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Pete Flint, Founder of Trulia: Career Advice For My Daughter

Pete Flint, CEO, TruliaThe following is a chapter from the book REAL: A Path to Passion, Purpose and Profits in Real Estate. The author of this chapter is Pete Flint, founder of Trulia. @peteflint

My mother was a high school teacher and my father was an academic. Teaching and mentorship were lifelong passions for both and some of my favorite memories are those times when my parents would share things they had learned throughout their lives and careers.

Over the years, I’ve come to understand and appreciate just how valuable and impactful those lessons were, and as a new father myself, I plan to share much of the same wisdom with my own daughter. I hope to teach her how to change a tire and appreciate a good book, and foresee giving her sage advice on raising a family. I also hope to impart some professional wisdoms.

Here are some lessons I might share for the latter.

Dream big, but start small

When you embark on your career, you’ll have high expectations and big dreams. This is a good thing. You’ll frequently be surprised what you can achieve combining ambition and youth. A little naivete is most often an ally.

You’re sure to face unforeseen challenges. At times, it may feel like there are limitless things that need your attention. However, don’t let taxing experiences diminish your ambition or stifle your dreams. Every success, no matter how small, counts toward a larger goal.

Mind you, you won’t be able to accomplish all your goals in one fell swoop. It’s going to take time. Use each and every day to make consistent progress toward your goals.

Listen first

It’s amazing how much you can learn about a person if you simply give him a chance to speak. Whether you’re in real estate, medicine, or even engineering, lending someone your rapt attention will always serve you well. Indeed, true leadership is not about speaking first or speaking the loudest. An effective leader gathers information to make informed decisions. 

For example, when building Trulia, my team and I made a special effort to reach out to our industry and understand its principal challenges. We had an idea of what we wanted to build, but listening first helped us immeasurably. To this day, we solicit feedback to help fashion our strategy.

Find a mentor

Mentors are the unsung heroes of the business world, fundamental to any successful career. In my experience, behind every good business deal is counsel from a mentor. Many people in your life can (and will) offer advice. However, truly great advice comes from an advisor who knows your strengths and weaknesses.

Always do your best

Always performing as well as you can may sound like pat and obvious advice, but it may be the most important guidance I can proffer. Nobody is perfect. You will make mistakes. I know that I have. But a mistake made while putting forth a best effort motivates rather than deters. Moreover, if you always do your best, you are sure to be noticed and offered unique opportunities. Striving, you’ll also find more fulfillment in everything you do.

Dream big, listen first, learn from your peers, and do your best. If you do these things, I will be more proud of you than you can imagine.



About The Book

REAL book coverMost 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: Pete Flint, 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!

Buy the book

Dave Crumby

Dave is the Chairman of Firepoint / Realvolve, a state-of-the-art customer relationship management (CRM) platform built expressly for real estate agents. Dave began his real estate career as an agent in 1996. Dave authored in 2013 the book titled 'REAL: A Path to Passion, Purpose and Profits in Real Estate’ that has since become a best seller. The book features Dave's experience and the wisdom of other successful real estate leaders, such as the CEOs of Zillow, Trulia, Better Homes and Gardens, and many others.


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