PLACE Magazine Inaugural Issue, December 2022

TEAM DEVELOPMENT Break your Addiction to Instant Gratification The paycheck chase never leads to long-term satisfaction Chris Suarez, Co-Founder, PLACE

One of my favorite studies of all time was done in the 1970s by researcher Walter Mischel at Stanford University. Children were offered the choice of one marshmallow right now or, if they were willing to wait 15 minutes, an adult would return and give them two marshmallows. It’s a perfect distillation of instant versus delayed gratification. The participants’ academic and life progress were measured for years after the original study; the kids who chose delayed gratification had more successful outcomes in everything from SAT scores to self-regulation as adolescents. So, what do marshmallows have to do with real estate? Let’s go back to my early days when I started as an agent at 21. I was living in New York City, where I was born and raised. My office was inside the third building that fell on 9/11. Thankfully, I was house-sitting that day, but it was a wake-up moment for me. Evaluating whether to stay in the city where I’d grown up, I realized I was ready for a change. So just like that, I moved across the country, nearly as far west as I could go, to Eugene, Oregon, leaving my real estate business behind. I would spend the next five years in Eugene building a new one. Later, when my wife and I decided to move to Portland, Oregon, the business I’d worked so hard to rebuild in Eugene was gone, again. That’s when I realized there’s something wrong with the real estate business as a whole if I can spend five years building my business, pouring blood, sweat, and tears (to say nothing of time, energy, and finances) into it, and then tomorrow it’s gone. Now I know the reason for those losses; I spent my early years in this industry choosing the single marshmallow.

Chris is passionate about real estate coaching, leading a number of consulting programs through his company, Xperience Growth. You can also find Chris speaking at industry events across the globe.


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