The Helpful Broker

I always hated that question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" How are we supposed to have an answer for that, at such a young age? Last time I checked, most people didn't really have a handle on that until they were almost 30. Lucky for us, I landed somewhere in the middle of that.
At the age of 19, I knew a desk job just wasn't what I was designed for. I love helping and interacting with people of all walks and creeds, but sitting in a chair on the phone all day isn't how I was going to make the world a better place. That's what I really wanted for my life from an early age; little did I know that it would become my career and passion. I decided to get my real estate broker's license and didn't look back. Since then I have been helping people change and improve their lives, and find them a place to live that they can truly call home.
I suppose the hardest lesson I learned in my first year in the real estate industry, is that it's incredibly difficult to get started. If you're going to get into the "game" you will need to have a plan and a network of contacts that can help you get started. If you want to talk about hard times, I had nothing in the first six months that I first stepped into the industry. Everything is about networking in this industry, speaking to every possible person you can, without being annoying or disturbing them. Business cards and other print flyer media is also a tool that still helps me today. Keep in mind that my story starts before social media was popular, things had just gone from analog to digital, Facebook had just launched its mobile app the year I started. I was 20 years old and giving my business card to anyone who might be in the position to buy property.
After 8 months, I finally helped a couple buy and sell their home. They were a friend's parents who didn't like their agent at the time. He just would not get back to them on the same day. Luckily, I was free and clear to devote my time to finding a buyer for their home, while finding them a newer home for themselves. That is the important difference to know about brokers, we buy and sell any type of property, and nothing is too big or small to be sold or bought. In fact, my new rule is that if I can't find a buyer, I buy it myself, Guaranteed. Sorry about that, I'm 10 years ahead of where I just was. Let us get back to my story of real estate.
By the time my first year was over, I had helped 3 couples and 1 divorcee sell their home and find a new one. It really doesn't seem like that much to most people, but I make between 3 to 5 percent on my transactions. I won't do the math, as I don't feel it's appropriate. But even a small percentage of hundreds of thousands of dollars 8 times over adds up to a lot when you're a 20-year-old.
I was able to afford a BMW by the time I was 20, I had moved out and lived on my own in a wonderful apartment at Yonge and Eglington. From this point on I was on the road to success, my 8 months of suffering and hustling had paid off in the most wonderful ways. My second year in real estate was even more fruitful and interesting.
I won't lie to you at all, I like to go out late and have an active social life. Why not use that to my advantage? Everywhere I went, I looked for the money, who had the most wherever I was at the time. A bar, a nightclub, or a restaurant. You never know who is looking to buy or sell property, but you do know who has money to spend and who doesn't. Every owner, every baller or player that I could see or meet, I did what I could to see if I could help them in any way regarding their needs. Not everyone will even speak to you, especially if you don't know them personally.
I slowly developed this technique over time, realizing quickly that people will love speaking to you, if you’re nice and try to get to know them a little before discussing any business. If it's the owner of a business or someone who is important there, see if you can't find reasons to be there 3 or 4 times. This applies to bars as well as gyms or offices if you know the gatekeepers.
These people control the doors and methods of communication, regulating the lives of "important people". It's important to respect these people, get to know them if possible, or help them with your own industry expertise. The important point to understand is that you never want to make an enemy or burn a bridge with anyone, ever. One person gives you access to their entire network in an indirect way. My philosophy is that 1 person can equal to 10. In most cases, it's more like 15 to 20. Hence, knowing 10 people means you potentially have 100, if you ask the right questions the right way.
I will save some of those secrets for my next blog posts, but I will share one secret for meeting people and having success at expanding your network. Being charming, not in a bad or misleading way to manipulate a person. More in the sense that, you want to be everyone's friend. Some aspects of Charm can be learned, and others can be purchased. Having nice clothes and a car is great for the exterior, success is charming. But one needs to cover the inside of a person's mind and soul to be effective and get them to like you and trust you. All that really takes is a smile and eye contact, but you reinforce it by showing your personal interest in their goals and success. People and their happiness is your key to success in the real estate business.

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