Expectations vs. Reality Image

Expectations vs. Reality


By Kevin Clark, Chair, Real Estate Council of Alberta

As I write this article I am sitting in a service station waiting for the return of my car. Like most of the interactions of my life, I have come filled with EXPECTATIONS, fairly high expectations. My overriding uncertainty however is whether REALITY will meet my expectations.

Will the mechanic be licensed and qualified to service the work I need to have done?

Will they be experienced to deal with the necessary task?

Will they tell me if they are inexperienced or unfamiliar with the work, or will they ‘take a chance’ and ‘hope for the best’ because they need the work?

Will they be truthful to tell me exactly what I need to have repaired?

Will they explain to me what the costs will be?

Will I leave with a sense of well-being toward the ‘regulatory body of motor vehicle mechanics’ (whoever that is!), or will my reality be unfulfilled, disappointing and deepen my distrust of the whole industry?

My experience is not unlike that of Albertans who use the services of a real estate, mortgage, property management or appraisal professional. Each person approaches our industry with varying levels of expectation; usually resulting from prior experiences, beliefs, gossip, research, hopes and even dreams. The over-riding, often unspoken, lingering question is whether the REALITY will equal or perhaps even exceed the EXPECTATION?

This is where our job, as Council, as the regulator and governing body for the real estate industry, begins. Preparing licensees, regardless of their business model, to serve the people of Alberta, so that the REALITY of using a licensee equals or even exceeds the EXPECTATION!

In his book The Speed of Trust, Steven Covey Jr. explains that, the expectations of TRUST that we desire from those around us will be built upon two broad measures:

That of our perceived Character (our trustworthiness); plus our perceived Competence (ability to get the job done).

Our Character will be weighed on two scales:

That of INTEGRITY – our virtue, truthfulness, honesty; and that of our INTENT – our motivation, do you really have my best interest at heart?

By way of contrast, our Competence will be measured on two additional scales:

Our CAPABILITY to perform the job at hand; and the measure of the RESULTS that we have achieved in this field.

Our job as a regulator is to earnestly prepare licensees, regardless of their business model, to serve the people of Alberta; so that Albertans can put their TRUST in a licensee and that their REALITY in using a licensee will equal or even exceed their EXPECTATIONS!

ps: Oh joy, the service station exceeded my expectations: they did what they promised, put it in writing, came in under budget and ahead of schedule. I will refer them to my friends, use them again and speak well of them at every opportunity 🙂 – sounds like a good business plan.

What do you do with clients to help ensure that their reality with you meets or exceeds their expectations?