when it comes to their customers – where the majority of their time should be spent – why have they not worked equally as hard to master the craft of achieving a superior result? 

     I am not Jay Leno, and probably couldn’t bring my audience to tears (from a comedic performance) no matter how hard I tried. But while entertainment and laughter are the outcome of a Leno performance, the outcome of my performance is much different—homeowners desire to maximize their return on investment, from their home sale—so that is the craft that I have spent thousands of hours to master.

     Here is what I have come to learn: Those who are respected, regardless of industry or person, whether it’s Leno or Buffett or others, are those who have focused on mastering the craft that will yield their audience a superior result first, not on their own self-interest. Then utilize that mastered craft… to serve those who can most benefit.

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Mike Turner is the author of ‘The Value-Driven Approach: A practical guide to protect yourself from REAL ESTATE GREED & bank and extra $30,000 by THINKING like the great Warren Buffett.’ He is the president and owner of Front Street Brokers, and a local entrepreneur as well. 

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Mike Turner

Trivia about Mike: Prior to working in real estate, Mike worked for few years on movies and TV shows around the world as a Camera Boat Operator and Marine Logistics Coordinator, including the TV serie....

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