In business and in life, three simple rules will take you far:
1. Be kind.
2. Work hard.
3. Maintain control.
Print the above three points out in large font and stick them above your monitor, mirror, or wherever they need to be to provide a constant reminder. (When working with our fellow humans we often need this reminder.)
The practice of being kind starts when you open your eyes in the morning, utter your first words, or dash off the first text, post, or email. Part of being kind is knowing when you may not be in the best frame of mind, and limiting people’s exposure accordingly. If you are a grouch in the morning, then limit your interactions by rising well before others in your household and getting settled before engaging online. The same rules apply at the office. Consider resetting your voicemail on a daily basis with a greeting that states the day, the date, and the time after which you will be returning calls. An example of one of my voicemail greetings is, “Good morning, it’s Friday, January 22 and I’ll be returning calls after 11am. Thanks, have a great day and I’ll speak to you soon.” If you are going to adopt a daily updated voicemail message always record the night before as your voice will be smoother and your memory sharper. It’s all too easy for the first half of the day to slip past without remembering to update.
Once engaged at the office and answering your telephone, as well as responding to texts, emails, and other methods of inquiry, be prompt and be polite. Slow down and word your responses carefully, with consideration for clarity, and always with the understanding that this is what you are truly getting paid to do. Communication is the very essence of Brokering. Be calm, be clear, and be kind.
A standard client text response, saved as a shortcut, could be, “Thanks for your text. Due to regulatory requirements, all written communications re: your file must be done via email. Please copy & paste and re-send your message to dustan@ourmortgageexpert. com—Thank you for your time. Dustan Woodhouse—Mortgage Broker
Take it a step further throughout your day. Hold doors, put on a fresh pot of coffee when the office pot runs low, smile, and ask people, any and all people, how they are doing. Be the ray of sunshine in other people’s days that you desire in your own. Smiles, much like yawns, are contagious. Skeptical? Is everyone around you a grouch? Ask yourself if you were scowling first. Make a social experiment of this theory. When next standing in a crowd or a line, alternate between a yawn and a smile. Smiles ripple further and faster.
A nice work-life begets a nice home-life and vice versa. Strive to be a pleasant person to those you love, and to those whose business you love. This will pay dividends in both of your worlds.
Nobody wants to work (or live) with a cranky or rude individual. In fact, people are 92.7% more likely to entrust a nice, yet inexperienced, person with their financial affairs over a grump with a wall full of credentials and awards.
OK, actually that last statistic is completely fabricated, yet if your perception of this author so far is that I am nice, then you likely trusted the 92.7% statistic. This is a key point: humans will usually, albeit sometimes mistakenly, trust the kind over the rude. It’s how con artists ply their trade with success, often returning to work the same person multiple times. However, simply being nice is not enough in business. There needs to be substance behind the smile; be kind, but also be skilled. This is a winning combination.