What area do you work Rob?
This is a question that I frequently get asked. For the most part, I do the majority of my business in Baltimore County. However, the correct answer to that question is….I work where my referrals take me. Working by referral has been the best decision I have made since I have been in the business. When I first entered this business, I was told you have to spend money to make money. Spend money, I did! My first full calendar year in the business I grossed approximately $41,000. My net was about $1,000. Like I said, I bought into the fact that I had to spend it to make it. But I learned quickly that there was a smarter way.
I walked into my office one morning and saw a marketing piece for a seminar to learn how to do business by referral. This guy’s name was Brian Buffini. I thought, “He’s Italian, I’m Italian. Ok, I’m in!” Low and behold, I go to this seminar in Timonium, MD and this 5’7” Italian looking guy comes out on stage and the first words out of his mouth were “Top of the morning to you” and the crowd yells back “ and the rest of the day to you”. The words weren’t the problem; his accent was! He had this heavy Irish accent with an Italian name. “How could that be?” I asked myself. Man! Two minutes into this seminar I was turned off already. I’m thinking, “This Italian wannabe with an Irish accent is going to try to sell me another system in sales that just won’t work.” Well, I was already there, so I listened, and I listened, and I listened. Before I knew it, he had me going to this 2-day event in Tyson’s Corner, VA. And that’s where the story really starts.
While at the conference, I met so many people who had been coached by Buffini & Company. Every single one of them was happy, fired up and the weirdest part of all, they were willing to share. Most realtors don’t like to share. They feel like they are giving away a secret and that they could possibly lose business just because they shared a process or a system they use. The first half of the seminar was all about systems and working by referral and how much money you could make. I sat there thinking to myself, “Yes, I was right! Here’s another sales guy selling another system that was going to cost me a lot of money and make me absolutely nothing!” I listened and I watched the people around me. But it wasn’t until after I returned from lunch that the real magic happened. The speaker/owner of the business, Brian Buffini, did a quick review of the morning and then took a turn that I least expected. He began to talk about personal growth. If you know me, you know I was thinking this was “right up my alley”. He talked about having a business to support my life and not a business that runs my life. He talked about living a GOOD LIFE and not a life of craziness consumed by this business. Some things happened over the next hour or so that I promise to share in a future post that totally sold me on this guy and his systems. But the bottom line was that I was sold! At the end of the event I approached Brian and I asked him this question. “Brian, how do I make this business not about the money?” His advice was to work the system, trust the system, and be coachable. And so I did and since then, things have never been the same for my business and my life.
Working by referral has become a way of life for me. It has helped me build and strengthen so many relationships in my life. When working by referral there is a deeper sense of loyalty and trust. I don’t have that day to day uncertainty of who I will connect with. I deliberately and purposefully connect with the relationship I currently have and I ask them to introduce me to people just like themselves. I am grateful to have been a part of this coaching program for the last 11 years and for what I have learned and been taught. Most importantly, I am grateful for the people like yourselves that I have met.
Until next time…