July 2018

Greatness Requires Fearless Obsession

7 Steps to Creating Commitment

Perhaps you have been the target of a stalker.  Or perhaps you have been a stalker at one point in your life.  Either way, the role of a stalker is to know every detail about its subject – even down to the smallest detail.  As strange as it may sound, that is how we need to approach our commitment to our profession.  Allow me to explain.

In high school I was a State wrestling champion and a National AAU champion. I didn’t accomplish this because I treated my sport as a hobby. I accomplished this because I was obsessed with success.  For instance, when most wrestlers in the mid 70’s wrestled November thru March, I wrestled all year long; even during football season (which I also played); and even during the summer when most of my friends could be found at Corona Del Mar’s lifeguard tower #5. I attended national training camps and wrestled guys much older and experienced than me.  I wrestled in the off-season, and I studied every aspect of the sport.  By the time I graduated high school, I was the best in my class and I knew it.   And the reason for my success was because I had a “stalker” mentality.”

Then came my hard life lesson.  Fast forward to my freshman year in college where due to my stalker mentality, I earned a full wresting scholarship to UCLA.  But unfortunately, in my first year, I not only cost the school more money than what I was worth, but I found myself losing more matches than I won.

If you’re curious about what happened, besides multiple surgeries and a bent ego, I stopped being obsessed about my sport.   Maybe it was my distraction of a new girlfriend.  Maybe it was my life at the Beta fraternity house.  Or maybe more truthfully speaking, it was because I lost my commitment when the going got tough and I didn’t win every match I entered, I became a hobbyist or a dabbler in the sport, and the end result was that I let down my school, my sport and most importantly myself.

If you have followed my writings, you have probably noted that when it comes to the Hobbyists in our profession, I am not a fan.  Perhaps my wrestling lesson explains my conviction, because I believe that like wresting, we can’t just treat our profession as a hobby or part time job. We can’t quit on our clients when a property does not sell in the first few months. We can’t be frugal when it comes to marketing our properties.  And we can’t be uninformed about the constant fluctuations in our market.  When it comes to our clients and our profession, we need to be fearless and obsessive.

Reality Check – If you want to be the best you must be obsessed.

In California we have approximately 200,000 real estate agents.  However, less than 20% make money in our profession.  The question then becomes, what can you do to make sure you are not only in the 20% of agents who make a good living in real estate, but more so be in the top 5% of agents that make a great living doing what they love?  The answer is found in what I call the 7 Steps to creating commitment

The 7 Steps to Creating Commitment

  1. Be Obsessed with Education: Education is key when we face a market that keeps changing or online entities that attempt to replace us. The rule of thumb when it comes to staying on top of your game is “information in means information out.” Therefore, to get into the top 5%, stay educated.  Education keeps you relevant and gives you the ability to answer complex questions and offer solutions to complex challenges.
  2. Be Obsessed with Passion: If you are going to get into the top 5%, you must be fueled by passion. Passion during good times and rough times is what will keep your engine running to stay in the business for the long haul.
  3. Be Obsessed with Success: As a top 5% realtor, you must be clear on what success means to you. For me, it means not only making sure your clients desired outcome is achieved, but also being able to exceed their expectations as well.
  4. Be Obsessed with Ethics: In a world where the line often gets blurred when it comes to morality and ethics, leaders in our industry are those who operate their business beyond reproach. To me, ethics is knowing right from wrong and doubling down on right. Meaning, you never compromise on the “grey” area of your fiduciary obligations, and you always put your client’s interest ahead of yours.
  5. Be Obsessed with Perseverance: If you start something, whether it is a new listing, a new branding campaign, or a new farming campaign, make sure you have two commitments under your business legs. A) Commit to finishing what you set out to do. B) Make sure you aspire to do it better than anyone else.  Let me use the example of farming.  Farming can come in the traditional geographical form, or within your social sphere of influence.  No matter which form it takes though, be sure you are in it for the long haul.  Meaning, don’t send out two flyers and expect call backs. Farming is a yearlong process that should be done every two weeks for the first 6 months and then monthly after that if you want to make a real impact.
  6. Be Obsessed with being Compassionate: When it comes walking in commitment, your clients must know that you are not just selling an asset or commodity. This means your job as an agent is to be mindful of your client’s family dynamics, their needs, and most important the “why” behind the transaction. Always remember, for you it is a commission.  For your client, it is potentially a lifetime decision.
  7. Be obsessed with Reaching the Top: Our profession is not a low hanging fruit that you pick out of default, but one that requires a ladder to climb to pick the best from the top branch.
  8. Be Obsessed with becoming the Best Version of Yourself: The best version of you is when all the above are met, and you have created something that gives you purpose and identity.

To make it into the 5% of agents who are making a great living and reaping the rewards and the lifestyle that our industry can provide, you must be an agent with an obsession.  Meaning, you must be a realtor who like, when I was a young man obsessed with wrestling success, I went to bed every night thinking how I could have done it better, and then I got up and did it better.   My question to you is, “What percentile are you in, and are you obsessed enough to be the best?”


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