By Stan Albert

I have received several e-mails from colleagues across Canada, asking me how to become successful.  One such e-mail came from a relatively new agent from the east coast. 

I replied: “There are no short-cuts, only hard work and a little bit of good luck.”  I said the very best mentor he can have is his own broker/manager.  Registrants can read all they want, but they need to hear from the horse’ mouth what it takes to become successful. 

Agents say they want success, but have they figured out what success really is?

Webster defines success along the lines of  “a favourable result.”  This it certainly is.  However, it is more than just a favourable result. “It is a progressive realization of a worthy destination/or goal/or dream,” said the late and great Earl Nightengale.

When the agent from down east asked me how to be successful, some of my other suggestions included reading some of the great sales books in your hometown library, searching the web for real estate sites, getting a mentor and just showing up at the office to prospect.  This article is in repose, I guess, to elaborate on what I feel it takes to be truly successful in this business.  So, my apologies for such a curt response and hopefully you and others will see this article.

Success means different things to different people at different times.  When Edison was asked if he felt like a failure when trying to invent the light bulb, he replied: “Not at all, I just found 1,000 ways not to make one!”

Success may come once in a lifetime with the winning goal or the gold medal.  Success should be sought out everywhere and at any time.  This is applicable to marriages, relationships and your child’s education.  Everybody can aspire to greatness/success.

Success comes from what you love to do. As registrants/agents, we are in the service business. We constantly have to examine what makes our service unique, and who can help us achieve our dreams.  Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich, which must be in its umpteenth printing, tells how he turned his life around by seeking out successful people.  The subtle advice here is to read what some of the truly great people in this last century have done and how they did it.  Read the Jackie Robinson biography, or read Helen Keller’s biography. They all have one thing in common: the desire to excel, exceed and overcome obstacles.

Obstacles for new agents are many, that’s for sure. But what the heck, what you lack in experience, you make up for with enthusiasm and true grittiness. 

This business is based purely and simply on relationships.  Whether you’re an aspiring agent on the east coast or in Yellowknife, you have to constantly seek out those out who will help you up the ladder of success.  When I was selling back in the ‘70s (not the 1870s!), I “people farmed” because I didn’t know what else to do. After I became friendly with several people I’d known in my previous business, I found that they would refer me to others.

Will you have problems along the way dealing with relationships? Of course you will.  Will you have to tolerate rejection?  Of course.  I feel that becoming a success relies solely on your ability to discover your own ideas or ideals about success.  Fix yourself a target, and aim for it each day.

There are a million ways to capture the real estate marketplace in your own area.  You have to try all the ways, and then find your own niche.

Besides farming, FSBOs and expireds (now passé thanks to the Privacy Act!), there are numerous ways to find your own niche.  Whether it is from “warm calling” on your open house activity, to community awareness activities, to For Rent By Owners (a course I teach), it doesn’t really matter which you choose, as long as it makes $$$$ and sense!

Nothing replaces the “grunt work” of making those prospecting calls.  Not e-mails, not websites, not 800 numbers.

One best-selling business book suggests that people who want to make it to the top should spend one full hour each day “dreaming, planning and thinking.”  And then write down in an “idea notebook,” what they’ve come up with.  Maybe as you’re reading this article, your mind has wandered and you’ve come up with a great marketing idea, closing technique or promotional idea.   Who knows? It could be truly great!

Success is in your heart and in your mind. There are no short cuts, no middle ground.  As Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of the U.K., stated in her book: “Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by traffic from both sides.”

So, whether you’re new or being “re-newed” in reading this article, when are you going to put pen to paper and state your ideas of success?

I guess in conclusion, one might state that I’ve been successful in my many years in management.  Yet, I feel there are more successes to be had.  After all, I’m only 70 this year!  I may be talented enough to become another Grandma Moses. Of course, I’d have to be a “Grandpa Moses!”

Have a great month in successful sales.

Thought for the month: “Success is often an idea away.” – Frank Tyger

 Stan Albert is celebrating his 35th year in real estate, and is a committee member with TREB and RECO. He is a registered trainer/consultant, and is now in his ninth year with Re/Max Professionals in Toronto. Email s[email protected]; (416) 232-9000.

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