The Truth of Inconvenience

One of the most important steps to selling real estate is arranging private showings. A buyers agent will request access to the property on behalf of their client and the listing agent will coordinate through the sellers an appropriate time for a private showing. During the time of the showing, the sellers must vacate the property and allow vacant, private access for the buyers to peruse and analyze the property to see if it fits their needs. Typically, 30 minutes is allotted for the buyers to have private access. Therefore, the sellers will have to ensure they are absent from the property for at least 30 minutes. It’s inconvenient, but it’s necessary.

The number of listings that have trouble selling due to sellers and / or tenants not being able to handle a little inconvenience is staggering. They say they want to sell, but they think it’s too much to tidy up and leave home for a half hour while a prospective buyer has a look. They want to sell for top dollar and get multiple offers and they want it to be convenient. Well, that’s not a reality that we live in. It’s not convenient to sell your home. There will be disruption to your life for a period of time in order for you to move on to bigger and better things. To expect anything else would be extremely naïve. 

We all want the improved end result, but for some reason we get knocked over by even the slightest of inconveniences. I’ll tell you what, life is not convenient. However, it has gotten more convenient than it ever has been in recent decades. One can live their entire lives at home and avoid the inconveniences that await them beyond their front door. Have everything delivered to you, work for a cloud based company and get all the entertainment you’ll ever need from your phone if you want to. The option to live like this is present for us. The option for convenience is sold to us everywhere and it looks very attractive. At the same time, obesity rates are higher than ever, depression is a serious problem and more people seem to be struggling through life now than ever before. Maybe the convenient lifestyle being sold to us isn’t quite what it’s made out to be.

We’ve lost our ability to cope with a little inconvenience and it’s a major problem. The people who can shrug off some inconvenience are the ones who buy and sell real estate with ease. They’re the ones who lead our businesses, drive revenue and contribute most to the marketplace. The people who don’t care about the inconvenience of alarm clocks, schedules and traffic are the ones who get the promotion you want and take the vacation you wish you could. Everybody struggles through inconvenience. It’s a matter of whether or not you can accept it.

I don’t say this to imply complacency is the answer, nor do I believe anyone needs to accept a mediocre life. What I mean to say is that when inconvenience slaps you in the face, you don’t always have to fall down. Since it can’t be avoided, you might as well get good at deflecting those slaps and mitigating their effect on you. You can see them coming, sometimes from a mile away. Even if you can’t see it yet, you know the inconvenient slap will be coming your way soon, so prepare for it. Always think through various outcomes of certain events, meetings or trips. Set up contingency plans for everything important and practice a little Dale Carnegie thinking.

Mr. Carnegie wrote a book in 1944 called “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”. One of the simpler practices outlined in the book has you imagining the absolute worst case scenario for any given event and accepting yourself there. Once you’ve imagined yourself being in the worst case scenario, simply imagine what you could do to improve your circumstances. If the worst was to happen, what could you do to make it suck a little less? The point of this thought exercise is to realize that even in the worst, most inconvenient places of our lives, there are always things we can easily do to make it just a bit better. You may even end up concluding that what you thought was the worst case scenario wouldn’t actually be so bad.

If you’re always on the lookout for ways to improve poor situations even before they happen, you’ll find that you’ll perceive yourself to be in fewer poor situations. Things don’t seem so bad when your default is to look on the bright side. Sorry for sounding nauseatingly optimistic, but I’m not interested in having my day ruined before 8am by a bit of inconvenience. 

The next time I list your house for sale, remember that it won’t be a convenient process. As a professional, I’ll make it as easy as possible, but we’ll have to be ready for anything. Heck, just getting all the paperwork organized is pretty inconvenient, but I can’t afford to let it throw me off every time the government implements a new mandatory disclosure form. The best results in life always come after enduring some inconvenience, so next time you have to take the long way to work, enjoy the ride.

- Cody