PLACE Magazine Inaugural Issue, December 2022

Again and again, I chose the sale, when what I should have been choosing was a sustainable business. More effort, undoubtedly, and a longer wait time too, but a much greater reward in the end. A DIFFERENT BUSINESS BLUEPRINT When I got to Portland, instead of simply diving immediately back into sales, I decided to build this business the right way. I chose to wait, knowing that delayed gratification would net me something more than a business that vanished to nothing when I moved 100 miles away. I wanted to build something that wouldn’t depend on a specific location, which I know runs counter to so much of what we’ve been taught in real estate. We want to be the local guy, the one people know, who they see on the streets, but being that guy would mean losing my business the next time I moved. I started challenging everything the industry had led us to believe about what being a real estate agent is all about. Sure, I was starting over again, but this time I was heading in the opposite direction. That meant hitting the books. Studying, reading, and figuring out what other people are doing — these are things I love. Because I wanted a different start this time, I read up on different industries. I looked at insurance businesses and technology companies. I checked out every business book in the library. One that caught my eye was, “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent,” by Gary Keller. I come from a world where my dad was a copy machine repairman from the day he graduated high school until the day he retired, 50 years later. I remember being 12 or 13 years old asking my dad, “What’s a million dollars?” His reply? “Don’t

worry about that. You’ll never make a million dollars. In fact, you’ll work every day of your life, and you’ll add it up at the end, and it still won’t be a million dollars.” That was his story, so it became mine. When I saw this book about “millionaire” real estate agents, I thought it was a joke, but I read it anyway. It became the first time someone modeled running a real estate business and not just running sales. I began to emulate that model the best I could, setting up separate divisions for business, lead generation, operations, and budgets. I used an organizational chart. Little by little, it started looking more like a full-fledged business than a typical real estate sales practice. YOU’RE ADDICTED TO THE PAYCHECK A big part of running your business as a business is not just transacting as much as you can possibly transact. Chasing sales is choosing the first marshmallow. And I get it — that first marshmallow looks really good. At one point in my career, I was selling 50 to 70 homes a year; coming from nothing, that is a lot of money. Deconstructing that instant gratification — being willing to do it differently — is nearly impossible once you’re addicted to the money. I wasn’t even spending much at the time. I bought my first condo for $86,000, and I was living cheaply, but I still had this addiction to what we’re taught to do in this industry. I told myself, “I do this activity, and I get this result. Every time I do that open house, I get two clients, and I’m going to close one of them. Every time I close, I’m making money.”


Made with FlippingBook - Share PDF online