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Book Review: "REAL: A Path to Passion, Purpose and Profits in Real Estate"

#tinastips book review Mar 01, 2022

I recently read REAL: A Path to Passion, Purpose, and Profits in Real Estate and I highly enjoyed it! (You can check out a free sample right here, by the way). I decided to write up my "review" and personal insights on what I read and share it here as my very first post on this blog!

What stood out to me the most was the main author's take on what makes a great realtor. Instead of focusing on sales tactics, scripts, and gimmicks, the book dives into what makes the type of real estate professional who I admire - someone with intelligence, integrity, and authenticity. 

Here is a summary of my top takeaways and how they apply to my own business systems and philosophies:



REAL talks about designing your life and kicks off pointing out the difference between someone who "borrows" their lifestyle versus owns it.

He defines the Mortgagor as someone who hopes to retire someday, aims to make lots of money, is focused on acquiring MORE in life, and spends money on advertising and ego-focused initiatives.

He defines the Owner as someone who schedules periodic mini-retirements, restorative vacations and frequent breaks; who earns enough money to fund their ideal lifestyle and pursue lifelong dreams; who does more with less and avoids clutter; and who builds meaningful, ongoing relationships with people in communities. 

I've definitely been the mortgagor in the past! When I was new in real estate, I was also young, and had not defined my personal values and definition of success yet. My only measuring stick for success and growth was whether I sold more homes and netted more money than last year. It's a convenient/lazy way to think. Through time, and some difficult experiences and lessons, I realized that my definition of success is very different - and now I align with this Owner mindset to a tee!



One topic Crumby hones in on through the book is the concept of looking at real estate as a craft (as opposed to just a means to an end, or a "calling"). I really resonate with this concept - a craft is something you are constantly improving, finessing, refining - if you are quality oriented like me, that probably sounds affirming to your values!

Later in the book he defines a Personality agent vs. a Process agent. This was my favorite part! A Personality agent is what it sounds like - someone with a "larger than life" persona who seems like a natural born salesperson. If you fall in that category, congratulations!

The rest of us can thrive as Process agents: agents that patiently build our skills, expertise, and craft. Over time, the Process agent wins, because they can thrive on systems, predictability, and loyal relationships, instead of their personal energy resources (which are finite!). I loved this part of the book because it affirmed something I learned the hard way over my 17 years in this industry - being a Process agent isn't just the second best alternative to being a Personality agent, it's a gift that makes it possible to go the distance in this life-long career. I used to think being a Personality agent was the best way to succeed and now I see the immense beauty in Process.



REAL breaks down two methods to influence human behavior:

Manipulating behavior isn't necessarily wrong or unethical, it can be as simple as a gimmick like discounting your commission or throwing a party for your brokerage to try to improve morale and retention.

Inspiring behavior is about personal influence through connection, authenticity, and connecting to "why". When people feel a strong connection to you and your values, they will take action on their own to support you, hire you, and refer you - without you needing to ask, cajole, remind, beg, etc!

If you feel like you've been caught in a manipulation loop that isn't working for you, one recommendation from the book which I agree with wholeheartedly is to check out Simon Sinek's "Start With Why" philosophy to move your behavior and mindset into the inspiration space!



One unique concept the book mentions is thinking of your database/sphere/SOI as your "portfolio". The thought process is that your unique collection of relationships is like a collection of stocks or real estate holdings, and by investing in your people portfolio, it will pay dividends. 

I love this terminology and what it implies. The key in real estate is not to just be a collector of relationships, but an investor in relationships. There are a lot of ways to invest in relationships, and two core ideals that have helped me the most are to approach relationships with authenticity and generosity.

When I meet someone new, I consciously think "How can I help this person?". I also consciously add them to my database so I can keep in touch! Oftentimes, the answer to how I can help them eventually appears on social media if we've connected there. REAL points out what I have experienced for years - listening on social is even more important than posting or "talking". If you listen (aka read, pay attention to, and take action upon) to what your connections are saying, you can help them. You can promote or refer their new business that they just opened. You can send them flowers when their grandmother passes away. You can connect them to someone like minded who can help them. The options are never ending and it's never too late to start being a giver, a great listener, and approach people from a human relational headspace instead of "let's make a sale" headspace.

You've probably heard it a million times - when people know, like, and trust you, they will work with you. So if you prefer to pour into relationships instead of asking for business, great news - you can keep doing that and trust that it will lead to new business opportunities down the road. 



I saved my favorite part for last! One cool thing about this book is the second half is comprised of guest entries from various high achievers in the real estate industry. Marc Davison of 1000watt (a real estate branding agency) had the best entry, in my opinion! He wrote about "the good things a person must do along the road to riches", and he wrote a powerful passage as to how he defines success. 

This is what he said - I put my favorites in bold:

"True success is defined by how victorious you are in the battle over your inherent beliefs, morals, and values. The less of these you compromise for money, the more successful you'll be.

Success is ending every day knowing that you treated someone better than you expect to be treated yourself. 

Success is recognizing mistakes, owning up to them, and taking every step to ensure they never happen again. Success comes at the conclusion of a task done flawlessly.

Success occurs when you confront a challenge rather than cower from it. You'll understand the value of this as you conquer difficulties and emerge better, stronger, and smarter as a result. You witness success when people find more value in you as a result.

Success is managing your disappointment with class.

Success is never selling a service you aren't 100% specialized at and referring a client to someone who is. True success is doing this and not taking a dime for it. In fact, that's something people describe as honorable.

Success is making commitments to people and sticking to them, come hell or high water

Success is never compromising your ideals. Ever. Success occurs when you relentlessly stick to this and become known for it. True success comes from reaching a point where you no longer have to sell yourself because so many others vouch for you. Willingly. And intensely. 

Success comes from sharing credit with your team rather than taking all the glory.

Success is all about recognizing your weaknesses and partnering with entities that possess strength in those areas. True success is deciding that the cost to do this is a prudent investment into your clients' well being. And your reputation. 

Adhere to these things, and you will truly know success."


I hope you find as much inspiration in these words about success as I did! If you read this far, thank you, and please drop me a comment with your favorite takeaway!

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