A few words can change your life. The advice you get from your mentor, friend, or family member can even change the course of your career forever. Accredited Land Consultants Geoff Hurdle, ALC, Bill Burruss, ALC, and Terri Jensen, ALC, share the advice that helped shape their successful careers in land.
Know Yourself to Know Others
Understanding yourself is an important part to succeeding in the land industry. You need to know your own strengths and weaknesses in order to improve your weaknesses and play up your strengths.
“Doing the best that I can and to ‘know myself’ have been the underlying themes to my leadership skills,” says Bill Burruss, ALC, winner of RLI’s 2018 Land REALTOR® of America Award.
“These two pieces of advice were instilled by my parents and reiterated by my teachers in high school. Respect for others was also a strong value. It could be argued that I was taught to live The Great Commandment, to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’. I believe to be successful you have to know yourself. Both my parents and teachers would challenge me by having me evaluate myself regularly. This forced me to understand what I did well, and where I had problems, and ultimately make the needed changes to achieve my goals.”
Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin
There are lots of ways to make money in real estate. Instead of trying to excel in every single field, Geoff Hurdle, ALC, winner of the 2018 APEX Wrangler Award, found success by focusing his time and energy on the things he knew the most about.
"My father taught me there were many ways to make money in real estate,” says Hurdle. “One of the most valuable things he taught me was to stick with what you know. I learned the value of that advice when I strayed from it. It cost me, a lot. I went back to what I knew and I have not looked back again!"
Respect and Hard Work Are Everything
Land real estate is a people business at its core. Respect for your fellow man can help you go far. Burruss also learned that the land industry is one where hard work and a love of land speak louder than race or gender.
“Respect was all about my generation, growing up in the ‘60s. I went through integration in the 7th grade. Within four years, women were hitting the streets in waves wanting equal pay and better job opportunities. Before I became a REALTOR®, I was hired by a person who was gay and then one who was African American. When I started real estate, my broker was female. The reason I got into leadership on the national level was by invitation from the Virginia Association of REALTORS® President-Elect, Nathan Booth, who was the first black president of a REALTOR® state association. All of these people had a great love for their fellow neighbor that I want to replicate. All of them are great because they are great, not because they are female, African American, or gay.”
Terri Jensen, ALC, with National Land Realty also highlights the importance of the three R’s. “Respect for self; respect for others; responsibility for all that I do,” says Jensen.
Hard work is also essential for success in the land industry, as Dan Murphy, ALC, with M4 Ranch Group explained in his 2018 Terra Firma article Getting To The Top: Finding The Apex Of Success.
“Each of us in the industry knows that we only eat what we kill. This industry makes no payment for a second place ﬁnish,” says Murphy. “If the transaction does not close, we don’t get paid. Our success at M4 Ranch Group in 2017 is without fail directly tied to the strength, intelligence, and the never-quit attitude of Team.”
Communication Is Key
Making sure that you are not just heard, but understood ensures that you and your client are on the same page.
“If you don’t know the answer to a question, let the client know that,” says Terri Jensen, ALC,. “Do let them know, though, that because of your years of experience, education, and expertise, that you probably know someone who can answer the question.”
The land industry is so massive and there are so many roads to take that it can be easy to feel lost. Listening to advice from land agents with decades of experience can help guide you in the right direction.
Looking to find a mentor in the land industry that can give you the advice that will change your career forever? Becoming a member of the REALTORS ® Land Institute gives you access to a national network of over 1,300 land professionals to connect with and learn from.
About the Author: Laura Barker is a freelance writer based out of California for the REALTORS® Land Institute. She has been with RLI since October 2017.