The traditional real estate model is broken. It’s based on the commission-only business model and sales culture. This is different.
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By Carl Slade, Founder
It is important that you understand who we are and what we believe.
The typical agent ‘wanted ad’ is like the lure of a get rich quick scheme with the chance of stardom. The reality is far from glamorous. In truth, it’s about ‘Bums on Seats’. You’re another clone to boost the numbers. Another ticket to clip… This opportunity it different.
IF YOU ARE NEW TO THE INDUSTRY:
First you must gain your qualifications, in order to become licensed. This is a 50 hour course giving you an important grounding in the laws surrounding our industry, the level of ethics expected of you, and most importantly, our fiduciary duty to our clients: to act at all times in their best interests. It’s made crystal clear that (in the eyes of our law) you are entering a profession and are therefore required to act like one. You will be held to higher standards – This is the expectation of Professionals.
Congratulations you’re qualified.
You now have more technical knowledge than the general population. Yet just like any rookie; the straight A law student; the medical intern; the new All Blacks cap – yes you can be proud of yourself for getting where you are. But please understand. Your journey has only just begun. You know enough to be dangerous.
Because just like in the movie ‘Sully’ – played by master actor Tom Hanks – the true story of a US Airways Flight 1549 with 155 passengers, losing both engines at low altitude above New York City… When the shit hits the fan, when decisions are the difference between life and death – the financial wellbeing of your clients – in moments like this, nothing beats hands on experience. Years of live practice, thousands of hours of flight time. That alone is what earns you the ability to stay calm, act instinctively, to land the plane on the river – with no loss of life. This is the realm of true a professional – using their skills for a greater good.
Bottom line, it takes dedication and hard work to become a true professional in any field. That is the price that must be paid. Because those who do, those who give the most service to the community, who add the most value to the world – have mastered their craft . Be it an art, a trade, science, commerce, sport or specialist knowledge, they are all authorities in their field. And they all started as a humble rookie. A student.
Hopefully, at this point, you are excited about becoming a professional: Protecting and serving your clients. If you’re also eager to master of your craft, you’ll naturally want to learn from the best. But, and this is a very important question: The best at what?
You are now at a crossroads. The road you choose, the teachers you seek, the culture you immerse yourself in, will determine what you become the master of.
So choose wisely…
The Traffic Jam
The ‘Academy’, or what ever they call their new recruit bootcamp, is a 3 – 5 day initiation into the ‘sales culture’. The alternate universe to your initial ‘Professional’ training. This is were the curtain is drawn back on how the traditional industry tribe thinks. On what they want you to become: A commission-only salesperson. Self promotion, prospecting, finding leads, sales scripts, listing presentations, overcoming objections, getting price reductions, and manipulative closing techniques, are the tools of their trade.
From there, you’re armed, loaded …
and thrown into a dog eat dog environment. A fight for survival against not only all the identically trained masses of competition, but also your own so-called team-mates , the commission-only salesperson sitting next to you.
You’re expected to cold call, beg friends and family for leads and constantly try and convince people of your value. Destroying your self-worth, not to mention your reputation in the eyes of society.
In the sales tribe, you are judged on your number of calls, leads converted, listings won and gross commissions generated. You come to realise, it’s not about how well you have protected and served your clients, or how much genuine value you have added to their lives. No, it’s a numbers game. A persuasion game. A fake it until you make it commission-only sales game.
This will be the opposite of all that.
The Road Less Travelled
Actually, it’s more of a path, still being pioneered, to a whole different world of real estate.
The Job Description:
We assume that fundamentally, you know what real estate agents are supposed to do. You, obviously, are going to be working with buyers and working for sellers (our clients). They will be relying on you to protect their interests, and maximise their profit, while facilitating the sale of their home. You will be responsible for ensuring they get the best possible outcome. But, you will be doing it from a position of power and respect. You will be doing it as a trusted advisor, as a professional service provider – not a commission-only salesperson.
Let’s face it. The actual work of ‘facilitating a sale’ isn’t that hard. Sure, you need to know your stuff. You need to be competent, skilled – you need to become a master of your craft. But all of that can be taught. It’s your strength of character, your integrity and your intent that is most important to us. Those are what separates a ‘Professional’ from a ‘Conman’. You see, the real challenge in this business, what causes agents to fail, is their lack of positioning. Lack of authority. Lack of trust. Most agents, and it’s just the truth, look, sound and act just like every other agent. If the title of Jack Trout’s book, Differentiate or Die, was meant in a literal manner, most agents would be 6-feet under. Because looking objectively at most – from their marketing to their business model and their culture – there is no visible difference. Long story short, because of how different we operate from other agents you’ve ever seen, known or studied – experience isn’t initially* needed to apply. You’ll be exposed to a whole different method for success in real estate. And it doesn’t include public begging, door-knocking or incessant behaviour as a telemarketer.
If you are new to the industry, then you can only apply to become an Associate. We can’t see how throwing you in the deep end is good for anybody. For a start our clients deserve the best – not a rookie, a cowboy ‘faking it until he makes it’. Secondly, if you are serious about the long game, serious about building yourself a practice, a business, a legacy you will be proud to hand on… then it’s wise to get it right from the beginning. To be first a student mastering your craft. Therefore, you will be working under a Partner, learning our documented approach, until such time as your knowledge, skills and experience reach our Restate Partnership standards.
If you are an experienced agent…
and all you’re interested in is “more leads” or a “better” commission split, do us a favour. Go somewhere else. There are plenty of options out there where you can get just that —cookie cutter sales training, a script, a telephone—and you can dial, and hound people all you like. But, if you are like us, then annoying people goes against the core of your character.
If You love the ‘Sales Culture’
That’s your choice. For the record, we think differently. In our opinion the traditional commission-only sales culture is responsible for robbing your integrity. It’s the reason why only 10%–20% of consumers trust you, and it’s also why our industry is so bloated and inefficient.
We have developed a completely different approach. We’ve rejected the sales culture and restated real estate as a ‘Professional Service’, which is now proven to be better for both our clients and us. It’s simply more efficient, with our clients banking more than they would have under the traditional model, while our earnings per client are similar to what they used to be. Our appointment to list ratio is substantially higher and our list to sell ratio is close to 100%.
But the really exciting thing, is that our client satisfaction and referral rate have gone through the roof. Positive word of mouth is spreading fast in the community, so clients are seeking us out rather than the other way around. Our production per agent is close to three times higher than the typical industry – without us doing any traditional prospecting.
And the feeling, the sense of pride, that we are making a real difference in our clients’ lives, is truly fantastic.
So if you love the sales culture – what it stands for, how it thinks, how it works – then we are not for you. We are leading the industry in a different direction, but wish you all the best of luck.
What we are looking for is:
‘Founding Partners’, so to speak. So, we want to get it right the first time, even if that means “turning off” 99% of the agents that read this. Frankly, we just don’t care. We’re writing to 1%er’s… Not in production, but in work ethic, integrity, moral character, desire to make impact, etc. These are the people that will thrive with us, in our culture, and in building their practice as an Approved Restate Advisor.
So what we are offering you here —is a chance to be respected. To practice real estate in a way that isn’t degrading. That is first and foremost client centric. A way that gives you a sense of pride and recognition for doing what is right by those you serve.
But there is a caveat. Like reformed addicts, you will first need to be committed to kicking the sales culture cocaine. It’s easier than you think. Quite liberating in fact. So as long as you are willing, we will provide you with a complete ‘Real Estate Detox Program’. In fact, should you decide to continue reading, then your detox starts today.
Ongoing Support and Training?
Yes. And it will be like nothing you have ever experienced in real estate before – no cheesy sales scripts or closes. Instead real strategies and systems proven to help you build a conscious business. One of meaning. One that makes a difference. That lifts your authority and standing in the community.
But for a start, to see if joining our tribe even interests you, you’ll need to do some homework.
Our quest is not just to find another “real estate agent” to boost our numbers. We are looking for partners. We are looking for those who want something more out of life. To make a positive difference in their community. To be a part of something much bigger. Something more meaningful than cold calling and fighting over commissions. We ‘re looking for a rare breed whose’s purpose is to serve and protect their clients.
So if you don’t share our same vision then you’d be a poor fit. And frankly, that would be a waste of both our time and yours.
Start with Why?
Below is the link to one of the most watched TED talks of all time. Watch it.
In it Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, expresses what most of us innately know: ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.’
He argues that inspired leaders and organisations, regardless of their size and industry, all think, act and communicate from the ‘inside out’. After all, as he says in his TED speech, Martin Luther King ‘gave the “I have a dream” speech, not the “I have a plan” speech.
James Kerr, in his book ‘Legacy – What the All Blacks can teach us about the business of life’, puts it this way:
“Inspired leaders, organisations and teams find their deepest purpose – their ‘why?’ – and attract followers [team members & clients] through shared values, vision and beliefs.”
*** Below are some articles we’ve published. Read each one. The message contained (within each article) is an integral part our business, so it’s important that you understand how each integrates into the bigger mission that we seek to accomplish through Restate.
****** Note: When we get into the “Core Values” section, understanding the concepts presented in these articles, will help you to better understand how we’re able to operate, unlike most agents, from a position of respect and authority i.e. no begging. No Rejection.
*** Here are three additional articles that also make important points. The key here is to determine if, through reading our thoughts, the ideology of our company (and how we operate), is something that connects and resonates with you?
Okay, if you’re still with me, I haven’t lost you. And, if you’ve gotten a good feel that “how we practice real estate” is quite different than the typical agent, and if you’re intrigued, curious, and eager to learn more – Let’s move on…
Our Core Values
Before we outline the next steps, then it’s important for you to understand our core values. These are the beliefs that guide our actions and enable our approach to work. They are the solid foundation upon which our approach is built.
1. We Protect
Clients are to be protected, they are not a prospect to be stalked. Not a lead to be converted or a listing target to be closed. Our heroes, the professions we admire, are the ones who are sworn to protect and serve – nurses, doctors, lawyers, firemen, paramedics, teachers, police, the armed forces and so on. Theirs is the type of culture we aspire to. So first and foremost, we are here to protect clients from fundamental mistakes and traps. Unfortunately many of them are laid by the traditional real estate industry. The best protection is to help clients avoid them in the first place.
2. We Question
Questions are at the heart of professional consulting. Each and every client has unique circumstances, a unique property and differing needs that deserve tailored solutions. Just as a doctor must first question before diagnosing and prescribing, we also must fully understand our clients situation, needs and goals before we can recommend their best course of action. We believe that prescription without diagnosis is malpractice.
We also question the status quo, the way our industry traditionally works. We refuse to be dictated to by the establishment. Just because they’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean it’s the best way. We believe in innovation, in improvement, in finding and developing better and more efficient ways for our clients.
3. We Advise
Our clients engage us to use our specialist knowledge and experience to their advantage. This points to a primary difference between a sales culture and a professional consultative one. A salesperson’s function is to persuade, convince, coax the client into doing what enables the salesperson to reach their targets and get a commission. Their agenda is to influence the clients decisions in their own favour. As a professional consultant, our agenda is to advise, recommend, coach and guide, so our clients can make informed decisions for themselves and their family.
4. We Serve
Without clients to serve, we wouldn’t exist. Once we fully understand their personal situation and have made recommendations as to their best course of action, our role is to then act on their behalf. We follow through on their decisions and instructions to the best of our ability, at all times serving their best interests.
5. We Create Value
Clients engage us to put more in their pocket than they would have had without us. Whether they need full-service sale of their home, assistance negotiating with a private buyer, or just some one-off professional advice, our function is to act and advise in the most efficient way possible for them. Being known to help clients bank more is the reputation we’ve worked hard to earn and are passionate about keeping. So if we genuinely can’t create value, then we will advise them so.
Stop… Consider… Before reading on, ask yourself:
Do these core values resonate with you?
Are they a fit with who you are?
Yes? Great, following are some more beliefs – tenets – that guide us.
FIGHT FOR THE CLIENT AT ALL COST:
With this one tenet, we should be done. But let me expand upon this. Richard Marcinko, who spent 30 years as a Navy commando, and, creator of the legendary SEAL TEAM SIX, wrote in his book, “At the core of leadership is one, single trait: Belief in a cause. If you don’t believe with all your heart and all your soul in what you’re fighting for, you will not be a leader. You will not inspire others to follow you unless you are a man of absolute conviction.” He went on to say, “You’ve got to have a cause. If you aren’t fighting for something that’s bigger than yourself, you’ll be nothing more than just one more ambitious, opportunistic asshole who’s trying to claw his way to the top.” Well, in my experience. The real estate industry is full of those kinds of agents. They only fight for themselves. The ‘DANGER REPORT’, an investigation into the threats facing the real estate industry (worldwide), even confirmed this: “The real estate industry is saddled with a large number of part-time, untrained, unethical and/or incompetent agents. This knowledge gap threatens the credibility of the industry.”
We personally don’t care about the “threat” it poses to the industry. We care about the “threat” it poses to our clients. Going back to Marcinko, “You’ve got to have a cause.”
Our clients, let me be clear, are our cause. I can’t think of a greater cause to fight for, than that—the well-being and superior result of our client. Which is in perfect alignment with Marcinko’s other statement, “A real leader is actually a servant. He’s the servant of a great cause.” So… If one isn’t willing to serve our clients’ best interest, then that person simply can’t belong here.
LEGACY – LEAVE THE JERSEY IN A BETTER PLACE.
Back to James Kerr’s book mentioned earlier: LEGACY – What the All Blacks can teach us about the business of life – It’s full of wisdom, as to why the the All Blacks are the most successful team in the world, of all time, in all sports. I suggest you read it. In essence, it boils down to their culture. That is what makes the ultimate difference.
“When a player makes the All Blacks, they are given a book. It’s a small black book, bound in fine leather, and beautiful to hold. The first page shows a jersey – that of the 1905 originals, the team who began this long whakapapa [ a line of descent from one’s ancestors]. On the next page is another jersey, that of the 1924 Invincible’s, and on the page after, another jersey, and another, and so on until the present day. It is a visual Whakapapa, layered with meaning, a legacy to step into. The next few pages of this All Black handbook remind you of the principles, the heroes, the values, the standards, the code of honour, the ethos, the character of the team.
The rest of the pages are blank. Waiting to be filled. It’s time to make your mark, they say. Your contribution. It’s time to leave a legacy. Your legacy. It’s your time.”
‘Graeme Henry says, “There’s a big saying in the team:
“You don’t own the jersey, you’re just the body in the jersey at the time”. It’s your job to continue the legacy and add to it when you get your opportunity… “Leave the jersey in a better place”…
So when an All Black pulls on that jersey, before going into battle. It is not just any jersey. It’s like a superhero’s cape. It is a treasure. It is a legacy. ‘A symbol of excellence, hard work and New Zealand’s ability to become, with effort, sacrifice and skill, the best in the world.’ A legacy each team member strives to live up to. This is the All Blacks superpower.
When it comes to Restate, if you choose to join our team, our tribe, then understand: The jersey you are committing to live up to, is that of a PROTECTOR. Remember – you fight for your clients at all cost.
REJECT THE STATUS QUO:
In real estate, the status quo is the sales culture. The status quo is to cold-call. We do not cold-call. Not ever. The status quo is to door knock. We do not door knock. Not ever. The status quo is to beg family and friends for business. We do not beg for business. Not ever. The status quo is to “always be closing”. We do not use manipulative closing techniques on our clients. Not ever. Everything they do, the typical agent, we do different. That means you must, going back to Marcinko, have absolute conviction in our cause. And be ready to fight for our beliefs. The status quo in real estate is driven by self-interest, greed, and short-term gain. Self-interest violates our core values. So, if you don’t have the courage to fight the status quo, on all fronts, wherever they appear, then you won’t be successful here. You’ll be the odd man out. In this movement, we fight together. We win together. Anything less, is unacceptable.
EXECUTE THE APPROACH:
This is not optional, nor open for discussion. We must execute the approach. This conviction is based on the principle of the ISO-9000. The ISO-9000 is a globally adopted, quality business management standard used by huge brands with support businesses located internationally. The reason it exists is so stakeholders can believe with confidence that a manufacturing plant located in another country will produce exactly what the contract says, without having to travel to the plant to conduct a huge inspection. If the plant is ISO-9000 certified, then they know it will perform to standard. Here, in this organisation, like the ISO-9000, we follow a documented protocol (outlined in The Common Sense Approach book) to be certain that the services, every time, deliver our clients a superior result. If we execute the documented protocol, we know the approach will perform to standard. Those who deviate—are warned. The second time, they’re fired. Failure to execute the documented approach will unquestionably lead to an inferior client result, which directly violates our core values. So we must execute. We must remain sharp, on point at all times. Attention to detail matters.
PURPOSE ABOVE PROFIT:
The entire premise that real estate is a “numbers game” disgusts us. Some agents and offices put their commission before everything. They, quite literally, have sold their integrity. If one cares more about commission than impact, purpose and fostering true relationships, then fine, carry on. The sales tactics await you. Here, though, we are different. Purpose; giving back, attempting to inspire our community, connecting with people on a much deeper level—will always guide our actions and decision-making. Like the Hippocratic oath in medicine, which states, “First do no harm,” we live by an equally simple code: Purpose above profit. This is how we win the long game.
You know the type. Ego is endemic in this industry. Agents want their name on everything. They want to see their picture. In their mind, they’re the stars of the show. They want their name in lights. Their belief: My business is more important than the success of my clients or my team.
Further, in no time, the ego driven individual becomes a cancer. Soon, he begins to rot the organisation from the inside out. In the words of Alanis Morissette, “The ego is a fascinating monster.” And while that may be true, no monster is welcome here.
The All Blacks are similar. They do not tolerate egomaniacs. Ingrained into their culture are many sayings and values, that constantly reinforce the importance of the team, the legacy, over individuals. Like “Sweep the sheds” – Never be too big to do the small things that need to be done, and “Pass the ball” – Leaders create leaders. But my personal favourite is a maxim they borrowed directly from the Sydney Swans: “No Dickheads”.
“No Dickheads is the antidote to the ‘bad apple’. It extends to selection – some of New Zealand’s favourite players have never made it to All Black status because they are considered to be ‘Dickheads’; others made it but are never invited back. It’s a powerful and effective philosophy that helps maintain an exceptional environment.”
Questions to ask yourself:
1 . Have I completed the homework above and did it resonate with me?
2 . Do the Core Values of Restate align with my own values, beliefs and convictions?
3 . Does Restate seem like a company I would want to be a partner of?
4 . Can I be trusted? Can I be counted on?
5 . Do I have a curiosity to learn/master new things?
6 . Do I take direction well?
7 . Am I willing to accept the responsibly as the CEO of my own success and outcome?
8 . Do I work fast, effectively and efficient?
9 . Can I meet deadlines?
10 . Can I manage and coordinate multiple projects?
11 . As a person, am I super-organized? Do I use a calendar or some other kind of deliberate organizer to schedule my day, all my activities, meetings, deadlines?
13 . As a Communicator, how high would I rate myself?
14 . How high would other people rate me?
15 . As a Team player, how high would others rate me?
16 . What is my best/most valuable skill or quality?
17 . Do I have any interest/skill in writing/storytelling?
18 . Am I willing to write a personal message, to tell Carl more about who I am and, specifically, what drives me and why I think I’m the right fit to become a partner with this company?
19 . Am I someone who is interested in opportunity for advancement/more responsibly?
20 . Am I someone who is willing “to do what it takes” to be considered for this position/opportunity?
If what I have written here has resonated with you in a meaningful way, and you think you would enjoy working at Restate, with other like-minded agents, where you’ll be a part of something bigger than yourself, then here’s what to do next: