I know… You might have read the words “Purposeful Authenticity” and paused for a moment. Thinking what’s with the “purposeful” part? Isn’t authenticity just being real and genuine? The short answer is yes and no. Just Google authenticity and watch the head begin to spin with definitions and interpretations of the word. You likely even have your own.
Social Psychologist Dr. Timothy Wilson says “If you want to know who you are or what you feel or what you’re like, pay attention to what you actually do and what other people think about you.”The best definition I’ve found for authenticity: It’s the degree to which an individual’s actions are congruent with their beliefs and desires.
I want to be very clear that nothing about Purposeful Authenticity has anything to do with creating or putting on the “Authentic Mask.” That’s the very reason the word authentic has become a cliche, lingering in the fake it ‘til you make it cloud. Purposeful Authenticity however, is a discovery process of really digging into why you chose the career of real estate. And ultimately tapping more into that purpose to bring you closer to your goal of reaching eXp icon status.
What’s your Why?
Purposeful Authenticity is about knowing your Why, or your purpose, the reason you get up in the morning. And no matter what you say it’s likely not money, or at the very least should not be. That’s a by-product of providing your service. If you are always chasing money you will never be satisfied.
If you don’t know your Why, your purpose, or how to define your most Authentic version of yourself start by asking yourself these questions:
- What would you do that you enjoy so much that even if you won’t get paid for it, you’d probably do it anyway?
- Do you have any gifts or skills that you can share with theworld?
- When in your life did you feel most creative and excited?
- What comes naturally to you? Is there an aspect that you just enjoy learning about, is the strength you know you have over your competitors because you just enjoy doing it?
- What have you accomplished in the past that wassuccessful?
For me, I’ve been able to boil it down to one phrase “It’s All About You”. For others, I’ve coached or mentored it’s boiled down to a few sentences that encapsulate their Why or purpose. The key is that you are crystal clear.
So for me, it’s all about serving others: my family, my clients, and my team. I love the learning and educating portion of this career. I love leaving people in a better spot than before they knew me. So everything I do from marketing, to answering the phone, or training agents on how to reach their goals… all of these things, serve my Why, my Purpose. Sure a lot of my success and drive comes from being a hard worker and continuously educating myself, but the reason I do those things is to serve my Why. Every decision comes from a core belief that ultimately allows me to have Purposeful Authenticity towards reaching my goal of achieving eXp icon award status.
The Science of 1st Impressions
People make judgments about you, fair or not, based on your actions. So How you present yourself matters! In developing my workshop Taking Back the Power of the Authenticity Cliche the most profound supporting proof I discovered was the overwhelming science surrounding 1st impressions.
Our brains are pretty dang impressive though potentially misleading. Not to get too far in the weeds here, but basically 1st impressions are formed almost instantly, outside of our conscious control. Once that impression is formed, due to the concept of The Halo and Horn effect, they tend to stick. Basically, the concept states that once a person forms an opinion it becomes harder to change. Halo being good, and Horn being bad.
But here’s the coolest part, once you have a positive reaction or impression you’ll find that due to the Halo effect, their viewpoint of you tends to maintain throughout all future interactions. People tend to give the benefit of the doubt or trust you more.
Think about that. There's consistent science & studies that show this happens in seconds, maybe milliseconds. So basically by the time they swipe your ad, hear you answer the phone for the first time, finish shaking your hand at a walkthrough, or utter a word after walking onto a stage they have a sense of whether they trust you or not. Or even worse: you are just forgettable.
The Science of People took a group of participants and had them rate TED talks on credibility, charisma, and intelligence after watching 7-second clips. Yep, you read that right 7 seconds, enough time to smile and wave, maybe a hello. They took those 7-second ratings and ranked them according to the criteria, and interestingly what they found was an exact correlation with the most popular videos in terms of views. They even went a step further and had a group do this on mute and found the same results!
Dr. Nalini Ambadi, an American social psychologist and founder of SPARQ (Center for Social Psychological Answers to Real-World Questions) performed a similar type of study but she did it with students. She had a group of students watch a 10-second videotape of a professor with the sound off and had students rate the professor on effectiveness, and found the students had no difficulty rating the professor. She then recreated at 5 and 2 seconds and recorded those results. Finally, she compared that to evaluations of the same professor after a full semester of live classes and found that the results were pretty much the same.
So 1st impressions matter! That’s where the Purposeful Authenticity comes in. When you know your Why, When everything you do, every interaction, every social media post, every answer of the phone is driven by a core purpose, and people are seeing your truest authentic version. That’s how people become drawn to you. They feel your intent.
The Why exists in the part of the brain that controls decision making but not language. We buy or work with people that make us feel a certain way. Often we don’t know why, we just know. You choose a cereal, enjoy a commercial or show, pick a car based on feelings right? You can try to complicate it but you have a plethora of options and you chose that Tony the Tiger or SUV because it made you feel a certain way. Subconscious stories in your head provided the filter and you made the decision and felt good about it. Then you rationalized it but the decision or at least the predisposition to lean that way was already made without your conscious input.
Think about these icon status two scenarios:
And keep in mind the same person is answering this question in two different ways. But their intent core values & beliefs are exactly the same, even for other eXp agents. This person’s Why is they started selling real estate to serve others and use their knowledge to help 1st time home buyers specifically navigate the complicated process.
Scenario 1: someone asks “What do you do?”
answer 1 - “I sell real estate.”
answer 2 - “I get the opportunity to educate people about real estate agents and help them make one of the biggest purchases in their lives with minimal stress through selling real estate.
Which one is more impactful? Does one of these tell me more about the person and their intent? This is Purposeful Authenticity.
Scenario 2: you sell a home to a lovely young couple buying their 1st home. You had a great relationship throughout the process.
answer 1 - You are excited to have a sale and post a photo of the house with a just sold tag across the front of the picture. Sharing with the world the caption “Another one sold!” You are thinking I’m going to post this and show everyone what I’m doing.
answer 2 - You post that same sale and photo but you include a detailed post tagging the new owners that is all about them and their excitement. Maybe even a quip about changes they discussed making or a new child’s bedroom.
Do you see the difference? This is Purposeful Authenticity for icon candidates. In both of these scenarios, the person had the exact same intent but the delivery was different. In the 2nd version, their actions & delivery were led by their Why, their Purpose.
eXp Icon Status
When you define your Why and give power to it through everything else you do as a real estate agent, the passion for your career grows exponentially, and results like reaching eXp icon status become possible, or even routine. And when coupled with strong first impressions that last by leading with your Why, or purpose… The inevitable problems that will occur are viewed through a different lens. The daily challenges are minimized, and your ability to inspire others multiplies immeasurably because people who believe what you believe want to be a part of it.
With Purposeful Authenticity, you direct your decisions and goals through the Why filter. Instead of governing your behavior.
Your’ Why or purpose offers you direction, a compass. Forever pointing not towards a desired outcome, from the prism of does this serve my Why. When it does it’s pretty amazing how much more fulfilling your career is.
Meet Ryan Keeton
Ryan is a 4X time icon, 2X realtor of the year, icon award winner, certified mentor, certified exp instructor, & SUCCESS coach from Ashland, KY. He leads a small team in the KY, WV, OH tristate area. Ryan personally has averaged over 70 plus transactions a year since entering real estate in 2017.
Ryan offers a workshop called Taking back the power of the authenticity cliche that focuses on helping agents discover their Why or purpose in a practical and thorough process that he believes is the reason he consistently achieves exp icon agent status each year.