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13 Ways to keep a positive attitude during the coronavirus crisis

MAIN IMAGE: Linda Erasmus, CEO Fine & Country Sub-Saharan Africa.

There has not been a time in recent years where things were as uncertain as they are during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. How do you keep a positive mental attitude in such circumstances? Linda Erasmus, CEO of Fine & Country Sub-Saharan Africa, shares practical advice on how to avoid a negative mindset and keep your mind focused on the right direction.

“Positive mental attitude is that philosophy which asserts that having an optimistic disposition in every situation in one’s life attracts positive changes and increases achievement.” – Wikipedia

I recall some of my first steps into the real estate arena some 33 years ago. Rick Silverman, a well-known coach for real estate agents at the time, made the statement that unless you have the right mental attitude, you will not have success in being a real estate agent.

But it is the famous quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson that got stuck: “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” 

Amidst the Covid-19 national disaster the question arises how estate agents can maintain a positive mental attitude.

There are two main directives: there are a number of things to avoid during lockdown and then there are a couple of good guidelines to follow to keep your mind focussed on the right direction.

Positive mind activities include:

  1. Control your thoughts.What if” thoughts prepare fertile ground for negativity. If you cannot go outside, turn inside and work on your subconscious mind; learn to discipline your thoughts and steer them in the right direction. By taking on projects such as a revision of strategy, the age-old SWOT analyses or research into the concept of working from home, you will be able to steer clear of negative thoughts.
  2. Become a motivator to others and the one person who can make a difference for the entire team, the entire family even the entire community; in crisis times the people that stand out are those who encourage everyone around them. While it is not clear how or if agents will be able to sell houses during Level 4 of the lockdown, it is a time for building trust; and trust is what you will need post Covid-19.
  3. Read good motivational books during lockdown. An example is “Winning the unfair fight” by Sam Hazledine. Every agent will have to fight the unfair fight after lockdown.
  4. The Covid-19 crisis is a temporary detour and not a dead-end. We will soon have to acknowledge that it is what we learn, after we thought we know everything that counts. It is therefore important that agents prepare for changes and set themselves up to take advantage of opportunities rather earlier than later.
    “Success in life comes not from holding a good hand, but in playing a poor hand well” – Dennis Waitley
  5. Make a list of the opportunities that will follow due to the Covid -19 crises and find your purpose within that list.
  6. Preparation is crucial for an estate agent because it is a great time-saver and time means money. Use the lockdown to prepare so that you can save time when “every rat returns to win the rat-race.”

Avoid actions and thoughts that work against creating a positive mind-set:

  1. Avoid the hard-sell approach and show sympathy with your customers. Currently the public and most of real estate’s potential clients are traumatised by the Covid-19 crisis. This is not the time to figuratively speaking ‘hammer on someone’s door’, be it via telephone or emails or any other way of virtual communication, convincing them that you are the best agent to sell their property.
  2. Don’t share unverified information. What your future customers will expect from you during the coronavirus crisis is to share authentic information and news which is relevant to their situation. Avoid therefore taking everything you received via your social media platforms as true and authentic, passing it on to your customers. The truth is that your potential customers battle with a problem which is that their mailboxes are already filled with spam from salespeople of all sorts who are trying to sell stuff to them during the lockdown period. Avoid the spam messages.
  3. Avoid the victim mentality. The biggest mistake you can make during the crisis is becoming a victim. Get away from a mentality of judgement (especially about the government) and get into one of curiosity. You may discover some great new ideas from the new knowledge and skills you can acquire online.
  4. Avoid the ‘disease of woe is me’. Become a motivator of others and become the one person who can make a difference to the entire team, the entire family even the entire community; in crisis times the people that stand out are those who encourage everyone around them. Stand out with encouraging messages and innovative ideas.
  5. Avoid the naysayers. Avoid if possible or limit spending time with people who only see the negative side of the crisis. You need to find the silver linings and you need those people around you who can provide a link to those silver linings between the dark clouds.
  6. Don’t waste energy on worrying and such meaningless activities. Rather spend time on activities that you never find the time for such as increasing your fitness level, your health and things that feed the soul. This will allow you to emerge from the lockdown, well-rested and ready for new business.
  7. In terms of marketing – avoid being a copy-cat. Too many agents repeat exactly the same message that everyone else shares which makes news from the industry boring. Your brand tells a story – embrace it. This is the time to share your stories instead of overthinking the virus.

Lastly, remember we are stronger together!

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