I started to think about this issue some time back when I was given a book by Daniel James Brown, The Boys in the Boat. It’s the wonderful story of nine Americans and their quest for gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
The book captures the trials and tribulations of the freshman and sophomores from Washington State University during their quest. Many of the students were from humble beginnings and being chosen for the chance to compete in the Olympics was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Notwithstanding the times and the state of world affairs, their chances of winning were improbable. Top teams from Australia and Germany were slated to compete.
One of the great boat builders of his time, George Yeoman Pockock, wrote many articles on the sport of rowing. He said, “Good thoughts have much to do with good rowing; it isn’t enough for the muscles of the crew to work in unison, their hearts and minds must also be as one.”
The message of this well-written book is to pass on that teamwork, training and persistence have a lot to do with how we, as real estate professionals, perform. A vast percentage of us work for brokerages that have a commonality: they achieve success by building a cohesive team.
Many of us who offer up these anecdotal stores are criticized by readers who say that comparisons to teamwork are nonsense, because they did well enough on their own. I agree, some sales reps are truly unique and have a God-given talent to outperform the average agent in our business.
But during the four decades of training agents in many aspects of our trade, I found only a few really catch on to the teamwork aspect. Is it because they cannot see the value and the benefit of aligning themselves with the theme and the idealism that the broker invests his time and money in? It’s bewildering to me.
When I read the chapters in this book, it became apparent that those who want to win “the gold” will stand and be accountable.
In the real estate business, there is no silver or bronze at the end of the day. Competing for the gold takes drive, stamina and commitment to overcome negativity and less-than-courteous clients.
If you as an agent, whether new or seasoned, read this piece and you believe you are in a rut, read a book like this one and see how it compares to your business life.
Decide who you want to be. Determine who you want to work with, develop your own new way of working and look to your broker as a team leader. His mentoring will be just as good as some of the coaches you are paying huge sums of money to monthly.
Become a gold medal winner.
For those who don’t have the time to research or read this book, the Americans won by a second over the Aussies and the Germans.
Luck? Or hard work? Or both?
Stan Albert, broker/manager, ABR, ASA at Re/Max Crossroads’ iRealty office in Toronto can be reached for consultation at [email protected]. Stan is now celebrating his 44th year as an active real estate professional.