We learned a lot from the falling market. We learned that clients did need us. They needed someone who would be honest with them. When clients are distressed they need the truth. Kidding them, or supporting people who are kidding themselves, can be devastatingly costly. As the market slid and each sale hit a new low, we worried about what we had cost our clients. Then, as the market slid further, we would look back a few months later and be glad we had saved those clients when we did.
We learned the value of competence as we observed negligence all around us. We invested anew our time and energy to be the best, to be on the cutting edge as things changed. Real estate had become ever more affected by government and legal considerations. We had to redouble our efforts to remain competent.
A distressed market brings with it despondence and ambivalence. We found ourselves caring about clients who had stopped caring. They didn’t care whether the bank lost money. They didn’t care whether the buyer got a house in sound condition. They blamed the government, the financial institutions, their neighbors, and themselves. We had to deal with their grief, anger, and remorse. But we cared, and many times our caring saved clients from their despair. Clients First saved us, and it saved them.