With the Republican and Democratic conventions now in the rear view mirror, watching the two principal contestants for President on the campaign trail, what they are saying and how they say it, I could not help but observe how it always seems to be about them and not us, the American people. So much ego and narcissism, so little empathy. So many politicians caring more about themselves, saying things that don’t ring true, talking too much about themselves, making promises they do not keep, and not offering solutions to real problems.
Think about it. Real estate success must be, in no small measure, about sales, talking to sellers and buyers, recognizing and feeling their pain, offering to solve their problems, conveying the feeling to them you care enough about them to offer a solution to what they need, negotiate and close deals, and be paid for your efforts. It is all about your successful interaction with others. Creating credibility, conveying confidence and building trust, constructing rapport, under promising and over delivering, becoming their white knight. Empathy and ego.
All successful politicians and real estate investors have a strong ego drive. The need to make the sale. Win the primary, become the candidate, win the election. A successful sale, whether for a vote or for a deal, is ego driven. For a sale to be consistent and repeatable, a salesperson must also be empathetic in tandem with a strong ego.
Empathy is the capacity to recognize the emotions of others, the ability to put yourself in the shoes of another, see the world through their eyes, to convey you care for them to them. It is the ability to identify and understand another’s situation, feelings, and needs. It is our ability to feel someone else’s pain. Study after study confirms a strong correlation between expressions of empathy and business success.
Empathy and ego are not the same. Different ingredients in the cake you bake. The real estate investor with a good sense of empathy can relate to the prospective seller or buyer in a way that forges a bond of trust, offering a concurrent plan of action to solve a problem. The investor can be persuasive in an understanding, gentle, caring, comfortable way, leading the prospect to the promised land. If it is all ego with minimal empathy, being a bull in the china shop, the investor making it all about himself or herself, empathy becomes sympathy at best, self-interest at worst.
The investor with good empathy but lacking in ego, may be well liked but an ineffective closer. The old adage ” if you want a friend, get a dog” comes to mind. The investor with a strong ego but lacking in empathy will bulldoze to some success and miss the mark on many. The investor with neither best seek work elsewhere.
The investor with a well-balanced dose of both will be star driven and most successful. The successful investor should convey he or she cares more for the prospect than they do for themselves. Convey that and you have star power.