Before You Hit “Publish”

This just in: mainstream media is heavily focused on the negative. This is what we humans crave, a constant stream of warnings of impending doom. Financial doom, real estate doom, celebrity doom, personal doom, etc. Your brain will be better for ignoring it. All of it. Yes, stay current through reputable sources (books) and of headlines in a cursory fashion (Google Alerts). But do not listen to hours of talk radio. It’s junk food for the brain. It’s the sugar, salt and fat of the psyche. We fixate too easily on all that might go wrong and this is not helpful.

We have to re-train our brains to get rid of this bias towards the what-if (bad) and adopt a mindset of what-if (good). After all, your mindset shapes all your outgoing communications. So, think positive to sound positive.

If you have a long commute each day, a wonderful discovery is the world of audiobooks, also podcasts. Again, focus on selecting positive content, content that will build you up and have you believing, as you should, that today is in fact better than yesterday and that tomorrow will be better still. Books can be great sources of data for useful social media posts as well.

In the Mortgage Brokerage business, our clients are bombarded by negative media about the decisions they’re in the midst of making.

For example, Buying a home:

  • Are interest rates about to rise?
  • Are they going to be able to afford their payments?
  • Are house prices going to collapse?
  • Are they throwing their money away?

There’s constant fear around the home buying process, around each and every decision our clients have to make. The client’s amygdala is working overtime. So as Brokers, we need to remain positive and calm. Be the steady hand, the calm voice of reason, their rock.

And you need to believe in what you’re saying. So read books that focus on the bright side.

I filter my exposure to news via Google Alerts. I’ve created alerts for my family’s names, my business’s name, my children’s school and our community. Professionally, I receive alerts about Vancouver real estate, interest rates and the Bank of Canada, among others. I scan the headlines daily. I read fewer than 10% of the stories below the headlines. I stay informed, yet limit my exposure to negativity and fear.

This steady stream of headlines is where I often draw inspiration for a blog post – or these days a Facebook live video clip. All too often the rhetoric in the media is lacking any actual applied mathematics. There’s little else like real numbers to deflate a hyperbolic headline about what rising interest rates might mean. I wrote a three-part series in 2015 built on previous posts and previous conversations, spanning two decades, titled “How I learned to stop worrying and love the bubble”.  Which can be found here on my blog: www.dustanwoodhouse.com/blog. This blog formed a large part of my communications with existing clients, referral sources and prospective clients. And with topical and relevant posts you keep people engaged and on your mailing list, and most importantly your stay top of mind with them as well.

A blog is a serious commitment, sort of like a puppy. Posting must become yet another new, regular habit. Finding the time to spend with this new creature in your life is easy at first, but the novelty can wear off and the time can become a challenge. Few things look less professional than a website with a blog showing the last post as dated a year or more ago… and admittedly my client facing blog is not nearly as active as this one, given my career shift. Be The Better Broker shows weekly posts for a few years running now.

Important Note **if you cannot commit to something monthly, then it is perhaps better not to have a blog at all.