I was engaged the other day on Twitter with someone who had made an interesting comment on a post I made. In response to my comment that I am an optimist, seek out positive aspects and make things happen, the person answered, “when did a lawyer become an optimist?”
I thought about that comment most of the day. A few things about it were disheartening. First of all, it confirms the notion that many people form opinions about entire groups of people or a profession in general. Usually this is born from a bad experience the person had with someone in that profession. When they share their bad experience it may be confirmed by another person who also had bad experiences with people in that profession. It is human nature but it is unfortunate.
When I first started working as a real estate agent many years ago, a close friend of mine laughed and said “now you represent 2 of the professions people hate the most – lawyers and Realtors. All you need to do next is sell cars!” I laughed at the time, but the comment is sad. I made a promise to myself that no one who ever worked with me would have a bad experience. That is a promise I have kept for 11 years in this business, because it is important to me and because it makes me feel good to know I made someone happy.
It doesn’t matter if you are badmouthing attorneys, car salespeople, wall street brokers, teachers, doctors or anyone else (personally I can name some bad people in each of those categories, and I am sure you can too). Anyone who has a negative experience with a professional is obviously not working with the right person.
People will continue to stereotype professions until the end of time, but the fact is that there are good, ethical, professional and dedicated people in every industry. If you take the time to find one – and yes, that may involve paying more money so you have to decide which is more important – then you will have a great experience.
I continue to work in the real estate industry because I know I am in it for the right reasons – to give my clients a wonderful experience…because buying or selling a home, a legal transaction that involves one of the biggest decisions in life, should be a positive experience. Certainly there are things that are beyond my control, but I do my best to keep it positive. I hope that my professionalism and dedication will inspire others in the industry, and that one by one others who are like-minded will help turn the industry around into one with a great reputation.