Okay, I’ll admit it. I am a big fan of Survivor.
One of the original “reality TV” shows, Survivor on CBS is a “game” where the contestants are dropped in an isolated area and the only rules are to “out wit, out play and outlast” the other competitors. This is the 26th season of the show and I have watched them all and probably seen all but a few episodes.
Like most reality shows, some seasons are memorable thanks to the exotic locations but mostly viewers remember the contestants with personality and quickly forget the boring wall flowers.
The ultimate goal each episode is for the contestant to avoid being voted off of their tribe or from the game. One way they can ensure that won’t happen is if they earn the “Immunity Necklace,” which prevents people from voting for the holder, insuring them another three days in the game.
Once a tribe or contestant has earned the immunity necklace, the pressure is off, even if only momentarily.
Every Player for Themselves
While players often create alliances with other players, the game still boils down to one winner. As soon as someone trusts that they are safe, they might find themselves the victim of a blind side vote or a surprise switch of the tribes which creates added tension and drama.
In almost all real estate companies in the United States, real estate agents are considered “independent contractors.” This means they work for themselves, even though they usually create an “alliance” of sorts with a broker and the brand that broker is affiliated with.
This “independent contractor” status truly allows agents to feel like they are working for themselves, being their own boss and calling their own shots.
It’s a neat feeling but unfortunately, there are no reward challenges in real estate and there certainly are no immunity challenges held. Jeff Probst, the charismatic host of Survivor, will never be heard yelling “Come on in, Realtors!” before a listing presentation, open house or buyer counseling session.
Putting the “Real” in Reality
Survivor is a microcosm of the real world because you must build and manage relationships with strangers while doing everything you can to maintain your sanity and health. Building shelter and making fire become required skills if you wish to advance. But at the end of each episode and ultimately at the end of the season, Survivor is a game.
Sure, someone wins a $1 million dollar prize and perhaps some additional fame and endorsement opportunities while everyone else “loses” but once the director has yelled “cut! It’s a wrap!” all of the players will go back to their lives.
Achieving success in real estate, while defined differently by every individual, isn’t a game. Especially when most people are playing it by themselves yet in theory, are competing with just under one million members of the National Association of Realtors.
It’s realistic to think that every person who will think about buying or selling a house in the next 12 months knows of at least one other Realtor in your local market besides you. It’s time to start asking yourself why would that person choose you?
Each day is a new competition to survive but the actual challenges to gain new business, safely manage existing business and maintain the relationships with people we have serviced in the past is strictly up to us. We just have to remember that there will never be a day that we are immune from playing the game again tomorrow…or the next day…or the next day after that. That is until we decide to take ourselves out of the game.
If we seek to “stay in the game” we must always be focused on business development activities that will help us survive. No one will do that for us because everyone else is trying to win the game too.
You don’t necessarily need to “out wit, out play and outlast” your competition because the strategy is different in real life.
But I would suggest you try to build relationships, solve problems and have fun.
Keep the fire burning in your belly to be successful because as Jeff Probst always says, “…in this game, fire represents life. Once your fire is gone, so are you.”