Welcome to the real estate paradox

By Sandesh Bilgi, Vice President of Global Learning, Sotheby’s International Realty

“Did I choose the right brokerage? I don’t know, maybe I did; I am not sure; maybe I should switch, but I am happy here and comfortable. But I am not getting what I want — maybe somewhere else will give me more. I could ask for more commission. What am I paying for? Is this the right brand? Are they nickel-and-diming me?”

Stop right there.

You think that the grass is greener on the other side — well, keep thinking that, because in either case you will still have to mow it. That means the grass still grows on both sides; which one will you water and take care of?

The truth is you are happy where you are at, and you have all the tools and resources that you need. You just need to start using them. You have an incredible company, an awesome brand, a stellar leadership team (trust me, I know them), but you have to stop blaming them and be accountable for your actions. I know that you are fully capable of being the next top producer, and you have amazing support. You just know that this is the right fit for you, but you still have self-doubt that prevents you from cashing those checks.

It all comes down to your own mental mindset, your ability to believe in yourself and the true understanding of your why.

Again… Stop. Take a deep breath and let yourself know that you are at the right brokerage, this is the perfect fit, you have all the tools and resources that you need to be successful and you are aligned with the perfect support system to get you through the abyss to become successful and make money.

Welcome to the real estate paradox: we always want more, we seek differentiation, we yearn for opportunity, we need more money, but we don’t change. We want now-money but have futuristic behavior and choices. We struggle with maintaining business while trying to generate business — well, guess what? We all struggle with the same.

The answer is simple:

  1. Know your capabilities: Are you building a sustainable business?
  2. Understand your value proposition: Are you leveraging all of your assets and those of your company?
  3. Perfect your market: Do you know all the stats and trends of your target area?
  4. Running a business: Do you know your numbers?
  5. Be a specialist: Would someone pay you to ask you a question because you are an expert?
  6. Have a plan: Do you know what you are doing?

Now that you understand this… go look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are aligned with the best brokerage, you have the magic wand, you know where to go and you are ready to make it happen.

Welcome to real estate, whether you are one day, one month, one year or a lifetime in the business — we all struggle with this. But you are not alone, and no one can figure this out for yourself but you. You are in the right place.

Stay the course, build a bridge, dig deep not wide, capitalize on opportunities, have fun and believe in yourself. You have made the right decision, and the minute you question it… make a phone call and ask the right question… someone will always answer. Once again, you are in the right place at the right time, and that time is now.

For more on choosing the right brokerage, check out AgentEDU’s course on the best real estate company to work for.

Sandesh Bilgi is the vice president of global learning for Sotheby’s International Realty. He is responsible for the learning and coaching platform for all the agents worldwide for the brand focusing on agent productivity, value proposition, business planning and lead generation. Sandesh also works with broker owners and leadership to develop a retention and recruitment strategy and plan of action. His mastery of skill with over 20 years in the real estate space is based on mental preparation, positive planning and energy realignment. Sandesh can be seen everywhere — just look. (Facebook, LinkedIn).

How to make virtual meetings and events more engaging and inclusive

They were a novelty at first, but now that we’re used to them, it’s clear there are some serious drawbacks to Zoom and other digital meeting platforms. One person’s audio isn’t working, another has a screaming child or barking dog in the background, and others are clearly not paying attention, unless of course the meeting is interrupted by a Zoombomber.

Another problem is that it can be hard to read the virtual room. With fewer nonverbal clues, people often talk over each other. A 2019 Women in the Workplace report created by McKinsey and LeanIn.org found that 50% of women surveyed had experienced being interrupted or spoken over during a workplace meeting. Digital meeting platforms have likely made the situation worse, allowing workplace bullies to hide behind their screens.

But with some workplaces going permanently remote, it looks like Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts are here to stay. Luckily, there are ways to make virtual meetings more entertaining, compelling and equitable, according to Creative Impact Group President Joanne Brooks, whose company stages corporate events such as trade shows, product launch celebrations, team building exercises, and lately, virtual meetings. Brooks offered the following tips for agents looking to think outside the “Brady Bunch” Zoom box to create a memorable virtual event.

  • Plan ahead. Create an agenda and share it prior to the meeting, but don’t stop there. Have a plan in place in case the meeting — or any participant — goes off on a tangent. Knowing how to bring it back on track is key to keeping participants involved while avoiding dead air or a loss on engagement.
  • Build inclusive interaction. Attendees will get the most out of your meeting if they are able to participate before, during and after the meeting. Find out what participants want to discuss beforehand, organize breakout groups to give attendees the chance to interact and discuss topics at hand, and follow up with relevant resources afterward.
  • Take breaks. Attention spans are even shorter in a virtual setting, according to Brooks, so it’s important to give audience members time to process all the information you’re giving them. The venue may be virtual, but attendees can still move around their space. Incorporate physical movement — even elements of yoga — to retain concentration and focus during a long meeting.
  • Bring in some talent. For a special virtual event, surprise guests by bringing in a comedian, local celebrity or important figure in your company to moderate the meeting. Give attendees a chance to ask questions and interact, something they can’t get from watching a recording. Other ideas to engage stressed out clients or associates include hosting an interactive cooking demo or a virtual fitness training session.
  • Hit them up with treats. Not everything has to be virtual, said Brooks. She suggested mailing packages with branded items ahead of the meeting or delivering lunch to participants’ homes, a memorable way to thank attendees for their time and engagement.
  • Rehearse. Treat a large virtual event like any other involved production you might undertake and give it a dry run ahead of time. Make sure your content is polished, technology is working, and key players are on script.

If you’re looking to work optimally from home, our article on productivity habits has you covered. If you’re looking for other ways to adapt to the new landscape created by COVID-19, read our post on staging for the post-coronavirus era.