Authenticity. Be Yourself. Be Original. I know you have heard these slogans many times. I certainly have. In the last week, I had a slap on the face (actually on the brain) on how much I was not being authentic in my messages for my real estate brokerage. It has been an awakening of how much we can buy into so-called advice and then we become robotic lemmings, repeating what everyone else is doing and saying in the hopes of building our businesses. In case you are not in real estate, agents and brokers are sent hundreds of messages daily in our email boxes on the next best “message” to shout out at our clients and spheres of influence. It can be overwhelming and as much as you unsubscribe to email lists, the messages keep coming and they seem to shout at you. And they all say the same thing – do this, say this, send this and you won’t believe how much business you will have in the next 60 seconds, minutes, days, weeks. So much so, you will have to hire help! Really? And what is sad is a lot of agents and brokers pay a lot of money so they can all send and say the same thing to the general public. There is no originality, no authenticity, no personalization in these marketing messages. All someone can see is that another agent bought the same package and outside of personalizing the “Dear xxxx” in the email, everything else is a repeated template of sales marketing.
In my processing of how I want my real estate brokerage to be seen by the outside, and also in my research of leaders and marketing, authenticity and originality is not always easily seen or embraced. Weak leaders embrace the profiles of other leaders in attempting to become clones, do what others have done to become successful. But it doesn’t work that way. We are individuals; we have different perspectives, beliefs and values. There is no one who is exactly like me or you. In leadership, authenticity shows up as personal, relationship-based, passion and empathy. Leaders who embrace authenticity have confidence in showing and speaking who they are, their beliefs, and they follow their values. They don’t follow everyone else because of weak promises or because everyone else is doing it this way. They know the risks of showing their true self as not everyone will agree, follow or buy. But that’s ok. It is so hard to be someone else, it is tiring and stressful. However, when we commit to being ourselves, being authentic with our acts and messages, it is so much easier. Sure, not everyone is going to like what they see or hear from us. That is normal and expected. However, when people see authenticity, respect and trust can be more easily earned and kept. How many leaders (I'm thinking politicians right now) have broken our trust as they were not authentic with themselves or us.
So back to my real estate brokerage. I realized I was using the same messages as others in real estate – and I hate it! That is not me! So I am throwing out the canned systems and creating original content, not all based on real estate. More about what is happening around us, what I see, what others are doing and yes a little bit of real estate but of interest and original thought. This is going to take a lot more work on my part but it will be worth it. It won’t generate fast sales but it will generate deep satisfaction for me and send my messages out there, not some generic junk.
No matter what type of business you are in, there are many messages out there for you to put on and use with others. But are they saying what you really want to say? Most likely, not. Are you trying to be someone else for the sake of attractiveness, popularity, society? Strip down to the original you. It may take some time, some deep introspective work, to find your authenticity as there could be several layers to peel away. But once you do find your own authenticity, celebrate it and wear it. Be the leader of your life, not someone else’s.