The quote in the picture came up just as I returned from Inman News Agent Reboot. I had the pleasure of attending sessions with the top technology players in the real estate industry. And while we have a ton of tech tips (Sue and I will be sharing them in the coming weeks), the most humbling lesson came from our emcee, Imran Polady (who many also call Hottie Polady). He is a young, energetic agent from Califorina, top producer selling upwards of 250 modest priced homes a year, chair of the NAR Young Professionals Group, past Realtor of the Year and by all accounts a Facebook Guru. He hosted the day with wit and wisdom, condensing previous speakers ideas into nugget sized “what did we just learn?” breaks that were much needed to keep the wheels from smokin.
Towards the end of the day, he took the stage as the ‘Facebook Presenter’ to share with REALTORS how to connect on Facebook for business. And his message was far from techie. You see, he shared that he is now a 5 week survivor of a very aggressive form of cancer.
One year ago, he had less than a 30% chance to be alive today, and today he is cancer free – and marks that dark time in only past tense. That alone was inspirational, but to hear him talk about his real estate business with such passion! Wow. In the beginning of his career, he struggled with the cutthroat business and in 2005 decided he would have to change courses or get out of the business. He made it his goal to become a real estate consultant to those in his community, instead of just a salesperson. He committed to bring value to his clients by helping them not only during the real estate transaction, but for years after. He took all of the plaques off the walls of his office that had anything to do with money and replaced them with photos of families that he had helped. He surrounded himself with the knowledge that he held in his hands the hopes and dreams of good friends. He removed the word “deal” from his vocabulary and replaced it with “transaction”, got rid of the one-time customer and replaced them with life-long clients who are dedicated to working with him exclusively.
And Imran’s business grew. And grew. And so did his reputation in business. Yes, he is a facebook guru (as only someone with over 4,500 friends can be). He loves to be able to connect, meet, talk, network and share with a large group of friends, some that he has met, and many he has not. But Facebook is always only a means to an end… he uses technology (masterfully) to serve his clients, to build stronger relationships, to share his world with those of like mind who respect his ideals. He has built a huge referral base and a larger network of supporters and admirers. But it is only because his genuine passion for serving his clients is so fundamentally clear on his online pages. Because his actions won the hearts of his clients for a lifetime, and who never hesitate to recommend and refer business to him.
Time and again we are reminded that the number one indicator of success in this business is not letters after your name, not slick business cards or a knockout advertising campaign. Yes, they all help, but it’s the passion to truly help your clients that makes all of those things valuable. You can see and feel when a REALTOR cares about their clients (and unfortunately, when they don’t). When your own goal is solely to serve another well, you raise the bar. It makes you strive to learn more, share more, connect more easily and put your client’s needs and sometimes crazy wants ahead of your own. Commitment to their mission, whether buying or selling in a happy or sad situation, can turn an average agent into the “#1 Realtor of all times”, in the eyes of your clients – and that reputation grows. And grows.
So, as you’re taking stock of 2013, setting new goals for 2014, perhaps you’ll try to measure and remember and set your goals for what really matters – how well you did your job measured far beyond numbers. Was I worthy of their trust in me?
We ought to be much more concerned about mediocrity than failure. Daniel Pink