I keep noticing oval white stickers on the backs of cars: 26.2, 13.1, and 0.0 (my personal favorite). They denote, of course, whether one runs marathons (26.2 miles), half-marathons (13.1 miles), or not at all.
Early in my career, I was told the real estate business is not a sprint, but a marathon. But I was hard-headed and determined, so I continued to try to “sprint,” thinking I could outwork the competition.
Eventually I realized that, although sprinting and attempting to outpace competition is all well and good, leaving a pile of dust behind you is not. Halfway into my career, I have learned a realistic pace that focuses on the right elements of a winning race is better than a mad dash. Runners who burst from the starting line look great for a while, but those who stay hydrated at a purposeful pace finish strong.
If a solid real estate platform is a tested pair of training shoes, these six strategies are as essential as electrolytes for a blue-ribbon marathon career:
Listen. When your client speaks, don’t spend the time contemplating your own response. If you’re too busy thinking about what to say next, you won’t hear a word of your client’s needs. Only reply once you really understand.
Have respect. Treat your client the way you want a service provider to treat you. I shouldn’t need to explain this, but unfortunately this vital practice is often neglected.
Think big picture. This goes back to sprint versus marathon. Clients today want solutions yesterday that still factor in future needs. Be creative with every transaction to make a memorable impact for the client that solves immediate issues as well as future needs.
Be nimble. In a world of mergers, buyouts, takeovers, and acquisitions, change is not a surprise—it is expected. You have to be ready for sun, rain, maybe even a tropical storm or two!
Build a legacy team. Build a team with different strengths to create a better balance for your clients’ needs. Adding teammates who you believe will be more successful than you might seem like a death sentence, but the tactic actually creates the best brokerage teams.
Create long-lasting relationships.The old saying that “real estate is a relationship business” is a cliché for a reason … it’s absolutely true. As I make my way across the 13.2 mile marker, I am even more of a believer. No matter how high-tech, fast moving, and impatient this world continues to become, people want to work with and for those who genuinely care. The extra effort you take, the little thing that didn’t have to be done, the personal visit when a call or email would suffice—they all matter.
As they say, “slow and steady wins the race.” So keep your purposeful pace and earn that 26.2 sticker for yourself.
Blake Anderson, managing director and principal at Cassidy Turley, oversees the firm’s industrial services group in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Contact him at [email protected]