THE COM­PAR­I­SON CLOUD

When we draw the easy and in­evitable com­par­isons be­tween our­selves and oth­ers we can end up feel­ing like we are fall­ing short of the mark or not good enough. Fiona Blayney ex­plains why you should not com­pare some­one else's so­cial me­dia 'showreel' to your

Elite Property Manager - - The Last Word -

It started out like any other book­ing, al­beit I was ex­cited by the change of au­di­ence, style and pace. What I hadn't re­alised was that I was about to learn just as much through the prepa­ra­tion for this event as I hoped oth­ers would through the per­for­mance.

I took the call from the event or­gan­iser as I was driv­ing in my car. Fran­ti­cally re­turn­ing calls be­tween ap­point­ments meant I didn't ask as many ques­tions as nor­mal, and given we were well ac­quainted I trusted the con­text of the event with her. She didn't men­tion the topic at the time; that was still in the plan­ning, so she sim­ply wanted me to com­mit to be­ing a pre­sen­ter at the in­au­gu­ral Women in Real Es­tate Break­fast event that she was host­ing for their group. It sounded like a great ini­tia­tive and I thought ‘Why not?'

“Once I have locked in the speak­ers, I will email you over the con­tent I want you to fo­cus on with your ses­sion,” were her part­ing words and we left it at that. As I hit the of­fice later that day, dates were en­tered into the di­ary and I went about life.

Over the next cou­ple of months, the book­ing sat in my di­ary and I didn't re­ally give it an­other thought, un­til that fate­ful mo­ment when an email popped into my inbox. The topic ar­rived: ‘Fol­low your Dreams – Did It', along with the list of co-pre­sen­ters, and with it an in­stant feel­ing of ner­vous­ness that ran through my body.

As I took a mo­ment, read­ing the event plan and scan­ning the list of other speak­ers, I in­stinc­tively started to weigh up each speaker and my in­ter­pre­ta­tion of their po­si­tions in the world; team­ing this with some mind chat­ter, in a mat­ter of mo­ments I had quickly worked my­self to the bot­tom of the list. No mat­ter what you have done in your life, I know each of you will at some point have been over­shad­owed by what I call the com­par­i­son cloud, and it was rain­ing in my world!

There are so many mo­ments each day when we are hit with this in­stinc­tive com­par­i­son cloud. I am con­stantly hear­ing from clients about the agent down the road, round the cor­ner or in­ter­state. How big is my rent roll, my profit, my av­er­age man­age­ment fee? Prop­erty man­agers are al­ways com­par­ing their prop­er­ties, clients and re­sults to those of the mes­sages por­trayed on­line or on the screen.

An avid user of so­cial me­dia, I am yet to see an agent post an im­age of the list­ing they lost to a com­peti­tor, or the ar­rears rate that has ex­ploded, the prop­erty that sold un­der re­serve or the let­ter of com­plaint that ended up at Fair Trad­ing.

In the per­sonal realm we tend to paint a sim­i­lar rose­c­oloured pic­ture, avoid­ing open dis­cus­sion about the ar­gu­ment with the part­ner, the kids mis­be­hav­ing at school, the hol­i­day that we didn't have or the weight we have gained.

Is it any won­der that com­par­i­son with oth­ers leaves us at the bot­tom of the lad­der, when ev­ery­one else's life is so amaz­ingly per­fect?

No good can come of stand­ing un­der that com­par­i­son cloud un­less you are com­par­ing your­self to the only per­son that counts, the one star­ing back at you each morn­ing in the mir­ror. YOU!

As you re­flect on your year, do just that: re­flect on your year, not ev­ery­one else's. That's for them to do. No doubt you will find some­thing you could have done bet­ter, some mo­ments you'd rather for­get, but hope­fully you will find some mile­stones that will go into the Book of You, and I know you will iden­tify ar­eas for im­prove­ment in 2016.

For what it is worth, I nailed that pre­sen­ta­tion; not be­cause I was the high­est on the com­par­i­son cloud for the day, but be­cause I asked my­self how it went in the mir­ror that night. In­stead of com­par­ing my­self to the other speak­ers, I sim­ply told my re­flec­tion look­ing back at me that I was awe­some. ■

AN AVID USER OF SO­CIAL ME­DIA, I AM YET TO SEE AN AGENT POST AN IM­AGE OF THE LIST­ING THEY LOST TO A COM­PETI­TOR, OR THE AR­REARS RATE THAT HAS EX­PLODED, THE PROP­ERTY THAT SOLD UN­DER RE­SERVE OR THE LET­TER OF COM­PLAINT THAT ENDED UP AT FAIR TRAD­ING.

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