Every Day Heroes: Would You Come to The Rescue?

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Last week, I was talking to a friend of mine whose wife had rescued a man from a burning car. While she took action and saved his life, more than 30 other people stood around and did nothing.

I believe the world needs more “every day heroes.” In our lives and in our businesses we have the opportunity to come to the rescue and help people who turn to us. I believe real estate agents should see themselves as everyday heroes.

And if you are committed and know how to serve your clients’ best interest, your work as a Realtor is heroic.

There are three questions I think each of us must answer. #1) Can you come to the rescue? In other words, do you have the skill, knowledge, and strength to take action? #2) Would you come to the rescue? In other words, are you the one who would take action or one of the bystanders who always expect somebody else to do something? #3) Will you commit to be the kind of person that people can count on when they need you?

Whether you are a real estate agent or a school teacher, or a business owner, or a parent, the world needs people like you who see themselves as someone that always come to the rescue.


Hi There! it’s Kevin Ward and I want to talk to you today about coming to the rescue. Last week I was with a friend of mine, Charles Lightfoot, who is a firefighter in Downtown Oakland California, one of the busiest fire stations in the nation. We were just talking about the idea of people coming to the rescue. I’m like, “That’s what you guys are trained to do, right?” As a firefighter that’s what they’re trained to do. He said, “You don’t have to be a firefighter to do this.” He was telling me about his wife, when they had first started dating. One day he was coming home from being on duty, and he got a call from his girlfriend at the time, who’s his wife now. She was frantic. She was just freaking out and she said, “I just got off work and there’s a guy, that as I was pulling out of the parking lot he just ran full speed into a tree and the car’s on fire.” She’s just going nuts, “What do I do, what do I do, what do I do?”

He’s a firefighter, he immediately very calmly said, “Where is the fire?” She said, “It’s under the hood.” Well, as a firefighter he knew that if a fire’s under the hood it’s very unlikely that the car’s going to blow up, but something’s gotta be done. He said, “Well go over there and see if you can get the man out.” She says, “Okay.” She gets off the phone, and she starts going over there. By that time, basically a lot of people have stopped. She said, “There’s over 30 people standing around, just watching.” What was amazing was nobody was doing anything.

After she talked to Charles, she got off the phone, she runs over to the car. She opens the door, and unbuckles the seatbelt, and she’s trying to get the man out. She can’t get him out, and she starts yelling, “Somebody come help me, somebody come help me.” Nobody, of all the people gathered around, and there were dozens of them, nobody even moved. Finally she turned around, she can’t get him out, she turned around, she looked at the crowd all standing there. She looked at one guy and she said, “You, come help me get him out of here.” It was almost like somebody slapped him in the face. It was almost like he came out of this daze, and it was like … He immediately ran over there, helped her pull the man out, and within seconds after pulling the man out and pulling him away from the car, literally the car was engulfed in flames. It was that close.

When he was telling me this story I’m just like, I can’t imagine all those people just standing around, and nobody taking action at all. Yet the reality is, is he’s telling me, he says, “People, whenever something happens that’s traumatic like that. Whenever there is a true emergency,” he says, “People react in a lot of different ways. The main thing is that people always expect now, somebody else to come to the rescue. It’s like somebody else’s job to do it.” Literally, it’s not that they don’t care, it’s that they’re frozen, they don’t know what to do. When you don’t know what to do you just stand there and do nothing.

I train real estate agents, most of you watching this. Many of you are real estate agents. I think about who we are as human beings, who we are as people. Whether you’re a real estate agent, or a business owner, or a school teacher, or whatever it is. I have a couple of questions for you today about what would you do in a situation like that?

Two questions, really three questions. Number one, if you were in that situation could you do anything about it? Can you come to the rescue? Are you physically able to actually do it? Do you know what to do? Do you know how to come to the rescue? Can you do it? The second question is, would you do it? The first one is a matter of ability. The second question is a matter of heart. It’s a matter of commitment, it’s a matter of would you be willing to take action, or would you be one of the crowd that just stands there?

Then the third question, I’m going to ask you for the rest of this video is I want to talk about will you commit to be the kind of person that in your world, wherever you are, is someone who’s willing to come to people’s rescue? See, the reality is that we have every day. That’s an extraordinary case, right? I mean, that’s not something that’s going to happen to you everyday. Here’s what does happen to you everyday. In your work, in your life, you have people that come into your life’s path that need help, or need you. If you’re a real estate agent, you have people, every client you have, they need you. They’re counting on you to help them buy a house, sell a house. Not only help them get the job done, but they’re counting on you to take care of them.

They’re counting on you to represent them in a way that helps them get the best result, that protects their best interest, that makes sure that you’re actually serving their best interest so they’re not getting in trouble, so they’re not over committing, so they’re not stuck. They are counting on you to come through for them. They’re counting on you to come to the rescue.

I look at what we do. As somebody who trains and coaches real estate agents, whose been a real estate agent myself for nearly 20 years, is I look at clients as people that I get the opportunity to rescue, to deliver them. Whatever their problem is, to help them solve that problem. Yet, I see a lot of real estate agents that don’t approach it that way. It’s like, “I do it for the money.” I’m going to tell you that you can do it for the money. You can do it, and you can make a lot of money. If you really want to be powerful, and this is true whether it’s real estate or anything. If you really want power, do it for people. Do it because people need you.

I want to challenge you. If you’re a real estate agent watching this I want to challenge you to approach your work as a real estate agent that way. That whenever somebody needs to sell a house, they need me to come to the rescue for them. There’s a lot of things that can go wrong. They can also get stuck with a mediocre agent that is unethical, is untrained, that doesn’t know what to do. They’re going to overprice the house, it’s not going to sell. They’re going to not do the right stuff. You got a buyers agent that doesn’t know what to do to protect the client, they don’t know how to help them find the right house, how to help them negotiate everything to really protect their best interest.

If you don’t do something about it, if you just stand around and say, “Well, they didn’t call me.” Then you’re literally allowing somebody else to be in danger, in jeopardy because you’re not taking action on it. I think about for some of my owners, and expired listings. I look at an expired listing as it was a disaster. They had an agent they hired to sell the house, and the agent failed at it. Now, whenever you’re a real estate agent and you know there’s a seller who’s listing as expired, and they still need to move, they need an agent to come to the rescue. They need a good one, they need somebody who knows what to do. I talk to agents who like, “Yeah, I don’t like calling expireds because they’re mean, they’re mad.”

Well, that’s what happens when you get let down. That’s what happens when you hire a professional and they don’t come through. That seller has a right to be upset. They’re injured, their life plans have been disrupted by an agent who didn’t get them the results. When you, as a professional, as a real estate agent. If you can come to the rescue for them, and you can help them actually, this time, get it sold and get them the results, you may have to go through a little danger, a little risk. That risk is they may yell at you, they may be mad. They’re not mad at you, they’re just mad at the situation.

If you really have the heart, and I think this is where the real power is. For the future of the real estate industry, I think for the future of most of the sales industry, and of all sales industries is when you have a heart for people, and realize that what you are doing is about helping people have a better life, and solve their problems. It may be in a little way, it may not be in a big dramatic car on fire way. It may not be that dramatic, but probably just as significant is you are saving people’s lives. You’re saving them from stress, you’re saving them from liability, you’re saving them from pain, disappointment. You’re saving people’s lives, when you approach your work that way.

My question is in your work, whether you’re a real estate agent or anyone else. In your work, when there’s somebody that needs your help, that needs somebody to help them in their situation. Number one, can you help them? Do you have the skill, do you have the training, are you prepared to do it? Do you have the ability to actually come to the rescue? Number two, would you? Would you do it? Would you actually be willing to put yourself out there and do stuff that may not be the most fun thing in the world, or maybe you have to talk to somebody who doesn’t want to talk to you. You may have to be inconvenienced, it may be messy, it may be hard. Would you be willing to do it?

Then my third question is, will you commit to show up in your life, the way Kadijah showed up, Charles’ wife. The way my friend’s wife showed up when everybody else was standing around, looking paralyzed, looking to see who’s going to do something about this, who’s going to be the one to take action? Who’s going to be the one to save the day? Will you be the one to save the day? I believe the world needs heroes. I also believe it’s you.

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