Every Season Is the Season for Sugar and Spice
Welcome back to your work week! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break, filled with whatever F is your favorite—fun, food, family, football, or fill-in-the-blank. Mine was a particular delight, as I got to spend time with my daughter Victoria, who has a whole Brazilian extended family! If y’all have never heard a Brazilian uncle’s karaoke take on Frank Sinatra’s My Way—despite not speaking a lick of English—y’all simply haven’t lived.
Now that the holidays have started, the temptation is there to maybe write off the rest of the year and start fresh in January. I get it. I recognize that 2023 has been challenging and maybe you’re ready to see it in the rearview mirror. But don’t give up and give in because you have a whole month left to make it happen! That’s why today I’m going to share the not-so-secret recipe to ending the year on a high note with the one little thing that makes all the difference—your attitude. So let’s get to it!
*Scroll to the bottom of the email to find out my go-to karaoke song!
Bring this energy to your week!
THE REALITY OF REAL ESTATE
The 8% Commission Story
Remember last week when I said I’d tell you how we professionals should move forward with this judgment looming on the horizon? Well, here’s a story about getting more commission, not less, and it’s all about how you package it.
The best thing you can do as an agent is to get your seller to think of commission as a marketing incentive. For example, I listed this $5 million house in 2017. I sat down with the seller and I said, “Let's do 8% commission.”
Of course, he was like, “I beg your pardon?”
I explained, “I'll do three on my side and let's do five on the buyer side.” My seller could not wrap his head around why we’d do that. I said, “Because this way, every agent in Atlanta will be showing your house. Your house will be everything. Your house will be the only thing that everybody talks about.” Once my seller thought about the idea, he loved it!
So then we worked out the details. I said, “We'll put in these stipulations, but it has to be an offer. If the offer is less than list price, then the 5% can be negotiated. But the 5% will really get these eyeballs on your house because it's so much more than agents are being paid.”
Right now in the NAR class action suit, the plaintiffs’ attorneys have been basically saying, “Now that you have Zillow and every house is on the internet, the buyer’s agent is insignificant in the transaction.”
We know damn well that’s not true.
The buyer’s agent brings tremendous value because we have real life experience in the place the buyers want to buy. What if you’re relocating to Atlanta and have only Zillow as your guide? Zillow has no idea the fear that strikes Atlantans’ hearts when we realize that what’s standing between us and our destination is the Grady Curve or the Spaghetti Junction. (Even though it sounds delicious to an out-of-towner.) As a buyer, you need that skilled agent to slap the notion that “Oh, the commute can’t be that bad” right out of your head. Plus, it’s not like Zillow’s estimates are even accurate. So buyer’s agents are necessary and they must be compensated and every good seller’s agent is gonna make sure that happens.
Regardless of the latest news cycle, I am confident that we are going to find a way to be okay.
And of course the $5 million property sold at full ask because every agent in the tri-state area brought their clients through that house!
Don’t let this happen to you. Photo credit: SweetandWeak.com
STORYTIME WITH GLENNDA
How I Keep It Upbeat, Always and Forever
People are always asking me how in a world full of doom and gloom I maintain such a sunny attitude. The answer is easy—I do not allow negativity in my space. Your perception is your reality, so why wouldn’t I choose to perceive that the glass is half full?
I don’t even consume negative media. The only television is watch is sports and Dancing with the Stars. I stay far away from the news. Now, if I’m trying to fall asleep, I’ll watch Murder She Wrote or Columbo because those shows remind me of my mom and it’s like she’s telling me a bedtime story. And when I wake up, the first thing I do is give myself affirmations, saying, “I am Glennda Baker and I’m a woman of action.” Set the tone for your day with positive self-talk.
I have adopted a positive attitude because I was bullied so badly in high school. (I’m not kidding, y’all. I missed 40 days of my senior year and almost didn’t graduate.) The source of my stress wasn’t a mean girl. Instead, it was a mean guy who fell right behind me alphabetically, so I could not escape him as we were always seated together. It was awful. But once I started my first job selling shoes, I quickly discovered that if I were nice, I’d get that niceness right back. Other people will pick up on your joy and they will give it back to you. And that good feeling you give them makes them more receptive to you.
In fact, I just got the kindest thank you note from a flight attendant who wanted to point out how I made him feel special. I love that so much. So much of your attitude is how you treat others. The best way to generate those nice feelings is to slow it down for a second. When you take the time to genuinely inquire about how someone else is doing, and care about the answer, it makes that person’s day. If your barista asks how you are and you reply, “Peppermint mocha, extra whip,” that is a missed opportunity. (Also, you are not a sugary coffee drink.)
I go through my day asking myself, “Who can I help? Who can I make happy? Who can I touch?” Y’all have to understand, what people see, hear, and experience around you is your brand. And I want my brand to feel like a warm hug.
Of course, not everyone is receptive when I’m being nice. When that happens to me—and it does—I just get nicer. Almost every time, that stops them in their tracks and makes them reconsider their own attitude.
I love to learn people’s names. I ask everyone who they are, whether they’re serving my coffee or valeting my car. I say it all the time, people want to be seen. I keep a wallet full of $2 bills that I order special from the bank for tips. Every time I give a service professional a handful, I tell them that these are lucky $2 bills and as long as they hold them, they will bring that person luck. People remember me for that. In fact, Wallace, my favorite skycap at Hartsfield, gave me me his number so I can text him to make sure I’m never waiting to check my bag. Oh my stars and stripes, there have been times that Wallace is the reason I’ve been able to make my flight on time and I am so grateful.
Betty Baker, my mother, always used to tell me, “You’re not here to be ordinary.” She loved big and I learned that from her.
When you go through life lifting people up, you can’t help but feel uplifted, too. The one exception here is that high school bully. He used to think he was so hilarious, calling me Glennda Cake Baker. But his attention wasn’t funny and flirty, like he had a crush on me. No, ma’am. He was scary and if it were now, his behavior would have had him expelled so quick your head would spin around and snot would fly out of your nose.
Now, sit down because you are not going to believe what that man does for a living. That’s right, he is a loan officer here in Atlanta. And thanks to God’s protection, I have never had to work with him, not in my thousands of deals over the decades. Once I did a speech for the Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia and afterwards, the hosts said, “We have a surprise for you!” I tell you what, I got really nervous about an ambush. But the surprise was his assistant giving me a cake—with his damn picture on it. Even all these years later, the gesture was weirdly aggressive. Fortunately, I am Glennda Baker and my bullies no longer have power over me, so I acted delighted and thanked everyone twice.
So I’d like to give y’all an assignment. This week, slow it down. Take a minute to be gracious. Be in the moment with everyone you meet. Not just clients, but baristas and cashiers and flight attendants, anyone in your path. Give them all your good energy. Change others with your joy. Make them feel great and I promise you’ll get the same back in return. (If someone insists on being negative, just walk away from the conversation. Don’t let them pop your bubble of positivity.)
Even if your bully appears out of your past and gives you a cake, I want you to smile and say, “Thank you so much!” And then throw it in the trash the minute you can. When someone shows you who they are, believe them.
Don’t go into your week with this energy.
“Your perception is your reality.”
*My go-to karaoke song is Joan Jett’s I Love Rock and Roll. So put another dime in that jukebox, baby.