A decade ago, my oldest son was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome; a form of autism. It was a tough thing to hear.
With the diagnosis, my new reality didn’t match the dreams I had for my child. When he was a baby, I pictured him someday being voted “Most Likely to Succeed”, Homecoming King and the school’s star quarterback. Like most parents, I envisioned him growing up to marry the perfect person, have beautiful children, being successful, happy, and everyone’s best friend.
And then when I got this life-altering diagnosis- one that affects his socialization and ability to comfortably navigate through a communicative world, my dreams were dashed. Shattered, really. And I cried.
But then I got to work.
I studied the diagnosis, attended workshops, read books, talked with people, watched podcasts, and read blog posts. And over time, I slowly realized that this child, the now 15 year old son that I had so carefully crafted a future for in my own head, is well on his way to blazing a path in his own way, with his own ambitions, and his own dreams.
And you take a step back and realize that your job as a parent, regardless of a diagnosis, is no different from a child without a diagnosis. Your job- no matter what- is to support, nurture, and advocate.
Recently I was reminded again that these needs go beyond parenting. As a Realtor, we support, nurture and advocate every day for our clients.
When showing feedback mentions the cosmetic needs of your listing, you offer thoughtful, caring suggestions to negate the negativity. If your seller’s integrity is questioned during negotiations, you come to your seller’s defense. And if you feel your buyer is getting a raw deal, you go out of your way to fight for a better one.
With every step of the process, our clients gain a little more knowledge, a little more trust, and a little more confidence. Over time they graduate from being a first time buyer, to being a second time buyer, to a third time buyer, etc. to the point where, while they still need us, it’s different from how they needed us before.
Gradually, we’ve become a team. We offer them support, encouragement, and advice, and they grow. We allow them to ask questions, and they learn. We nurture, assist, and protect, and they gain the confidence and courage to keep going.
Our job as Realtors is to guide our clients through a transaction, just as our job as parents is to guide our children to adulthood. Ultimately, their success is our success.
My son’s first grade teacher gave me the best advice I’ve ever received as a parent: Never apologize for advocating for your child. And I will never stop advocating for my child, or my clients. I will never stop nurturing them, supporting them, and being there for them.
Our clients need us. It’s why we are still relevant in a world full of quick fixes and cheap products; of online sales and automated processes.
Our clients need us. And some would argue, now more than ever. And it’s our job to do whatever it takes to not let them down.
Amy Gilpin, Associate Broker, Manager, ABR, SRES.
Fifteen years of helping clients. Seven years of helping agents. All for this crazy thing we call real estate.
Production Realty 517-879-4141 Jackson, MI Amy@ProductionRealty.com