Mom Was Right!


We all grew up with our mothers telling us certain little ditties that have become as familiar as Shakespeare quotes. Much of what we were told as children has great application for how we conduct ourselves as real estate professionals.

A great example I heard yesterday was “If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?” and I thought, you mean like if every other agent took overpriced listings, why shouldn’t I? Taking overpriced listings is not good for anyone. It’s bad for the agent, because it costs them marketing dollars. It’s bad for the homeowner who will not attract the most eligible homebuyer and it’s not good for buyers who might get a contract on a house that will not appraise.

Here are some other “Momisms” that you might remember:

Make new friends, but keep the old ones.
In our business it’s easy to become so involved with the immediate transaction that we forget about our past customers. We all need to stay in contact with them. Our next referral could come from them. And remember, we work all markets in the U.S.

Don’t make a sour face; it could freeze like that.
Smile, even when you’re on the phone. Your attitude shows on your face. Customers will know if you don’t have a good attitude toward them or your job.

Always brush your teeth and wear clean underwear.
Translated to our profession, that means you need to look professional and neat while working with customers and clients. A well-dressed appearance inspires confidence.

If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with flees.
This was my Mom’s favorite. She knew the value of associating with people who have a stellar reputation. Or could it be she didn’t want me dating “bad boys”? Hahaha! In other words, surround yourself with the best people. 

Don’t tell fibs.
Never lie to a customer or client; it doesn’t help, even if you think you’re being kind. Give it to them straight, so they can make an informed decision.

And I saved the best for last. 

Treat others the way you wish to be treated.
The premium care we give our customers should fall under this golden rule. I have heard from many agents over the years that tell stories of how great customer service came back to them in great ways.

So, let me finish by saying, “Do the right thing, because I said so.” Do you have any “Momisms” that you follow?

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18 Responses to “Mom Was Right!”

  1. Anne Langley Says:

    Don’t do as I do, do as I say!
    Leave a little bite on your plate for the devil so he’ll leave you alone.

  2. Bridgette L. Freeman Says:

    I love it! Funny, yet timely advice. I have quite a few momisms, but for now I will give two. People who make excuses are losers! Yep, that’s right, blaming others for everything, means you are not taking responsibility for anything!

    Make good choices, which translates into real estate for making choices to be timely and knowledgeable so your clients can make good choices. Also, making a choice to surround yourself with positive people and positive energy.

    Make a choice to have a good day!

  3. Jasmine McCrary Says:

    “Kids are supposed to be seen, not heard.”
    translations: sometimes it is better to listen than to speak 🙂

  4. Yvonne Thomas-Brooks Says:

    My Mom was a WW-II child in Holland. Her favorite thing to say; “This too shall pass” (In Dutch; “dit waait wel weer over”). I think that is why I always look forward. Always look for the next cool thing and how to make tomorrow better. I don’t waste a lot of time dwelling on the past. Thanks Mom!

  5. Kristy Serkedakis Says:

    Dana, you are so right!! If we all simply did what our Mothers told us, the world, in general, would be a better place. One of my Mom’s favorites was “This too shall pass”. We need to remember that this market, as tough as it is, will pass. Maybe not as quickly as we would like, but it will pass.

  6. Susan Adams Says:

    My mother said those mentioned already and also “There will always be someone better off than you and someone worse off than you.” So when things are not going well – or puffing us up – we need only look around us to put things in perspective.

  7. ann bone Says:

    I really like “momisms”. I have to thank my grandmother, though, for the best two I’ve remembered over the years, “When you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.” and “If someone says they’re not good enough for you, believe him/her.” I know the first one is relevant to real estate. I think the second one may be, as well, expecially when dealing with buyers, sellers, co-op agents —oh, heck, just anyone and everyone.

  8. John Rausch Says:

    My mother said “You always want what you cannot have.” As a real estate agent herself, she knew how that applied to the real estate business. If a buyer made an offer, or wanted to make and offer on a property and lost out to another buyer, that property became the ‘golden example’ by which everything else had to measure up to. What I learned from that was, I had to make sure a property was still available before the buyer could become too excited about buying it. It is very difficult to have to tell your buyer that the property was already under contract when you showed it to them, and they fell in love with it.

  9. Sandi Rodrick Says:

    My parents were full of the “isms”, many of which have already been mentioned here, especially “This too shall pass.” I also got “A 100 years from now it’ll all be the same.”, “Actions speak louder than words.” and “Everything is relative.” Took me a long time to figure some of ’em out but as I ‘matured'[could be questionable statement], everything suddenly fell into place. Now as I council others who may seek my advice, it’s a little unnerving to hear my mother’s words coming out of my mouth but knowing it’s the right thing to say! She always told me and I know it’s true- “Listen to your mother. Mother knows best.” Every mom-ism and dad-ism can relate to real estate, ” You’ll only get out of it what you put into it!” Thank goodness Broker Support knows best when mom’s not around!

  10. Dayna Pelky Says:

    Momism: If you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything. I don’t like it when agents talk down about their clients or worst about other agents. We ALL get frustrated but this RE community is small and your words can hurt others as well as hurting your business in the end. Venting may be necessary at times – but find a friend not in the business and who you know will never repeat it.

    • ann bone Says:

      Great observation, Dayna!

      And how about, “Talk is cheap”? Put those offers and counteroffers in writing! They are taken SO much more seriously when in writing.

  11. Alison Trevor Childs Says:

    How about these:

    “Don’t bite off more than you can chew” – If you take on a short sale and don’t know what you are doing, call Broker Support.

    “A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush” – Isn’t the first offer usually the best offer??

    “Never say Never” – I’ll never show homes to a buyer who wants to bring their five screaming kids…Those five kids might grow up and become your future clients!

    “Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched” – I think we can all relate to this one…

  12. Joel Athy Says:

    My mother always told me “Be careful what you wish for” – I learned to be specific on what I work towards to help surround me with good clients and friends.

  13. ann bone Says:

    Everytime my brother and I would get into a fight (we are only 18 months apart in age and fighting was a sport), our mom would remind us that “Blood is thicker than water”, meaning that we were much more important to one another than we might want to believe at that moment. Years later, my brother is priceless to me and I know he always has my back. The same applies within Metro Brokers. Those loan originators in our offices send their leads to US, not to a competing brokerage. Same with leads from our Insurance group and Metro Title Trust. We agents might want to consider that relationship when recommending lenders, attorneys and insurance brokers.

  14. Dan Jones Says:

    My mom died from breast cancer 2 days before Christmas when I was 17 after 4 years of fighting for her life. I learned a lot about faith, love & perserverance in the light of adversity during that time. Among other words of wisdom, she often told me that the Golden Rule was a good one to follow, “Do Unto Others As You Would Like Them To Do Unto You! However, she said if you really care you should practice the Platinum Rule which is a little more difficult. The Platinum Rule requires you to really understand the people you are dealing with & recognize how different they are from you. It states, “Do Unto Others What They Would Like You To Do Unto Them”. In other words don’t just treat them the way you would like to be treated. Try to put yourself in their shoes & understand how they are different from you & treat them accordingly.

  15. Gerard Dickson Says:

    Momism: “Watch what you say out your mouth..that little red flag going to get you in trouble” Short translation, its easy to say and do very mean things to others, especially when we’re mad, sad, frustrated, or depressed, but it takes courage to be kind, gentle, loving, respectful, and just plain nice during tough times. Remember, as bad as you think you’re having it, someone is taking a beating even worse, so why not wear a smile on your face and in your heart. You might just change or save a life — maybe your own. Smile today…Be kind to someone!

  16. straubceo Says:

    Amen to that!

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