tate what schoolchildren should know in
each core subject by the end of each grade
level) to my dislike of career politicians.
In fact, these concerns are what drove
me to launch my own political campaign
for a seat in the North Carolina House of
Representatives. I’m seeking to unseat
an incumbent in the May 6 Republican
What’s great about my business is that
I have clients on both sides of the political
spectrum. Many are less concerned with
what my stances on issues are, but simply
that I have a stance.
I would posit that in a world of
milquetoasts, it is OK—and should be
celebrated—to be different from the norm.
The goal is to be comfortable in your own
skin, to be yourself. It is refreshing to find
others with real opinions. Heck, isn’t that
why most consumers call a real estate
professional any way? Because they crave
our opinions on conditions, pricing, and
the best strategies by which to buy or
sell? I don’t think it is outrageous to be
authentic, no matter what the world says.
Be you. Plenty of people will embrace you
Leigh Brown, ABR, CRS, is
the broker-owner of RE/MAX
Executive Realty in Concord,
N.C., and a longtime speaker
on real estate issues. Before
she started working in real estate 14 years ago,
her sales career included liquor, stocks, and
chain saws. [ firstname.lastname@example.org]
Forget the Facade
The best way to get more business is to be
your most outrageously authentic self.
Iremember my mama and daddy telling me as a child to always “be yourself” and not worry about what others thought of
me. I’m fairly sure that is standard parental advice; then again, it could have been to
keep me from realizing that those purple
corduroy pants I loved were not hip and
cool like the Guess jeans other kids were
wearing. My daddy and grandpa, whom
I called papaw, were known for always
speaking their minds no matter what the
Now fast forward to today. In 2014—
and at a much more mature age—am I
still allowed to “be myself” as a real estate
agent? Or should I and others in the industry feel pressured to conform to some
image of what a practitioner is supposed
to be? (And what the heck is that anyway?)
Many educators and leaders in our
industry have been telling us for years not
to talk politics, not to talk religion, not to
talk about anything at all that might be
possibly divisive. Doing so could—gasp!—
cause you to lose a deal.
I disagree heartily with this belief. I
think that it’s possible to have a thriving,
growing real estate business while still
being open about your opinions. You see,
in real estate, it’s the relationship between
you and your clients that rules. The best
relationships grow from honest dialogue
and truly knowing another person. The
single transaction is no way to build a lasting business. You can’t build a relationship
on a facade of shifting sand.
Now, understand that I don’t pick
fights, and I don’t belittle the beliefs of others. However, I refuse to hide the fact that
I love Jesus; that in addition to my RPAC
Golden “R,” I am a Golden Eagle with the
National Rifle Association; and that I am a
“DemoPublicanRepubliCrat.” (You know,
that lost middle with fiscal conservatives
who are socially not in other people’s business.) Why should I?
Yes, I lost a listing when the sellers saw
a bullseye hanging on my office door. They
were antigun liberals, bless their hearts,
and they could not believe that I would
have a target from the range right there
smack on my door. They told me they
could never use a real estate agent who is
also a member of the NRA. That’s fine—
they probably found someone they liked
better. Rock on.
Yes, I have gained business from folks
who appreciate knowing who I really am.
I can’t tell you how many people have
mentioned that they appreciate knowing
where I stand on various and sundry
issues, from my dislike of Common Core
state educational standards (which dic-
Note: Opinions expressed in “Commentary” do not necessarily reflect the position of the National Association of REALTORS® or REALTOR® Magazine.
Submit Commentary ideas to email@example.com.
I would posit that in a world of milquetoasts,
it is OK—and should be celebrated—to be
different from the norm.