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The (real) core pillars of success in real estate

November 07, 20234 min read

The (real) core pillars of success in real estate

On this day 1 year ago I finished writing my book “The 21st Century Real Estate Professional”.  It’s crazy when I think back to that moment.


Stashed away in my usual corner table at my favorite coffee shop, I found typing out the final sentence of the book “until we meet”. Moments later and without warning.. or my consent, I felt an immediate and unexpected swell of emotions and proceeded to have a full-blown breakdown while surrounded by lots of happy (and now confused) people who were just trying to enjoy their drama-free morning. Le sigh..


But beyond a breakdown in public, writing the book led to some additional surprises. For starters I was forced to pour 1,000+ hours into answering 1 single question: how exactly does someone aspiring to be successful do so in today’s post-pandemic tech-driven real estate market?


Easy question to ask. Tough to answer.


I’ll be honest. When you’re writing a book you are constantly thinking about what someone might think as they go through. “Is this boring? Are they confused?” “Is this edgy enough?” Yet if it’s the authentic truth you’re chasing, addressing those superficial concerns before providing the answers is a huge mistake. This may be why lots of real estate books fall way short of truly answering the topic at hand. The truth can be hard to sell..


Through over 1,000 hours of writing, outlining, thinking, and deconstructing, these are my 4 core (real) pillars of success in today’s market.


Work hard

You’ll never meet a top agent who achieved their goals through causal effort. Working hard is not the same as working more, which I find is often confused. For me, working hard means showing up for your business, prioritizing your goals above your preferences, and remaining flexible to meet the demands of the market or your current business – whatever they are. Most importantly, it’s working extremely hard for your clients and their goals. Do that every day and you’ll eventually never wonder where your next deal is coming from. Hard work over a prolonged period creates top producers.


Get organized

Most entrepreneurs are artists at heart. Which is why words like “systems, structure, or standard operating procedures (SOPs) are treated like an afterthought. Because to the artist, they really are secondary. You’re probably an ‘ideas’ or ‘get it done’ person. But, to a successful business that performs year in and out, those mind-numbing terms are necessities. There’s just no way around it. Without investing in the back-end processes, your business will always underachieve. Get serious about creating and implementing systems, OR at the very least hire someone that will do it for you. Your business is depending on you to be organized and locked in on the mundane.


Think critical

Creating space for objective, unemotional analysis of your business is easier said than done but doing so pays dividends in the long run. I often tell my coaching clients to not be romantic about a community, marketing initiative, or even the team or brokerage. Everything in your business should be open for honest evaluation.. and those who allow the unfiltered truth a seat at the decision-making table are typically rewarded with better outcomes. If something isn’t working as it should, an honest analysis of the problems will usually tell you exactly why.  It’s often our feeling brain, preferences, or uninformed hopes that skew our decision-making in business. Allow space for objective scrutiny in your marketing, approach to client work, environment, and personal growth - as often as possible - and reap all the rewards which come with having lots of clarity.


Be better

You’re probably doing great – but honestly, there’s no destination called “best”.  Your business is never everything it could be, plus the markets are regularly forcing you to solve new problems. Don’t allow your current success to be the reason you won’t find the next level within your business or get so complacent that you fall behind when the goalposts move (when they inevitably do). Find better ways to service the client at a higher level, if for no other reason than because your competition is. If something is working in your marketing, or approach, ask yourself if that thing could improve 10%-20% and yield even better results! Last, continually invest in the most valuable asset your business has – which is YOU! The S&ME500 pays dividends greater than anything else! The reality is every business over time needs to get more valuable, or less expensive. Being better makes you more valuable to your clients, plus it pays a whole lot better than getting cheaper.

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Jonathan J. Fox

My life’s work is now dedicated to helping the ambitious real estate professional close their own performance gap by implementing battle tested tactics and strategy while also building the life and income they desire.

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