When asked to describe how this business works, I often compare matchmaking to the similar ‘listing’ industries of Real Estate and Recruitment. Since Real Estate is something most of us have some experience with, I find it is the most useful to illustrate how we work and the ways that our clients can help us help them.
When you engage a Real Estate Agent, you want them to get you the best price and generally in the shortest possible time. Most people would know though, that “best price” and “shortest time” are not always compatible. The highest likelihood is that the Agent will not have the perfect buyer for you sitting on their books waiting. Those people already waiting are there either because they are waiting for the “desperate” buyer who needs to sell immediately at any price or they have looked at every property that comes in any can’t find anything they like, usually because their expectations don’t fit their budget. In most cases the Agent will use their wide network and extensive marketing to attract a constant stream of people who are looking to buy and one of those will be right for you.
Likewise, most people come to a matchmaker because they want them to find the best possible person in the shortest space of time. And again, “best possible partner” and “shortest possible time” are not always compatible. And whilst desperation may be great for the savvy real estate investor, it’s probably not something most people are looking for in a partner. So remember, when using a matchmaker, that the ideal person for you may well not be on our books right now. In fact it’s quite likely that we will need to use our extensive network and marketing to attract a steady stream of singles and one of those will be right for you. Just as your Real Estate Agent will advise you not to expect to get a satisfactory offer from the first person that looks, as Matchmakers, we want our clients to understand that they will most likely have to meet a number of people before they meet someone they wish to see regularly.
When you list your property with an agent, they will ask you for your ideal price, as well as your rock bottom price. A matchmaker will ask you to describe your ideal partner and then ask you to look at what areas you are prepared to compromise. At this point a good Real Estate Agent and a good Matchmaker will let you know if, in their professional opinion, you are being unrealistic. A real estate agent knows the property market, and a matchmaker knows the dating ‘market’. It’s a real shame that too many people price themselves out of the market by having a long list of demands or by having expectations that are unrealistic. Of course everyone wants the best partner they can find, but it pays to have a good look at yourself and ask “What do I have to offer?” and “Would someone like this, be looking for someone like me?” Most people spend an awful lot of time worrying about what they want to get out of a relationship and very little time thinking about what they are bringing to it.
Then of course we need to look at the important issue of aesthetics. Real Estate Agents know that sellers who fail to properly present their properties are likely to take a lot longer to sell and are going to have a much tougher time getting a good price. In matters of love and attraction, we all need to have a good long look in the mirror and see whether what is reflected there is likely to attract the type of person we are hoping for. For example, if you are 20kgs over weight but don’t want to accept a partner who is overweight, then you probably are being unrealistic. In 24 years I have never had anyone tell me they look old for their age. Every single person thinks they look younger than they do. I’ll let you in on a secret. – just because your friends tell you something, doesn’t mean its completely true. Friends are nice to friends, that’s why they are their friends! In the same way people never see their houses as others see them, they rarely see themselves as others do. So have an objective look at yourself. Could you use a new haircut? Could your wardrobe use a bit of a refresh? When you are going to a meeting, have you spent the time to make yourself look as good as possible, rather than just turning up in whatever you put on that morning?
The final and most important point is DON’T SABOTAGE THE DEAL.
There is a good reason Real Estate Agents prefer to show a property when the seller is not home. They don’t want the seller to talk themselves out of a deal. In the matchmaking business however, you will need to be a lot more involved! This is when you need to listen to our advice. Estate Agents know that it’s pretty hard to sell a property without getting the person to look at it. They know that when a person sees a property and falls IN LOVE it will usually overcome obstacles like too high a price, not the right suburb, etc. Often what brings us happiness is not exactly what we thought.
When it comes to finding love and happiness, there is ZERO chance of finding that if you don’t meet the person in the first place. People who get on the phone and give the person a virtual job interview before dismissing them as unsuitable for whatever reason are going to fight an uphill battle to find a partner. Ditto people who get on the phone and tell the person their life history and everything that is wrong with them.
We all have positives and negatives, no one is perfect. A natural part of the courting process is getting to know a person and deciding whether the good outweighs the not so good. There is no need to lay everything on the table on the first phone call or meeting. Don’t proceed to set out your list of demands or expectations. Just relax, go and meet and see if you click. The right person may not end up being everything you thought you wanted, yet still be far more than you dreamed.