August, 2008 - Download this article
By Richard Stanley
I’ve been lucky in real estate. Years ago, not long after I began my real estate career, I had the good fortune to join the Jon Douglas Company. Jon Douglas, or “Jack” as he was always known affectionately, held the highest standards in the industry. He chose only the elite for his team. As one realtor with another company once confided to me, “You don’t need to explain who you are if you have a Jon Douglas business card.” Amen.
What kept this esprit de corps alive was Jack’s innate charisma, business acumen and intelligence—his leadership ability. Jack came out of retirement recently to address a group of senior agents, many of whom, such as I were JD Co. alums. What he said that day he said before—and it was well-worth reviewing, for, in Jack’s view, to be a superior realtor, one must first be a superior person. Here’s Jack’s path to superiority:
1 Acquire “Random Knowledge” – expand your interests; read more; know current events; know “what and why” about everything. If you are more interested in more things, you will become more interesting yourself.
2 Contribute to your community – realtors get a lot from their communities. Give back both in money and with your own time, too. Teach others what you know. Giving of oneself is good for the inner self.
3 Embrace the arts and sports – do things you haven’t done before. Just try something new. You’ll meet new people—and potential friends and clients.
4 Nourish your relationships – your relationships are the most important aspects of your life. Surround yourself with those you love—and surround them in turn, too. Cultivate affection and sensitivity.
5 Become a better listener – a successful person encourages others to talk about themselves. Sincere listening is the most fundamental act of love—and the easiest way to make a good impression.
6 Cultivate a strong self-image – be prepared; be confident, not cocky. Face conflict with preparation, which will engender self-confidence. Take losses, as well as wins, graciously. Do what you do better than the competition. Do not become a stereotype.
7 Communication is key – stay in touch even if the news is bad. Regular communication shows caring and cultivates a partnership.
8 A good attitude is everything – believe that you can do it! Anything is possible with a positive attitude.
9 Be interesting -a person who is interested is interesting. Be interesting, and you will be magnetic.
In summation, Jack paraphrased Winston Churchill, “Never give up; never give up; never give up—trying to invent yourself!” Finally, he added his personal credo: “Always do the right thing.” Whether another can claim first rights to this slogan, or not, in my view, Jack has always said it best.
Richard Stanley is a 20-year veteran of the local real estate scene. He can be reached at Coldwell Banker-Los Feliz, (323) 906-2417.