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Self Regulation

article by Leonard Steinberg

I know I’m dreaming, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone could play well together in the sandbox purely by self regulating their own behaviors and actions, or inaction? A recent article spoke about a Mom describing that the greatest skill she instilled into her kids was to teach them the ability to regulate their OWN behaviors. We could learn from this as a profession…..

The article speaks to the exceptional powers we have individually when we don’t lie, don’t defraud, don’t cheat, don’t steal, don’t harm or murder, exercise patience and kindness and respect for others, pause and walk away from confrontation when angry, limit our social media use for the sake of good, don’t discriminate, debate differences factually, etc. Yes, these self-control aspects to life can be taught, the earlier in life the better. Great education is not simply learning about mathematics, art, languages and science. We should educate – and re-educate  – ourselves to the greater lessons of life daily. And like the law, education that is not practiced and enforced – preferably self-enforced – is useless. When we KNOW what is the right thing to do and make a choice not to do that, we are abandoning knowledge.

When you don’t self-regulate, governments often step in. This is when most of the world’s ill’s become costly and often fuel even worse behaviors. In our profession, many bad behaviors – discrimination, messaging ‘easy money’ to the planet, lying, cheating, etc – usually lead to some government agency stepping in with all sorts of complex, expensive, time-consuming regulation as a result of the bad behaviors of a small minority. Yes, we all have to pay a steep price for this.

So when someone shoots someone else, steals, de-frauds, etc, the rest of us have to pay more for security, policing, the legal system, courts, jails, insurance, etc. LOTS more.When someone cheats on their taxes, an insurance claim, etc, the rest of us have to pay more in taxes and premiums to cover for that.When banks make loans to unqualified borrowers, or charge some exorbitant rates for debt, the rest of us have to pay more for that too.When a company tags on a wee bit extra in its pricing and can get away with it, the rest of us have to deal with higher inflation.

So if you want less regulation in our profession, simply do the right thing. We KNOW what that is almost all of the time. Those who abuse the system WILL cost you ultimately, so call them out now – as painful as that can be – to avoid the future pain that is inevitable.

Now don’t get me started on the reckless inefficiencies and self-serving aspects of government and the politicians who drive this (knowing they will collect a pension for life, regardless). Most have not even considered the CONCEPT of self-regulating, and why should they when the rest of us have to pick up their tab?
Have a great day!


The vast majority of us – myself included – do not sell or market ultra-luxury properties priced at $10 million or more daily. Living in an expensive city like New York, I’ve indeed been fortunate to sell several of these ultra-homes over my 25-year career, but the vast majority of homes I sell are priced below $10 million. 😪 COMPASS sells luxury and ultra-luxury…..lots of it. By many estimates, COMPASS is the fastest established globally recognized luxury real estate brand in history…..about 8 years!

While you may dismiss this segment as something completely removed from your focus, don’t under-estimate its power. Ultra-luxury has spread its wings outside the obvious traditional areas New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami/Palm Beach, Aspen, Greenwich, etc. Ultra Luxury is seen in dozens of other parts and growing. Here are some thoughts on this:1.  Big fortunes are made throughout the year amongst people that can afford to buy these homes. Inheritance, lottery winners, etc are a few less obvious examples. Wealth is spreading around the US too.2.  While your area may not even have $10 million homes, some who live in lower priced areas have exceptional wealth and buy in OTHER areas around the country. The association with COMPASS that sells these properties around the US via its superb group of agents may allow you to connect a client – or friend/family member/associate – to an agent.3.  Everyone loves to dream. Many love reading about what the ultra-rich are doing, especially around their homes.4.  A luxury brand always showcases the best of the best to fuel the brand for all the other products it sells at much lower prices. The vast majority of people who shop Hermes are not buying that $100,000 Alligator handbag! Many shop at Hermes BECAUSE they know it also sells that crazy-expensive bag…..5.  Many agents wish to elevate their price-point. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to become well versed on the subject and share your knowledge with your sphere.6.  Don’t ever think selling an ultra luxury property is quick and/or easy. Most times they require extensive work, attention, time, care, discussion, communication, thought, patience….and money. This clientele is (rightfully) extremely demanding. Sometimes an ultra-luxe property can take years to sell. Buyers of these homes are often dismayed at how much less they get for their money than they had imagined. The volume of sales at this level is relatively tiny with a very, very small – equally demanding – audience.

Being aware of this market makes for interesting dialogue at the very least. Speaking intelligently about this arena can fuel others’ perception of you. Your association may be invaluable. Knowledge is power. Sharing knowledge is powerful marketing.