The following is a chapter from the book REAL: A Path to Passion, Purpose and Profits in Real Estate. The author of this chapter is Marc Davison, partner at 1000watt. @1000wattmarc
I ripped open the nondescript package jutting out of my mailbox, revealing Gary Keller’s book Shift, neatly tucked inside. A note was attached not dissimilar to past notes pasted to the books he’s sent me over the years.
I’ve always admired Gary. He’s a self-made guy. No one handed him anything.
I placed Gary’s book on the chair in the den. I’d find the right spot for it in the bookcase later on. It would reside unopened among the other business books I’ve been sent over the years and never read. I’ve skimmed a few. Blue Ocean Strategy. Good to Great. Delivering Happiness. Perhaps a few more, but I don’t read them.
I guess I’m wired differently than most. I don’t measure success with the typical yardstick. Riches. Fame. Fortune. The results of success that often come at a cost that carry too much weight on the P&L of life.
I would never devalue the motivational or inspirational factor these books offer. But often, missing from their narratives, are the lesser known truths about success.
I left the book unattended.
Days later, Gary popped up inside my inbox. Did I get the book? What do I think? I glided into the den to fetch it, scan it and respond to Gary with a perspicacious response. The book was gone. My wife probably shelved it, I thought. Given the volume of books we possess covering two full walls, I decided to move on and let Gary know I’ll dig into it soon. A commitment I planned to keep.
Later that night, at dinner, my eldest son asked me how I knew Gary Keller. “So you saw the book he sent?” I asked. He did and subsequently read the entire thing cover to cover in two days. After he promptly decided he was going to become a real estate agent.
Ryan graduated high school a year later. He moved to Portland in the fall to attend real estate school. He received his license in Oregon as a broker then immediately moved back home to California where he passed that state’s real estate exam. His next step, move to Orange County. Join a brokerage. Sell expensive homes. And get rich.
Just like Gary. Books motivate. Shift surely lit his fire. Filling his head with big dreams. When I asked him why he wanted to sell homes, he said, “So I can make bank.”
Gary once told me that there’s nothing wrong with making a lot of money so long as you do good things with it. Sadly, that advice was absent from the book. But even sadder was the absence of advice regarding the good things a person must do along the road to riches. Things that preserve a person’s integrity in the pursuit of making money. The things that ensure a lifetime of success.
What I shared with my son that day was something you don’t often read in best-selling business books or even think to seek out when creating your business plan.
This is what I offered:
True success is defined by how victorious you are in the battle over your inherent beliefs, morals, and values. The less of these you compromise for money, the more successful you’ll be.
Success is ending every day knowing that you treated someone better than you expect to be treated yourself.
Success is recognizing mistakes, owning up to them, and taking every step to ensure they never happen again. Success comes at the conclusion of a task done flawlessly.
Success occurs when you confront a challenge rather than cower from it. You’ll understand the value of this as you conquer difficulties and emerge better, stronger and smarter as a result. You witness success when people find more value in you as result.
Success is managing your disappointment with class.
Success is never selling a service you aren’t 100% specialized at and referring a client to someone who is. True success is doing this and not taking a dime for it. In fact, that’s something people describe as honorable.
Success is making commitments to people and sticking to them, come hell or high water.
Success is never compromising your ideals. Ever. Success occurs when you relentlessly stick to this and become known for it. True success comes from reaching a point where you no longer have to sell yourself because so many others vouch for you. Willingly. And intensely.
Success comes from sharing credit with your team rather than taking all the glory.
Success is all about recognizing your weaknesses and partnering with entities that possess strength in those areas. True success is deciding that the cost to do this is a prudent investment into your clients’ well being. And your reputation.
Adhere to these things, and you will truly know success.
So, I made my son a deal. Go to SoCal. Do not sell a single house for one year. We’d support him along the way. Pay his rent. His gas. Insurance. Food. In return, he should tag along with pros. Do their open houses. Door knock. Watch how contracts are done. Over and over. He should continue his education. Creative writing. Marketing. Business law. Communications. Economics - the things required to be a responsible agent.
Get good. Then get great. Because real estate isn’t a game. You represent real estate affairs. Shelter. The most important possession a person will buy in their lifetime. Don’t just say those words. Feel them. Live them. Honor them.
Shortcuts, inferior tools, cutting corners not investing in yourself and your clients may be a standard badge of honor in real estate. Don’t get sucked into that belief system. No one wins in the end.
This holds true for every act, action, process or decision you decide to take on in your career.
These things aren’t taught in real estate school. They aren’t shared in your weekly broker meetings. Or tweeted through social circles. But they should be. Agents would be better served by it. As would the industry. And most importantly, those whom the industry serves. The customer.
About The Book
Most real estate books fall short. REAL goes beyond mere tactics and strategies to focus on the core of what really matters - You. In addition to the authors' lessons learned, this book also includes contributions from some of real estate's most influential thought leaders: Marc Davison, Spencer Rascoff, Sherry Chris, Krisstina Wise, and many more.
If building a real estate business that lasts is important to you, this is a book you surely won't want to miss!