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I believe deeply in taking the high road; it is rarely good to lose your cool, especially in business. It’s part of what we call emotional intelligence. We all know people who can’t walk away from a fight. They take everything personally and can’t deal with conflict without getting emotional. Most of us try and avoid people like that. Then there are those who always hold it together, even when everyone else around them is in a state of panic. They can think clearly when everyone else is falling apart. We admire people like that. We call them distinguished and polished. We promote them at work because we’ve been taught that leaders are always cool under pressure.
However, it’s not always best to walk away from a fight. There are some things worth fighting for, and for the right reasons, it’s also ok to lose your cool once in a while. You have to choose your battles wisely, but if our leaders are never willing to fight for us or if we have never seen them throw a punch (metaphorically), then over time we lose respect for them as well. I think I have a pretty high threshold before I am willing to stoop to the level of a street fight, but if I see anyone abusing my family or my co-workers, there is a different side of me that comes out. I think many of us are that way, but not everyone realizes that it’s also important to do it professionally.
The real estate industry as we know it is in the middle of an existential threat. Several of us have read about the verdict in a lawsuit in Missouri that many believe could upend the way residential real estate is bought and sold in America. NAHREP is hosting a virtual town hall meeting with NAR on Monday, November 13th to discuss the details of the verdict. I won’t get into it now, but I can say that the outcome of the verdict would disproportionately impact Latinos and other minority homebuyers. What is disappointing is that some of the largest consumer groups are on the wrong side of this argument and are advocating for an outcome that might help some consumers, but would definitely hurt many first-time buyers and buyers that are the least affluent.
Historically, NAHREP has been friendly with consumer groups. We have not always agreed on everything, but I respect them and have worked hard to have a good relationship with them. But that may change. My job as the CEO of NAHREP is to create an environment where our members and their clients have the best chance to succeed. Our mission is to advance sustainable Hispanic homeownership, and if I see a major threat to those objectives, it’s time for me to take the gloves off and fight with impunity, no matter who I offend along the way, even my friends.
If you want to listen to the town hall meeting on Monday, you can register here. Be a statesperson at work, but when threatened, fight back and fight hard. People on both sides will respect you for it.