Asking for Help or Asking for Trouble

Asking for Help or Asking for Trouble

-No shortcuts in finding real help-

Relocation creates such a time crunch. Most times, with so much to process and manage, many of us go the way of least resistance counting on others’ “trust us” to abdicate big decisions. Homes, moving our things, transferring documents, shutting down utilities, starting up utilities and what about the finances?

Many things we can do ourselves, but there are so many tasks we must rely on others for.

We are most likely:

          -Without housing market access

          -Not practiced with local real estate contracts

          -Not able to lift a refrigerator

          -Lacking time to take care of the lawn

          -Worried about transferring educational and medical records

          -Without the tools and supplies to build crates for the TVs

          -And so on.

As we relocate all of our things and our whole lives in two or less months, we have much to do, and not enough time, resources or expertise to do it all well, if at all.

We must hire help. Three or four of the tasks are obvious but we need to buy as much time as we can to have the time to do those tasks that only we can do.

The only help to hire is valuable help, which is help that takes time and processes off your plate and do not add to it. They do their work inline with what you expect. This type of valuable help even makes decisions that are aligned with your values when you are not present.

When we short cut the process, we invite UNHELPFUL HELP.

In Thursday’s podcast I talk about a $1500 lesson I learn when I didn’t take time to define this for myself. I thought I had, but I did not. And this valuable lesson cost me almost 3 months and $1500.

When we assume we know rather than knowing, take a casual referral and not checking, there are significant costs to shortcutting the process.

When we short cut the process, we invite UNHELPFUL HELP.

Unhelpful Help

By choosing unhelpful help, I paid $1500 for a lesson about choosing unwisely. Many times when shortcutting the process, we choose undo and redo someone else’s work. That’s like a single process taking 3 times as long as it should. Which is how much time I put in to resolve that $1500 choice…three times.

We have all experienced this and it is one of the reasons many of us say,

Where did we go wrong?

In some ways, it is productive. Because of the storm we will most likely be investing in additional insulation, especially around the pipes, and perhaps a whole house back up generator. Adding not only to the house’s integrity but to our peace of mind, which is one of the worst things I gave up during the week.

Losing our peace of mind and diving into asking questions like where did we go wrong, sends many of us in to distracted and unproductive place. A place full of should.

For me the shoulds included, I should have put foam insulation in this house already. I should have had the special plug I needed for the generator installed last summer. I should have gotten milk.

“I’d just rather do it myself”

When we sincerely look at our options and are do not see competence or even ability, we know not to choose it.

But when we are relocating and under a time crunch, we gamble with hiring unvetted help and HOPE it will all work out.

Hope is NOT a Strategy

Rather cliché, but at the same time, many of us lean into hope as if it will change an outcome…as if it will magically change a poor relocation partner into one who is sincerely concerned about us and our things.

So, if the phrase “I hope this works”, especially before the contract is signed, perhaps further consideration and research should take place.

My father, consummate salesperson told me from a young age, “Their ability to communicate and serve your needs will never get any better than during the sales process before the contract is signed.” I remember that every time I have trouble getting in touch with my salesperson or my pre-sale coordinator. “This is as good as it gets? We haven’t even started.”

And I remember to ask myself, do I want this person/company for the next 3 months?

Usually, I am tired of the process and do not want to start again, but when I remember – they will not get any better than they are now – it motivates me to do just that…start again.

Know What You Want BEFORE Interviews Begin

When we use hope as a strategy, we do not really evaluate capabilities, character or judge how important we seem to them. We may interview a few Realtors, but we count on them to give us the criteria for what makes a good real estate agent.

To truly evaluate companies and individuals,
we must begin with the end in mind, like Steven Covey said.

We may not know their business or be experts in their specialty, but we do know what make a good partner for us. That is what we must define ahead of time. Defining our want list for each partner helps us to evaluate them for what is important to us individually.

What is important to you?



          -Demonstration of client value






          -Independent but aligned decision making


From here define the experience desired and end result for each partner. Details and perhaps a bit a narrative or story will help drive the point home during the interview process.

House Keeper Example:
What I am looking for is to have the house deep cleaned meaning no dust or dirt anywhere: top closet shelves, vents, or in back corner of the refrigerator. Every pillow needs to be fluffed and in place both in the living room and on ever bed. To get the highest price for this home, nothing can be out of place or seem dirty. I need to know what you currently observe and the process you would use to get this home in top and cleaned shape and keep it there for the next 4 weeks.

When we provide exact directions and a vision for what we want the end result to be, we help our partners to become part of and facilitate our vision whether we are there or not.

Once these are in place the interview process can begin.

Avoiding Most Fails

Hiring help that is actually helpful begins with a clearly defined want and end result.

The “I will know it when I see it” does not work well here. Even those of us who have the uncanny ability to judge character set ourselves up for failure when we do not take the time to truly define what we want ahead of interviewing.

This is when everything becomes figure-out-able.

Communicating how we want the process to go and the final end results, helps our partners self select and ultimately be more successful. Though they will have a definition of success for themselves, it is important to align your definition with theirs. Perhaps a bit of negotiation and notes to the contract will be involved.

When aligned though, even with a mis-step or mistake, there is room to address and rectify issues because both parties have agreed to the aspects that matter most. This is when everything becomes figure-out-able.

This is when the hired becomes the most valuable.

Fails are likely to happen with so many hands in this relocation cookie jar, but when you have a helpful and valuable partner, the solution crafted with them is part of why they were hired in the first place.

In this then you find a partner invested in your relocation success.

Want to relocate well?
I can help.

Download  “a Sense of Home” guide

The journey is easy.  Begin here.

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