16 May Hustle Harder – Hustle Smarter.
Hustle Harder – Hustle Smarter.
Not the title of some publication by an estate agency training guru.
Instead,the title of the upcoming book by Curtis Jackson, a.k.a 50 Cent.
Hugely successful rapper, investor in drinks company, Vitaminwater, that netted him $100 million when sold to Coca-Cola in 2007, actor and producer, his life story had all the hallmarks of a Hollywood blockbuster. A far cry from the early beginnings when he was raised by his grandmother, after the death in an unexplained fire of his drug-dealer mother. Convicted, himself, of selling cocaine at the age of nineteen, he escaped prison and served time in a boot camp. Music followed, then, consumed his life.
In 2000, he was the victim of a severe shooting incident, but returned to music after his recovery.
Fast forward to 2015 and he filed for bankruptcy, being required to pay his creditors $23 million over five years – he paid it off after only months!
And now, in 2020. He’s on his seventh, solo book; Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter.
In which he provides a blue-print for entrepreneurial success.
It goes like this:
Construct your crew.
Know your value.
Power of perception.
Evolve or die.
Four headings that would breathe life into any struggling estate agency/realtor.
Construct your crew.
Many will tell you to hire, or work with, like-minded people.
Some of the ‘consultants’ might encourage you to use the DISC profile system.
Build a culture that personifies your values and goals – all that best practice estate agency training stuff.
It doesn’t work!
If it did, estate agencies wouldn’t be so mistrusted. Or have such high staff churn.
Let me lay this out for you, nice and simple.
You’re a bad judge of people. Of character.
You hire and surround yourself with the wrong type of people. People that will do what you tell them and never raise their hand in disagreement. Until they leave.
Instead of seeking those that fit in, try the misfits. The broken toys. Those that can think for themselves.
Instead of Disc, try intuition.
Instead of competence, try character.
Build your team of square pegs and inspire them to do their best work.
Telling them what you expect, but not how to do it.
That freedom will repay threefold.
A team of individuals, not afraid to stand in the spotlight. To build their own brand, whilst they skyrocket your agency brand.
Not a team of Yes-Men/Yes-Women that will follow your rules. Will hide behind the mask because the corporate brand is elemental.
If you’re to “construct your crew”, now is the chance to be bold. To be different. To be, not just another estate agency.
Billy Beane did something similar, in baseball, for the Oakland A’s. Bringing together a bunch of over-weight, undervalued, maverick misfits and turning them into a record breaking team. His story was encapsulated in the film, MoneyBall, starring Brad Pitt.
Know Your Value.
“There is always someone cheaper & hungrier than you are. If you do undifferentiated work, the market will squeeze you to do it cheaper”. – Seth Godin
Is what you do worth talking about?
Can we get it somewhere else?
Is your agency/real estate brokerage unique?
The answer to those questions will, in part, determine what you perceive to be your value.
There’s a whole heap of rap artists out there, right now.
All bringing pretty much the same stuff.
But there was only ever one 50 Cent.
Don’t confuse Curtis Jackson with 50 Cent.
Two entirely different personas.
One private, one public.
“No-one can be a better 50 cent than me.” – Curtis Jackson.
There’s a whole heap of realtors out there, right now.
All delivering pretty much the same stuff.
Where’s your alter-ego? Do you even have one?
Or, when you lock the office door and head home, is it still the same person that gets to play with your kids and hug your wife?
Here’s the thing.
Your value isn’t determined by what you do in a commodity marketplace.
It’s not determined by the 5 star services you provide – those same services as nearly every other agency.
You get paid big money for who you are – not for what you do!
If you insist on hiding behind a mask. Of failing to allow vendors from knowing what you believe. Your value to them is diminished. They have to guess whether you’re a good fit for them. They guess – sometimes you lose!
If you think you’re worth more – charge more! But don’t come up with the feeble excuse that it’s essential to remain competitive.
“Competition is for losers”. – Peter Thiel.
Power of Perception.
Most estate agency/real estate, as with life, is built on perception.
It’s the story we all tell ourselves to make sense of the world.
The question is: Are you telling a story that the vendor wants to hear?
Features & benefits? Facts & figures?
Yes, you’re a great agent, but could you be more boring?
Emotion is what makes the world go around.
What do you want someone to feel?
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel?” – Maya Angelou.
You’ve got to show people who you are.
For larger corporate estate agencies, that’s hard. They’re accustomed to keeping their message comfortably neutral – more brand, less character.
Character abounds within their corporate world – they just aren’t used to leading with it. They play it safe because they can.
Make someone feel something about you. Tell them the story that only you can tell. It becomes so much easier to persuade.
The most powerful of persuaders?
“Words are powerful, painful, awful and amazing tools. They can help, hinder and heal. But they are not cheap. They are quite expensive. Words cost something. Like your time & money. Sometimes they even cost you your patience and self-worth. Words have a price tag.” – Jeff Goins, Writer
Words that cause emotion. Words that change perception. Anything other than “Call for a FREE Valuation” . I hope you’re better than that!
Evolve, or Die.
Interesting times in real estate, right now. Aside from the pandemic, there’s a shakeup, long overdue. Not so much in how the business model is executed. It’s irrelevant whether agencies operate as a high-street branch, purely online, or as a hybrid. All three can work, if well executed.
No, that shakeup comes in how an agency interacts with potential clients.
For far too long, it’s been a purely transactional business.
That didn’t matter when estate agency, real estate business, was just another humdrum sector.
Now, though, it’s overrun with realtors, all trying to make a living. Either as a core business, or as a side hustle. Everyone has realtor on their résumé.
It’s going to get worse as large corporate businesses shed staff and real estate agencies such as Keller Williams encourage anybody and everybody to get rich through real estate. Selling the dream for those that don’t want to think for themselves.
“Kept breaking promises you said you would keep, so you can leave a message at the beep.” – Mac Miller.
To the extent that estate agency has now become a commodity.
So, evolve or die?
How then to evolve?
By distancing oneself from commodity work.
What parts of real estate cannot be replicated? Cannot be commoditised?
The rush to join the tech revolution?
No amount of technology; no matter how amazing, can by itself ignite the shift from good to great. No technology can turn the wrong people into the right people. No technology can instill faith & trust. Technology doesn’t provide a USP. If you can afford it, it’s yours.
Becoming the ‘digital mayor’? There’s nothing to stop any other agent becoming the same. All they lack is the courage and determination.
No, as well, to service, valuation & fee level.
Six star service is just around the corner. Valuations are free and fee-levels are down to zero.
Here’s the thing: You don’t need to evolve as a real estate agent. There’s nothing that you can do that can’t be done. I feel a Beatles song coming on:)
Evolve, instead, as a person.
Are you totally transparent? Authentic? Unambiguous?
Do you value integrity? Honesty? Congruence?
What matters most? Fame & fortune? Or, fulfillment?
When you understand who you are and who you seek to become. how you might evolve as a person, not as a realtor.
Then you have limitless supply of content that only adds to the perception of you as being unique.
Sharing that with the community. Building an audience that anticipates hearing from you.
All of that – instead of wearing the mask that every agent wears to hide their fear.
If that is a fear and you can’t bring yourself to evolve, the future is looking decidedly bleak.
Estate agency will change. From a purely transactional process.
Into one where relationships are the only thing that will matter.
The number of agents, as a consequence, will diminish.
They can only fool some of the people, some of the time.
Their ‘hustle for your worthiness’ type. Those never-take-no-for-an-answer agents, will make a last door-knock. Pick up the phone for the last time and “rage, rage against the dying of the light”.
They will quite vanish. As if they had never been.
“Sorry it had to end this way but, uh, it is what it is”. – Snoop Dog
Thanks, as always, for reading. I’ve been fascinated researching the genre of rap. It never held much interest, but truth is, it’s simply story, told in a unique way.
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