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The Pring Perspective

May 2014 Out of the mouths of babes

Stephen PringThat’s the saying, isn’t it? One of my daughters said something to me the other day that really hit the mark. She may be 21 this year but your daughter is always your babe isn’t she!

She is in her final year at University and we were chatting about what she wants to do in the future. She’s finishing a Sports Science & Biomechanics degree and is thinking along the lines of teaching or a sports rehabilitation / sports centre based career. We talked about her repaying her student loan when her salary reaches a certain level eventually and here’s what she said:

“But I’ll never reach that level dad. In order to get that sort of salary, I’d have to be a Head of Department or a Manager and then you stop doing what you love doing”.

Isn’t that an interesting observation!

In so many jobs / careers, you start out by doing the one thing that you love doing and, as time goes by and “promotions” come along, you find yourself doing less and less of the thing that you had a passion for in the first place. Gradually it becomes all about forms, targets and managing others maybe, and less about being “hands on”.

I have been incredibly fortunate throughout most of my career to have had Managing Directors who understood the value of leaving their staff to concentrate on what they are good at - without any distractions. The only time that wasn’t the case was in the last two years before I strode out on my own with Pring & Co, when the beloved firm I worked for at that time was taken over by a much larger corporate estate agency company. I could relate exactly to the observation that my daughter made.

Now that I am master of my own fate, I still love doing exactly what I do and I consider myself amazingly lucky that I get paid for doing it. (I only get paid on results though of course and on a no sale-no fee basis!) I love meeting people, finding out what they are trying to achieve by moving house and then doing my best to make that happen. I love valuing people’s properties, putting two and two together, finding the potentially perfect new owner and showing them round. I love negotiating a deal where hopefully everyone feels they have gained (though NEVER forgetting that I work for the seller) and then liaising with solicitors, surveyors, estate agents and so on to make the buyer’s and seller’s dream become a reality. It is so satisfying!

And at the end of the day, in every case that I can ever remember, the seller is pleased to pay me! In 32 years of selling more than 4,000 houses, I can’t recall a single time when someone said that they didn’t want to pay me and I’ve had to chase a bad debt - how wonderful is that!

I have always told my children that the most important thing in life is to enjoy what you are doing and think of others how you want others to think of you. “Life is not about the money, it’s about the people” I always say. “If you enjoy what you do and throw yourself into it wholeheartedly, you won’t need to worry about finding money…the money will find you”.

So what does the future hold for my daughter? Will she ever repay her student loan?

If she holds true to doing what she loves doing, I bet she will – the money will find her!

And what about me? Will I continue to love selling houses and making people’s dreams come true?

You’d better believe it!