The "Cliff Notes version" of famed salesman and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar’s Be, Do, Have principle is: envision what you desire and then be relentless towards becoming the person you need to be in order to have what you want.
Some of you are just starting out on this 36 to Life journey, so I thought I'd share a little bit of my story with you so you know where I’m coming from.
From Bankruptcy to Mortgage Lending
I've been a Jeep guy for as long as I can remember. So you can imagine that in 2007 when the 4-door Wrangler came out, I drooled over it.
Unfortunately, the timing of its release wasn't ideal for me. You see, I was just coming out of declaring bankruptcy, having had a commercial note call due on me. I had built a house of cards. This was 100% my fault. I was not emotionally ready in my early 20's to handle over 40 rental properties.
Having gone through this setback, I decided I needed to figure out the mortgage world and jumped into lending. When I got into it, it was still at a time that if you had a pulse, there was a program that we could make work for you. It wasn't long before I was talking people out of my paycheck by advising them that a 42% front end ratio wasn't a good idea. That's when a top agent called me asking if I knew anyone that would be a good buyers agent...I said, yes–– me.
Enter Real Estate
So in 2008 I got my Real Estate License in Michigan. Ha...One might say this was probably the worst possible time to jump into Real Estate, especially in Michigan. This thing was– I didn't know that. I had a vision of what I wanted for my family.
Fast forward some time and things were going very well. Or at least, that’s what I thought. I was working 24/7, had a bunch of listings, and my second son was on his way. That's when life happened. What we thought was a healthy baby boy turned out needing open heart surgery at 6 days old.
Needless to say, my priorities instantly changed. This unexpected event caused me to pause and reevaluate everything. It was almost as if everything was frozen in time and I had a chance to look around me. I absolutely LOVED Real Estate, yet I couldn't find an example of what I desired it to become in my life around me.
The Birth of 36 to Life
So I started to look for a better way. A book that I'll refer to as the "Bible of Real Estate" had been given to me several times. Finally, I decided to read it and the world opened up to me and showed me that I could do Real Estate and have a life. I could build a business...
I headed down the path of "Thinking Big" by growing a team. The challenge was...it's fricking messy....really messy...and even though it's possible for everyone to do it...I don't believe that 94% of agents out there should.
Knowing what I know now as I’m about to turn 40, and having been in the Real Estate world in some fashion for 21 years, I’ll tell you what I would have done if I had known better back then.
First, it's all about Relationships. Build your business one conversation at a time. Do whatever it takes to get to 36 transactions and then raise your standards. Take care of those relationships. Follow up with them. Be human.
Then, work on raising your sales price by 10% every year. If I had started this practice when I was 19 and, let's say, it had taken me 5 years to get to 36 transactions with an average sale price of $125,000, then now, as I turn 40, I'd have an average sale price of $574,000 and a GCI of $563,928.
The other key thing I'd wish I would have done was keep my “nut to crack” the same. I vowed on my 38th birthday to never borrow money again.
If you stayed with me this far– bravo! Know that you're going to get bored out of your mind selling Real Estate. Don't go and screw it all up by thinking everyone has to grow a team. When it’s around tax time, go ask the teams you admire if you can talk "net." Most of them are behind on their taxes and aren't making nearly as much money as they make it seem.
I finally got my Jeep! Work to live, baby!
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