My mom gave Cory a coffee mug this Christmas that reads “Our kids have four legs”. While this is true for the most part because we don’t have any children, it is no longer entirely accurate, because we have just adopted a 3-legged little sister for Desmond! Her name is Penny (Desmond and Penny were our favourite characters from the TV series LOST) and she is a 2 ½ year old retired breeding dog from Kentucky. At first we thought rescuing an older dog would be easier than puppy training all over again. Boy, were we wrong! This little girl is challenging us at every turn – she was a kennel dog her entire life, so this new life full of rules, regulations and Canadian accents has turned her world (and ours!) upside down.
This past week has been all about finding a new perspective. Striking a balance between training a scared, not-housebroken 3-legged dog, and diving head first into our 2014 business plan has been challenging. But, having the flexibility to find that balance and work from home to give this sweet little girl the love and attention she needs has me loving my job just a little bit more these days.
In this business, you need to be able to roll with the punches. It’s not easy some days, but instead of being stressed that I didn’t pick up the phone enough this week, I’m letting go of the stress and cutting myself some slack. The busy days will come. That’s the beauty of real estate – you get back what you put in. I am grateful for the busy days when I’m run off my feet and doing deals; and just as grateful for the quiet days when I have the time to take my new dog outside to pee 10 times a day so she will eventually figure it out.
Who knew selling houses and dog training worked the same way? It’s all about trust. It takes time to build trust with a new dog, just like it takes time to build trust with clients. I might not earn that trust in the same way (for some reason I don’t think my clients would like me hand feeding them treats all day), but the principle is the same. Be a trusted advisor, a resource for solid information, address concerns, take them out for pee breaks, and a relationship is formed. Once the relationship is formed, it’s time to take things to the next level. Do what you say you’re going to do. Be consistent with your message. Be patient, supportive, proactive, and occasionally firm. They might not always like what you say/do, but they will respect you for it. See? Dogs and people. We’re practically the same.
So now, after our sixth visit to the back yard in as many hours, Penny and I finally had some well-celebrated “success”. And just like that that, 26 days late, my New Year’s Resolution has finally come to me. This year, in my life and my career, I’m going to celebrate the small victories, and not sweat the setbacks.
Here’s to an amazing 2014!