What’s Love Got to Do with It? | Fathom Guiding Principle #1

What’s love got to do, got to do with it?
What’s love but a second-hand emotion?
What’s love got to do, got to do with it?
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?

In 1984, the “Queen of Rock and Roll” – Tina Turner, released a single from her fifth solo album, Private Dancer, that would ultimately become her greatest hit. Surprisingly, it was her first and only number one hit in the U.S. The album itself sold over 4 million copies.

“OK,” you ask, “what in the heck does that song have to do with real estate in general?” Great question! And, thank you for asking. It may surprise you to know that love has EVERYTHING to do with it. With the “it” specifically referencing real estate.

Now, in the English language, we can use the word “love” for so many different things. For instance, I love Taco Tuesdays! But, I do not love them in the same way that I love my wife. In English, we can throw the word “love” around in so many places. But, we grasp the meaning within the context of its use.

To further clarify what kind of love I am referring to, allow me to illustrate it this way. In Greek, there are many different words for love. One is agapeo, which specifically speaks of the intimate relationship I have with my wife, Angie. But there is another Greek word for love, Phileo. Phileo, though translated love as well, refers to a kind of “brotherly love.” Hence, the name of the city known for its amazing cheesesteaks, Philadelphia (the City of Brotherly Love)! So, when I say that love has everything to do with real estate, Phileo or brotherly love is the kind of love I am referring to.

In their article, “Maximizing the Triple Bottom Line Through Spiritual Leadership,” authors Louis Fry and John Slocum, Jr. reveal through their studies how workplace spirituality and spiritual leadership maximize the bottom line. They emphasize how core values and attitudes drive our behavior and, as a result, act as guides to our behavior. If that is true, and I am convinced it is truer than we realize, every one of us needs to be diving into and evaluating our core values and ingrained attitudes in a very intentional and profound way. Real estate is built on ethics. Our ethics are driven by our core values. And, our core values set and determine our course.

If you had the pleasure of joining my family for dinner when I was growing up in San Antonio, Texas, you would agree with my assessment that my mom is a great cook. But there was one aspect of her cooking that has influenced my life more than any other. I cannot remember an evening meal that didn’t include her succulent banana pudding, delectable apple pie alamode, or mouth-watering sheet cake. Dessert was a staple in our household! And, as a result, very addicting. To this very day, a dinner without the delight of something sweet ending the experience is a disappointment and leaves me feeling empty and longing for more. This has resulted in my being what my family physician might call “border line” obese. How dare he! The sad but true commentary on my physical being is, as comedian Jim Gaffigan says, “my sweet tooth owes my hips an apology.”

I have discovered that my ingrained attitude toward desserts has definitely influenced my “bottom line” (please forgive the pun). And of course, my dessert illustration is true across the spectrum of all of our personal influences. Every one of us has a “dessert” that affects our bottom line. And that is where our core values come into play.

When carefully and thoughtfully applied to real estate, we discover that these core values or attitudes affect how we interact with our clients, employees, peers, and interpersonal relationships and can either catapult us forward or force us backward. The joys and challenges of life have taught me many unforgettable lessons. One being that love does indeed make the world go around.

Love is large. Love is humble. Love is respectful. Love is honest. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love endures. Love believes the best. Wow! If those precepts are true, think of how love could influence our circle of influence? How would our bottom line be impacted if our clients or staff felt we genuinely cared for who they were and not just what they brought to the table? How many more referrals would we receive if we would walk the walk of love while working with our clients and not just talk the talk?

With that premise in mind and supposing it as truth, what can we do to increase love? How can we raise the temperature of our love thermostat? Well, the first thing is to determine that we must be profoundly honest with ourselves in our self-evaluation. Once we enter that posture, the gut-wrenching answers to the following self-assessment questions will serve as evaluators as we strategize our game plan.

  1. It is impossible to love others if you don’t love yourself. So, you need to ask yourself, “how am I doing with me? One way to determine the answer is to evaluate how kind you are to yourself. And, you need to approach this question with an open mind.
  2. When interacting with others, do you seek first to understand or be understood? That is a great point made by Stephen Covey in his book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey goes on to say, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” So, what kind of listener are you?
  3. Are your decisions based on what is best for you? Or are your choices based on what is best for your clients or employees? Simon Sinek says, “Authorities act with themselves in mind. Leaders act with others in mind.” It is vital to grasp when your clients win, you win!
  4. Mark Twain said, “I can live two months on a good compliment.” Are your words and actions flavored with grace and appreciation? Do you recognize others’ efforts and sacrifices and make a conscious effort to make mention of them?
  5. Do you love the bottom line more than the ones that affect it? Sam Walton’s wise words hold true, “There is only one boss: the customer. And, he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money elsewhere.”

I’m hoping after pondering the questions above, the revelatory answer will resonate and percolate in your mind resulting in an exciting and fulfilling personal love journey. And in that journey, you discover loving yourself and others more profoundly than ever before. I hope you will connect the dots between your demonstration of love for others and how that demonstration profoundly influences your real estate business. So, what does love have to do with it? Everything!

 


Article by Billy Nunez, Director of Culture, Fathom Realty