How To Deal With Traumatic Events & Social/Political Issues In Your Real Estate Business
As a real estate agent there are a lot of day to day things that you have to navigate. The exciting thing about being a business owner is that most of us are always learning, growing & evolving.
But there's a dark side to owning a business that isn't often talked about. In today's world, we are sadly, no stranger to traumatic events. And in some ways, navigating these events can be difficult for business owners.
So today, I'm stepping outside of our usual conversation and offering some tips on how to navigate these difficult topics while running your business.
Before I move forward, I want to make it very clear, the RealtHER Society is a no judgement zone. We respect and support you regardless of your social views & political affiliation. Our goal has always been to support women in business and we will continue to do so even when things get hard.
Now let's dive into it.
What not to do
Don't forget that words matter & what you post on the internet is permanent.
Saying things in anger or the heat of an argument is an easy thing to do. But remember that words hurt and are permanent. Your words are now out so keep that in mind before responding, replying or engaging in conversation.
Don't feel pressured to make a statement that you aren't comfortable with.
Avoid coming across as performative. Making a statement is only a good idea if it comes from the heart and you actually mean what you are saying. Your audience will see right through inauthentic posts.
Don't feel like you need to defend or argue your position.
Regardless of whether you make post/statement, it can be easy to feel defensive and tempted to argue your position. Try to resist the urge.
Don't comment on every hot button topic.
Commenting on every topic or event can come across insincere and not authentic. Make sure the topic aligns with your personal & brand values along with your vision & mission statement.
What you should do
We aren't meant to consume every work and every single person's opinion on hot topics. It can be overwhelming and take a toll on your mental health. It's okay to put down your phone and step away from the conversation if you need to.
Remember less is (sometimes) more.
Sometimes a simple, sincere acknowledgement is all that is needed. Assess the situation and decide if it actually needs a statement, opinion or thoughts. Often long statements give your audience additional pieces to pick through, misunderstand & argue with. Keep it short & simple if possible.
Know your audience.
Does your audience look to you as a thought leader in your community? Would they notice if you did/did not make a statement? And are they supportive of your ideals & beliefs?
Take time for yourself.
Make your mental health a priority. You don't owe social media your thoughts & feelings. It's okay to shut it down and take care of yourself. You can't show as your best self when you are emotionally drained.
Understand it's an emotional time.
As much as you may mean well, remember that others are feeling all the feels too. It's okay to disagree and you should support feedback on your statement. Coming at comments with understanding will go a long way.
Questions to ask yourself before speaking out
Does the issue align with your business?
Not all topics or issues need to be addressed via your business. Does this one align? Is it a core part of your brand values? If so, then you can confidently make a statement.
Can I meaningfully add value to the issue?
The internet can get overwhelming and loud during times of political & social discourse. Make sure that before you make a statement you can meaningfully add value to the issue. You can do this by providing credible resources that benefit the topic.
What action can I take on the issue?
Your audience will look to you to lead by example. They will expect you to walk the walk. Be prepared to take action.
If you decide to speak out
Know your audience.
Not just those that agree with your position, but those who may not. Your audience is likely filled with a diverse group. It's important to remember who you are talking to when making a statement. There is a chance that while some of your audience agrees, others may feel alienated.
Create a clear, confident statement.
Remember - less is more. Creating a clear & confident statement that respectfully portrays your thoughts are so important. If you sound wishy-washy your audience will notice.
It's okay to be frustrated, angry, hurt and to grieve... just remember your tone matters.
Get feedback before posting.
When preparing a statement make sure to get feedback from multiple trusted resources before posting.
Be prepared to walk the walk.
It's not enough to throw up a post with a trending hashtag. Less talk & more walk! Be prepared to share valuable & creditable resources when possible. Make sure to do your homework before sharing otherwise your reputation could be at risk.
If you decide not to speak out
Read the room.
Don't be accused of being tone deaf. If others are grieving, not posting or posting in support (or protest), then it's not business as usual. It's okay to quietly exit the stage for a couple of days while discussions are happening.
Know your personal pages reflect your business, too.
You may think that you don't want to bring thoughts into your business but are fine with posting your thoughts on your personal pages. Remember that YOU are your brand. So know that your personal pages are also part of your business.
Political neutrality can be considered by some as taking a stand.
Know that to some, not saying anything in certain situations can be considered actually saying something and can have the same effect on your business as speaking out.
While navigating tough times it can be an added layer of stress to decide how to tackle topics with your audience. The internet can be a noisy place and it's up to you if you want to contribute to it.
Regardless of whether or not you choose to speak out, we encourage you to be open to respectful discussion if given the opportunity. But also know - it's okay to shut it all off and focus on your own mental health during times of trauma.
Again, our mission at the Realther Society is to support YOU, no matter what that looks like for your business.
Sincerely, Tara & the Realther Society team
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