Recently I was promoted to branch broker of our second-largest office. Sounds good on the surface, but dig a little deeper and it has actually been a challenging opportunity. I am filling the shoes of a longtime broker beloved by his agents who has chosen to retire.
People’s responses to change are varied, but tend to lean towards the apprehensive and fearful side of the spectrum. I’ve had to find myself reassuring agents that their world is not crumbling around them and that all will be well as I help them build and grow their business.
During this exciting and interesting week I had the opportunity to spend several hours with an agent I have been trying to recruit. Her story reminded me of the principle of abundance and the power behind it.
abundant blueberries image via shutterstock
This agent got her license four years ago. Yeah, right as the market was heading south, she jumped into real estate with both feet. She actually feels that she was lucky to get in when she did. As agents around her were complaining about the market, she didn’t know any better and just went to work.
She found an interesting niche in the market by partnering with the local high school’s sports programs. Armed with her love of photography, she started attending games and taking high-quality photos of the kids as they competed. She would then post these to her website and make them available free of charge to the kids and their parents to use. In addition, she supported the sports programs, sponsored the snack shack, and even created special books for the seniors containing their highlights. Both the kids and their parents love her; in fact, many of the kids call her mom!
I told this agent that instead of us competing against her in this space of high school sports, we wanted to partner with her and help her grow this to the next level. She looked me square in the eye and said, “Chris, the pie is big enough for all of us.”
pie image by Karynsig
There is a very powerful lesson in that statement. Not that I was trying to intimidate her with the thought of us competing against her, but she knew, without a doubt, that there was plenty of opportunity out there and that the pie was big enough for both of us. Immediately, I knew I needed to have this agent in my office, simply for her attitude of abundance.
My experience with this agent and the agents struggling with change reminded me of three important lessons:
1. You have to give before you get. You wouldn’t go to your bank to withdraw money you hadn’t already deposited, would you? So many agents think the business owes them something, when they haven’t made the necessary deposits. This agent made tremendous deposits in her community, and they’ve paid handsomely. She closed 33 transactions last year — just from the high school group!
2. “Be a baker, not an eater.” This quote is from Guy Kawasaki and takes the pie concept to a new level. A baker knows he can make more pies … an eater thinks there is only one pie. There’s freedom in believing that you can bake more pies. You increase your choices and opportunities with this outlook.
3. “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Albert Einstein knew a little something about facing challenges and finding solutions. The agent I am hoping to recruit is actually trying to create difficulty and change to find opportunity. She just let go of her assistant and team and is looking to make a change, all for the purpose of resetting and finding new opportunities.
Going through a change myself, I found the lessons she reminded me of to be both timely and helpful. I hope it struck a chord with you as well. Now get busy baking!