Who's responsible? Who's to blame?
It's surprising the number of people who call my team feeling like they have been screwed over, mis-sold, mis-lead, lied too or just plain ripped off when they bought through other property companies and agents.
I'm in two minds about these people.
Firstly I get frustrated at the amount of 'salesmanship' in the industry and secondly l get frustrated about the lack of responsibility displayed by many people today.
We are all salespeople...
We are all salespeople. You are. I am. Your best friend and your best friend's dog. The world is full of people trying to sell a product, a concept, a point of view, a solution to a problem or a belief.
So let's dispel the myth right now that selling is bad. Selling in itself is neither good or bad -- it's the application of the sales techniques that can be unethical and more importantly the mis-selling or lack of information that is the problem.
Is it the company that's responsible?
Now we can rely on every single one of the individual companies that sell the property to 'play fair' and practice ethical selling but none of us came down in the last shower. It just won't happen, ever. It's not in human nature for everyone to act this way.
Is it the government's responsibility?
Governments can regulate all they like but things will still go wrong. I don't think any of us really believe the government can have anymore than limited success.
So who is responsible?
So who does this leave to govern, regulate and practice ethics? You guessed it -- it's you. The only person who can truly help you is staring back at you in the mirror. It's my absolute belief that it comes down to the individual to take 100% responsibility.
So this brings me to the second part of my point. If you had a bad experience where the sales person mis-sold, exaggerated, or just plain left out really important bits you need to learn from it and most importantly -- move on from it.
'Take the lesson and leave the baggage' l always say.
The biggest lesson should be to ask loads of questions, become highly educated and don't proceed until you are 100% certain. This is a scary proposition because if you do this you have no-one to blame but yourself. To put it plainly, if you sign the legal docs, you are the only one responsible.
Some people I speak to are more focussed on trusting the salesperson, trusting the company and hoping they are telling the truth. I hate to tell you, but this makes you more like a gambler than an investor.
An investor is a person who takes the time to build really strong relationships, second-guesses everything, becomes a realistic skeptic and most of all does not invest until they are certain it is a good deal and they understand every part of it.
A gambler plays the odds and true investing is never about the odds.
Live with passion,