Richard was featured in Jere Metcalf’s “Top real estate agents tell how they do it” podcast talking about real estate business and we have noted some of the great thoughts Richard shared. So, what helps Richard stay on top after 37 years in the business?
“4-5 years ago I’ve decided to move towards a team, not a partnership, but a team. And I also took the bold step of not naming it after me, I wanted it to be known as “Torontoism”, because I wanted that when I decide to retire, it could continue on and exist without me or without me being involved day-to-day. I’ve structured the team so that I no longer list anything on my own, I list together with the team members, I never work with a buyer on my own, I always work as a team”
We focused on creating diversity within our team and making sure that we represented a lot of different cultures. The reality is we not only have the different cultures, we also have 10 languages within our team. We have somebody who speaks Mandarin, we have somebody who speaks Cantonese, we have Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, English, French, Ukrainian, Portuguese."
2. Systems, systems, systems…
Richard stresses the importance of systematic approach in any business and one of the systems he likes to use is a CRM system Realvolve. “It basically has workflows developed for every single part of the transaction and it notifies you as an agent as it gives you the list when you get up every morning and it says “ok, today you are going to do this, you are going to do that”. All of these things, and it basically automates and it puts systems into your day-to-day.”
In my history looking back on people who have come to the market and left the market, there were people who are absolutely wonderful but they had no systems, they had no sort of “ok, this is what you do today, this is what you are going to do tomorrow”, so they would have a couple of good sales and then they would disappear for three days, in the meantime everything was falling apart. So being consistent is really important.
3. Work hard and stay consistent
“It’s a matter of just being motivated and keeping that ball rolling, putting your head down…Especially for the new agents. Many people ask: “how do you achieve success?” For the first two years I just put my head down, I went and sought everything that I could: all of the open houses, I met as many people as I could, I set open houses every weekend and I worked myself crazy, just putting my head down and continuing to work.”
I didn’t go in and out, I tried not to be uneven in my workflow, I tried be very even and very dedicated.
4. Imagine you are the client
What would Richard do if he had to start all over again in a new market with only $500 in his pocket? Pretend he was a buyer!
The first thing I would do is to pretend that you are a buyer and pretend that you are a seller and go on the internet and see what is working and see what is not working, see who comes up, see what their deal is. Try and just pretend that you don’t know anyone, you just arrived here: what are you going to do? What are the steps you need to take?
5. Never stop learning
You have to change, our business is always changing, there is always going to be something new, there is always going to be a bright new shiny object, which is something I love about real estate. It’s a whole lifestyle, it’s not just the job.
6. Be the source of information
“Be the source of information, but leave your personal thoughts out of it, don’t get into it, only deal with what you do – you market properties, you’re not a surveyor you’re not a building inspector but you can provide them with the names of the best private bankers, the best immigration lawyers, etc.”
I’m trying to give as much information as possible, so that when the people are looking for information or looking for somebody to help them, they are going to come to you. Don’t be afraid of telling people how you do things, because there is a huge difference between telling people and doing it. I share everything!
You can find the video of the whole interview here.