We have all experienced challenging times in the midst of our real estate journey. Mine came in August 1974 as I began my real estate career. My year’s hard work had produced no closings and my real estate future looked dismal. I turned to God in deep discouragement and asked for a positive sign–just 3 valid transactions during the month of August. At the same time I enrolled in graduate school, preparing to return to the field of education.
The month slowly passed day by day. Then August 27 and 28 brought great hope with the sale of my only listing plus a first-time-buyer. My prayers were being answered–I was now two transactions down, had one to go and a full three days remaining! Perhaps real estate was the career for me.
August 29 and 30 came and went without any activity and I became angry. How could I fall just one transaction short of my goal? I needed more faith and more patience. At 10:00 a.m. a phone call changed everything-it was a buyer. I showed them two homes and truly felt as if there was magic in the air. My third transaction was about to materialize. After all these months, I felt as if real estate success was within my grasp.
My joy quickly disappeared when the client told me they could not buy from me because they had been previously working with Lillie Mae Tillman, another local agent. She had shown them numerous homes and bought them lunches and dinners. And ultimately they felt their loyalty had to remain with her. I knew these buyers had reached the most ethical decision, but I was heartbroken. I had been so close to, what I felt was success. It was the lowest moment in my real estate career.
At 7:30 that evening the clients called me with the news that during a conversation with Lillie Mae, she had told them to “Do the right thing and buy the house from Mo Anderson.” I could hardly believe what I was hearing! Lillie Mae Tillman, an elderly, quiet, reserved Century 21 agent had changed my life with four little words – “Do the right thing”. That was when my real estate ball began to roll. The next six months brought 35 transactions; I went on to build my own company and then Keller Williams Realty entered my life. Through it all I have never forgotten precious, wonderful Lillie Mae Tillman and the impact her integrity had and continues to have on my life. She taught me that when we ‘do the right thing’ it is possible to literally change the course of someone’s life.
As we enter a new decade, let’s renew our commitment to ‘do the right thing’ in all aspects of our lives. And, just as our integrity is able to impact and change the course of the lives of those around us, it has the power to change our world!