Darryl Davis salutes your resilience as a real estate professional, being able to make it through the lean years and come out on the other side. He also recognizes that when one problem in real estate is solved–such as a foreclosure crisis–it’s usually followed by other difficulties, such as the inventory shortages that real estate professionals are having to deal with across the country.
Credit: Steven Depolo
“You thought you had to smile when the market was bad?” Davis says. “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
But Davis isn’t all about doom and gloom. The speaker, trainer, standup comic, and real estate professional is on a mission to get real estate professionals smiling more.
Davis expects his new book—How to Design a Life Worth Smiling About—to be available by the time NAR’s annual conference rolls around in November. Until then, he’s determined to get the word out about why people should start smiling more. I saw him in action at NAR’s Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington last week, and I have to admit that I’ve been smiling more ever since.
He cites studies (like this one as published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology) that show that smiling actually makes you feel better. Even when you’re having a tough time, a smile can fool your brain into mitigating your negative attitude with natural chemical stimulants such as serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin, and dopamine, Davis says.
“The smile is a trigger, like a light switch, to tell the brain to produce these chemicals,” Davis says. “It tells the brain, ‘Hey, hello! I’m happy down here; give me some of those chemicals.’”
Davis also mentioned studies that found smiling people are perceived as more attractive and tend to have longer life expectancy. But the benefits go well beyond one’s own well-being. Davis says smilers can spread the love like a contagion.
“It gives people permission to smile,” he said. “Our smiling is our tail wagging… it makes you more approachable.”
Davis’ 40-minute talk was part of the Leadership Express sessions at Midyear, created especially for people in leadership positions, including volunteer leaders, association executives, staff and membership. Davis’ message wasn’t exclusively for leadership, but he did acknowledge that wearing a smile as a leader can make an especially important difference in the work environment.
“You can’t lead people if you look like you were weaned on a pickle,” Davis joked. “Smiling is so important to the success of a human being that really it is a leadership tool.”
But what if you just can’t crack a grin? While Davis strongly believes you should “smile, especially when you don’t feel like it,” he’s got a trick up his sleeve for the forever frowny: Bite a pencil. Using those same muscles might just fool your brain into thinking you’re smiling.
Then again, you might look sillier with a pencil in your mouth all day that you would if you just smiled. But hey, whatever makes you happy, right?