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I have had the privilege of being asked to be the “best man” at a few weddings in my lifetime. What a neat experience to watch two hearts joined as one in matrimony. During the ceremony in many weddings throughout the country, the best man is the holder of the woman’s wedding band, and at a certain time in the ceremony the pastor or officiant will ask the best man for the wedding band. The best man is prepared for this question and reaches into his pocket and carefully hands the wedding band over for the ring ceremony.

After the wedding vows are exchanged and the couple walks down the aisle in ceremonial bliss there is typically a wedding party with food, cake, celebration, and dancing. It is typically at these gatherings where the entire wedding party is introduced, the father and bride dance, the newly married couple have their first dance, and the best man presents a speech for the new couple and the wedding guests.

Many of you have probably witnessed the aforementioned actions on numerous occasions. Many of you can also probably remember some really sweet and touching speeches that were prepared by the best man with absolute precision; kind of like NASA prepares for a Shuttle Launch.

On one occasion in 2005, I was asked to be the best man at a wedding in Florida. This would be my friend’s second marriage, and I had known my friend with his first wife for many years prior to 2005. I unfortunately was not as knowledgeable about his new found flame. Regardless, I am use to being and speaking in front of people. I am use to performing in front of thousands of people. I am use to extemporaneously speaking…NO PROBLEM HERE!

For the first couple of minutes in my extemporaneous (And by the way, totally awesome) speech I had the attention of everyone in the room. I saw smiles. I saw the newly married couple glowing with excitement and looking into each other’s eyes as they listened to my very loving and thoughtful words. I saw “seasoned” couples in the room holding onto their spouse’s hand as they too remembered their wedding day and how much they love one another. It was Hollywood Movie Perfect!! And then….

The time came for the infamous “Toast” to the newly married couple. In my proud moment of what I considered one of my best extemporaneous times of my entire history as a human, I stated, “Let’s all raise our glasses to Eddie and Sharon”…. and in just about a half of a millisecond….I realized the extreme mistake I had just made. Another quarter of a millisecond later….I heard the new bride’s mother scream out loud as if she was in a horror movie. I saw the face of the new bride completely change as she began to cry uncontrollably. I saw the groom grab his new love and hold her tight to comfort her with everything he could. I saw other men in the room slowly lower their heads as if to say, “Dude, I am so glad that’s him up there and NOT ME!” I literally named the wrong wife. Yes sir, yes ma’am…I did that!

It was at that very moment that all I could say was, “I’m Sorry, I am So Very Sorry”. I was humiliated. I was disappointed. I was ashamed of myself. I had never been that embarrassed before in my entire life. I was wishing the floor would have opened up and swallowed me whole. All I could do was correct my mistake and swiftly leave the room. And once I was out of the room, all I could think about was why did I not write my speech down? Why didn’t I prepare for such an important occasion? Why did I depend upon my ability to say something extemporaneous on a topic that I rarely ever speak on or study. I literally “Why’d” myself insane.

Once again….I know you are asking…How in the world does this relate to real estate? How does this Blog help me to be a better broker or associated licensee? The answer is very obvious. This is a life lesson that taught me to ALWAYS Be Prepared and you will never have to worry about “Naming The Wrong Wife!” – So to speak…

If you are new or newer (I consider this to be less than 2 years) to the real estate industry, you should always be preparing yourself for those times where you have to speak in front of others about topics that for the “average Joe client / customer” are not extremely easy understand. If you have been in the industry for any length of time, you TOO should continually prepare for your next big moment. There is always something you can do to better your next presentation over your last.  

Take for example our SC Disclosure of Real Estate Brokerage Relationships Form. How prepared are you to present that form if you needed to do so in the next 60 seconds? Ask yourself, “When was the last time I read that form?” Do I know that form like I know the back of my hand? Can I explain it in a way that is meaningful to the average “Joe?” Am I confident in my ability to explain the differences between a customer and a client?

How about your listing presentation? How prepared are you to do a listing presentation if you were to be asked to present one tomorrow? Do you even know what the listing agreement says? Can you explain every facet or section of the contract with confidence or would you “wing it?” In other words, Fake it till you make it!

Same thing with the Exclusive Right To Buy Buyer Agency Agreement? Do you know every part of the contract to explain it properly to the buyer that you want to sign with you for the next 6 months or, are you just going to “Fly by the seat of your pants” and hope everything goes right during your presentation? Oh yeah, may I remind you that you are helping someone make one of if not THE largest purchase in their life?

What if you needed to have brain surgery? Would you want your “Professional” to just “wing it” and hope everything goes right? I think not!! YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL! Prepare as professionals prepare. Do some research on Tiger Woods – The Professional Golfer. Find out what he does every day so he can be prepared for his next big tournament. It will absolutely blow your mind that someone as good at the game as Tiger Woods still prepares everyday like he is preparing for his first tournament ever.  

If I would have written my speech as a best man and read it over and over, and then read it while presenting it to the newly married couple…I would have been saved from total humiliation and embarrassment. If I would have just prepared myself, I would NOT have named the wrong wife. 

Will you “name the wrong the wife” the next time you present a document or contract to your client? Trust me when I tell you…not being prepared will never work in your favor. Try today to be better than you were yesterday. And if you miss the mark, try again the next day….but never stop preparing. 

PS: The Names used in this BLOG were not the actual names of the married couple. That would be just plain dumb to use real names, BUT….the story is absolutely the truth.  ~ MLT

Matthew