Real estate is a 24/7 business, right? This is what the instructor taught at a recent continuing education course I attended. “You had better have your phone on you at all times and be ready to set that next appointment. When that offer comes in at 8:30 PM, you had better be ready to negotiate. When that client is only available to meet on Sunday or they have told you they will find another agent…you had better be available! This is what successful agents do!” Isn’t this what you’ve been told? Working evenings and weekends is just part of the job description. The non-stop dinging of your text messages while you are out to dinner with your family is just part of being an agent. After all….you are working. You are providing for your family. Isn’t that a “noble” purpose? Isn’t it justified? Unfortunately, this is the “way of this world” when it comes to the way most real estate agents think. I would even go so far as to say that this mentality is esteemed among most. Doesn’t our culture seem to hold in high regard the man or woman who conquers business by working at all hours? Deep within us there seems to be this very subtle admiration for the man who puts in 10-15 hour days at the office, and then is able to go home and get up early again the next day and do it all over again. The world has been screaming in our ears that this is the way to achieve success. And most of us believe what we’ve heard.
But hold on a minute….aren’t we supposed to be God’s children though? Isn’t there supposed to be something different about the way we as Christians live and think? We are called to be the “salt of the earth”. So shouldn’t our real estate business operate differently than those run by unbelievers? The answer to those questions is YES! We are called to walk by faith! Our Dad gives us REST!! In fact….he commands it. One of the things I have come to understand is that the partaking of this rest is sometimes the greatest act of faith we can exhibit! I have sold real estate for over 10 years now. I sold 50 homes my first full year in the business. This year, our team is on track to sell over 300 homes. That means I have had the opportunity to work over 520 weekends since obtaining my real estate license. But here’s the reality….I have actually worked less than 25 weekends since I’ve been in the business. And most of those were half-days on Saturdays during my first couple years as a new agent. I can also count on 2 hands the number of weeks over the last 10 years that I have worked more than 2 evenings in a week. Those were the boundaries I had set with my wife, Tiffany, during my first year in the business. I made a commitment to my family and to God to not let this business overtake my life and my time with them. Now, I am not sharing all of this to boast. I am saying it because I want you to know that I truly believe one of the reasons God has prospered my business is because I put boundaries on it. I believe He wants to do the same with your business. We serve a God who believes in boundaries. Let’s look at the Israelites for a moment….
God’s intention was to bring His people, the Israelites, into a land that was flowing with milk and honey. It was referred to as the Promised Land. This “milk and honey” was representative of a land that had “more than enough.” It was overflowing with resources and goodness. The soil was rich and the air was moist. The Israelites would be truly blessed when they arrived. They would not only have their needs met but also their wants. They would be well provided for in every sense of the word! One might even say …they would be rich! However, prior to entering that land they had to journey through the wilderness. In the wilderness they had to learn several key lessons. The underlying principle in all of these lessons was FAITH. Ok, but faith in what, you ask? They had to have FAITH in God’s ability and desire to provide for them. How did He teach them this lesson? He provided for them DAILY! He did not give them more than enough in the wilderness. He gave them their daily bread and that was it. The day before the Sabbath the Lord provided twice as much so they could gather double the amount and have enough to rest the next day. Here is my point…. Before the Lord allowed His children to enter the Promised Land and have more than enough, He first tested their faith by providing for them daily and commanding rest. Now that is difficult! Will we be faithful and obedient to take rest, even though we look at what we have and think that it is not enough? We must put boundaries on our business. Consider the agent who is always picking up their cell phone when it rings; who is available for clients 7 days a week; who skips out on family events to go show a property. This agent is making a clear statement. His actions are shouting into the universe and to God Himself and saying….. “I AM MY PROVIDER”. I believe we serve a God who answers back and says…. “Very well…I will let you provide for yourself.” Now consider the agent who, as a servant, will listen to the Master and say…. “Although I look into the field and see manna to be gathered, I will rest today. I will rest because it is the greatest act of faith I can exhibit. I will rest because it makes my master smile. I will rest because my provision is nothing compared to HIS.” God looks upon this agent and says…. “Now there is my child who trusts me! There is my child who knows me! There is a business I can bless and increase exponentially!”
My plan is to share with you all of the practical things I have done in my business to make this rest easier to obtain, but first I wanted to share with you the foundation of it all….FAITH! Don’t get me wrong… I struggle too and am often tempted to violate the boundaries I have set. But I am convinced of this: None of us will see a real estate business that is thriving and increasing exponentially without faith. The Israelites would not enter the Promised Land without faith, and neither will we! You will always look out and see “manna on the ground”. There will always be deals to negotiate. There will always be email to answer. There will always be calls to return. By taking this REST, you may see lost clients (with your natural eyes). You may call a lead back 3 hours later only to find out they already contacted another agent. But God will look at the one deal you sacrificed because you trusted Him and obeyed Him, and He will give you 20. That is the God we serve. He is generous and His desire is to bless those who trust Him and can be trusted. He watches continually for those Christian business owners who don’t just say they have faith…. but whose actions declare they have faith. Remember… “Faith without works is dead!” Even when “works” includes obediently resting. Thanks for reading, Mike.
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SCRIPTURES / QUOTES TO REFLECT ON
“You must Divert Daily, Withdraw Weekly, and Abort Annually” Dr. Larry Hill
1Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.
2It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
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