The speaker at my Rotary meeting this morning was Cedrick Brown, one-time Eagles player and now an accomplished author and successful pastor of a church with campuses in Lindenwold, Wilmington and Rowan University. As he told his fascinating life story that led him to his current vocation, Pastor Brown summed up his belief that every decision he, his staff and his congregants make should be preceded by the question, “Does this honor God? Will it serve people?
So what, you may ask, does that have to do with the real estate business or real estate licensing education?
I often ask students on the first day of their real estate licensing class in our South Jersey campuses, “Why do you want to get a real estate license?” Their answer typically included, “I want to make money,” “I want flexible working hours,” and, “I love watching TV shows about real estate.”
Not once have they said, “I want to honor God and help people.” And I suspect Cedrick Brown has never once counseled his flock with advice that included, “Focus more on making money, working better hours, and watching more TV.”
What those soon-to-be real estate agents don’t realize is that the profession they will soon enter gives them numerous opportunities to honor God and help people. The entire Code of Ethics of our National Association of Realtors is based on the Golden Rule. One of the primary reasons that I left a very successful career at Weichert Realtors to join Keller Williams was KW’s value system: Put God first, then family, then business.
The Golden Rule of Realtors®
As Realtors,® regardless of our religious affiliation, we have a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate our integrity and obedience to that faith by how we treat our customers, the language we use, the compassion we demonstrate, and the trustworthiness we establish. On several occasions, I have had both clients and industry colleagues say, “You’re religious, aren’t you?” I still have no idea what that means, but I think—I hope—it means that they saw in me words and deeds that honor God and help people.
As Realtors,® on an almost weekly basis, we encounter clients and customers who are in dire straits. They call us when they need to sell their home, when they are going through a divorce, or when a parent has to sell their property before going into a nursing home. Being able to serve them in their time of distress is a real honor.
But on a larger scale, our profession is filled with compassionate people who really do want to make their communities and the world a better place. A few years ago, when the devastating F5 tornado brought death and destruction to Joplin, Missouri, local Realtors® donated almost ten thousand dollars within a week of my announcement that I was taking relief supplies to Joplin.
After Hurricane Katrina, Keller Williams agents raised more volunteers and donations than the entire 1.2 million members of the National Association of Realtors® . My Top Team partner Jim Robinson was one such volunteer, spending a week in Louisiana cleaned out filthy, moldy, flooded-out homes. KW now maintains tractor trailers filled with emergency relief supplies ready to hit the road immediately after a natural disaster, and that is all paid-for by voluntary donations that KW agents make from their commissions.
For our next real estate licensing class. . .
So on January 4th, 2019, when our next real estate licensing class begins in Cherry Hill, I think I’ll listen to those reasons why people want to earn their real estate license, and will then urge the students to take a moment to think how much more true success they will realize if they also add, “Honor God, Help People” to their goals for their new real estate careers.
Thank you, Cedrick Brown, for helping us focus on the real priorities in our lives!
David C. Forward is a licensed real estate broker and instructor and was first licensed as a Realtor® 30 years ago. He is School Director of Garden Real Estate Academy, has won numerous awards for real estate sales, is a much-requested public speaker who has addressed audiences on six continents and is the author of 13 books. David can be reached at David@GSREacademy.com