Inman Article – The One Secret to Success?

The One Secret to Success
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Our recent Inman article, The One Secret to Success, was the leading story Inman's first newsletter of the year.  As subject matter experts in building Luxury Brokerages and Teams, we are regularly asked to contribute to leading industry media outlets. 

Here is the text of the article.


The One Secret to Success? Grit

The successful in this business don’t make excuses. They don’t have an escape clause; they don’t have another fall back career. The pros aren’t trying real estate. They just do it.

I’d like to share Wayne’s story with you. I will start out by saying that this story is not allegorical. Wayne is not only a client of mine, but also a friend.

Within weeks of Wayne getting his real estate license, his wife moved out, took their daughter and re-located 400 miles away. His home burned to the ground and his car got stolen. Although this seems like a build-up to a joke with a great punchline, it’s not. I’m completely serious. Most would have given up and crawled into a hole and sunk into a deep depression. Ninety-nine percent of the population would have seen that as a sign from the heavens to give up. He didn’t.

Hearing the news, his broker allowed him to crash on his couch until he could find a new place to stay. Wayne asked for some life advice. His Broker gave him an old set of door-knocking scripts and pointed to the door. Wayne asked how he would get to the neighborhoods. His broker lent him an old bicycle and smiled.

Each day he rode that bike to a neighborhood close by where he would chain the bike to a stop sign. Without any other options, he would start door knocking looking for business. He learned from his mistakes with every conversation. Door after door, day after day, Wayne would knock.

He didn’t necessarily like it, nor was he especially good at it in the beginning. But he was determined and had grit. He also didn’t have another viable choice. He had to make it. Within a few days, he started to lose weight, pick up business and gain confidence.

What is important is you (and each of the agents on your team) is the need to have something to fall back on to generate new business.

In working with a small army of mega-producing teams and agents over the years, I have found that no one person is good at everything. Each successful person has developed a mastery of one, possibly two, prospecting methods. Wayne’s is door knocking. He now works in one of the highest cost zip codes in the nation. Surrounded by multi-million dollar estates he still will hit the streets when business slows down.

He has earned the ability to rest on his sphere of influence, marketing, repeat and referral business, but he looks at his door knocking as a volume knob. When business is good, he can cut back. When business or the market drops, he can turn it up. He can tell you how many doors he has to knock to get a closing. Wayne can do it in his sleep. He is truly the best door-knocker I have ever seen.

Maybe your thing isn’t door knocking – that’s ok. It doesn’t need to be. For most of us, it isn’t. There are a number of methods of prospecting that work. In fact, we have found it is the most efficient and effective way to prospect around your personality style. Feel free to shoot me a message if you want a quick and easy way to find your, or your individual team member’s style. I’ll be happy to share the test and which methods of prospecting best fit each personality.

What is important is you (and each of the agents on your team) is the need to have something to fall back on to generate new business. Something you can dial up or down depending on your business activity; something that you can use as a regulator or volume knob. I would encourage you to pursue something that fits your personality and get good at it – no, get great at it. Then, remember each of those on your team are not you. They will have different lanes. Help them find theirs and cheer them on.

This year the strong will not only survive but also thrive. The pros do what it takes – that’s why they control 90% of the market activity. They don’t have an escape clause; they don’t have another choice of career. The pros aren’t trying real estate. They just do.

Chris Pollinger, partner, Berman & Pollinger, LLC is a senior sales and operational executive skilled in strategic leadership, culture building, business planning, sales, marketing, acquisitions, operations, recruiting, and team building. 

Would you like to explore how we can add some of our magic to your organization or project?  Contact us today for a complementary consultation.