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Wanted: Great Role Models

I am an avid believer that to be great I must stand on the shoulders of giants – learn from the mistakes of others – and have role models in my life. I am also an avid believer that good is the enemy of great.

So, here is my dilemma…

Derek and I are in the process of building our real estate team again (long story …) and although we are on the right track, staying busy and doing very well, I believe in having mentors and role models for everything
we do if we want to succeed in anything. So, we have been searching for a local role model … But …

Most agents in my market are either heavy hitters with old school business models or just “good” agents.

While neither type of agent is inherently bad, neither agent is a type of agent that I would choose as a role model.

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I am a great real estate agent and I will be a great real estate agent. I have uber-lofty goals and expectations of my business. I have super high standards and strict ethical stances.

So, I refuse to old-school myself to goodness. I would rather new-school myself to greatness.

So, how do I find a role model that shares my business-belief system yet is further advanced in their business (through new school methods) and can offer me a model that I can shape my growing business after?

I hate to pose a question without potential answers. But, I ALSO know that there are some super successful … GREAT agents out in the blogosphere that may be able to help me (and others facing this dilemma).


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Written By

Mariana is a real estate agent and co-owner of the Wagner iTeam with her husband, Derek. She maintains the Colorado Springs Real Estate Connection Blog and is also a real estate technology trainer and coach. Mariana really enjoys helping real estate agents boost their businesses and increase their productivity through effective use of technology. Outside of real estate, blogging and training, she loves spending time with her husband and 2 sons, reading, re-watching Sci-Fi movies and ... long walks on the beach?



  1. Ines

    December 10, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    Mariana – it’s not easy and we have gone through the same thought process. I do think that the Blogosphere is what can make all of this happen and although your role model may not be one single person and may not be local, I do think you can model after different aspects of people you know and respect in the blogosphere.

    I think it’s a matter of separating the different aspects of our business that need improvement and start the search from there.

    One of the things I learned from the judging in Project Blogger is that everyone had different needs and everyone of those judges (no matter how mean they seemed to be) had something good to teach.

  2. Mariana

    December 10, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    Ines – Thank you for your input. I agree that there really is a need for multiple role models – one for each area of your business: client attraction (vs. lead generation), financial/economic, organizational, etc.

    You are also so right about finding a little role model in each person you meet (virtually or physically). Ultimately, that may be the answer that I am looking for… Thank you my friend!

  3. Ben Bach

    December 10, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    Mariana I’m going to email you someone to speak with

    Be Great

  4. Norm Fisher

    December 10, 2007 at 6:44 pm


    What about a real estate coach? Mentorship and accountability.

  5. Mariana

    December 10, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    Ben – Thank you. We saw her at last MegaCamp … What a GREAT idea!
    Norm – I have a RE Coach and an accountability partner(s). It is the mentor that I am having a very difficult time finding – one that is close enough to my “style” of business, but ahead of me enough to be an effective role model…

  6. John Harper

    December 10, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    Mariana – Sometimes in life, things evolve ass backwards. Teach the greatness you want to achieve to others. Help lift them to your level and the other thing will take care of itself. Of course, your greatness will just seem ordinary to you because you’re just being yourself.

    Everything I’ve seen about you in the last year shows more than a diamond in the rough.

  7. Benn Rosales

    December 10, 2007 at 7:25 pm


    I’m sorry, you’ve grown up. Welcome to the position of Pioneer. You’re going to have go national, or even international in hopes of finding your version of a model. You’ve stepped into the view some of us already have- that view is of YOU being the first to travel the long road ahead where others haven’t been.

    I do not look for a tech greatness in my own league- I simply look a old business techniques and ask myself- how can I modernize that into greatness?

  8. Mariana

    December 11, 2007 at 8:52 am

    John – Thank you. You know, every class that I teach I DO learn something – kind of like what Ines mentioned – finding a little role model in everyone vs. a big role model in someone…

    Benn- I SO did not just grow up… 😉 But you nailed the issue right on the head: Pioneer. Innovative. First. Forerunner. Ultimately, that is exactly what I want, but unchartered territory CAN be a bit daunting at first. Funny, but I am always asking my self a similar question: How can I make THIS more effective and useful? Thank you.

  9. Jeremy Hart

    December 11, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    Paralysis by fear, but you’ve certainly shown no fear in taking control. Perhaps it’s not that you need a mentor “ahead” of you, but instead a mentor that’s willing to push you and be pushed by you? Maybe that’s too close to an accountability partner, but sometimes the leader has to find ways to be motivated …

  10. Mariana

    December 11, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    Jeremy – You are right. So right. In my situation an accountability partner may indeed be better than a “mentor” …

  11. Teresa Boardman

    December 11, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    Mariana – I can relate to your problem to the point where I have become an outsider, even at Keller Williams. My ideas are not embraced and not for everyone but I blieve they are the best way for me to take my business to greatness. My roll models are outside of the real estate industry. I meet with other small business owners in my community who are successful. I don’t think our role models have to be other agents . . yah I know I already said that.

  12. Mariana

    December 11, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    Teresa – I am also an outsider – even at KW, myself. That is one reason why I am persuing more leadership roles, so I can help all the other “outsiders”. But you are right, outside the industry is probably the best place to look right now …

  13. Ben Bach

    December 12, 2007 at 12:15 am

    Teresa and Mariana, what do you feel makes you an outsider ? At my KW market centre, I am the ‘thought leader’ when it comes to blogging, but everyone else seems to be fascinated by it, wanting to learn how they can impliment it into their business.

    Is this different than the reaction to blogging you receive ?

  14. Teresa Boardman

    December 12, 2007 at 9:32 am

    Ben – Our offices here are very different from offices I have encountered in other states. When I do agree to speak in one of the offices it is very well received by the agents and I have gotten several started with blogs. We talk about culture a lot. I guess I am finding that I don’t feel all that comfortable in most of the offices. I belong to one office, and hang out at another. The OP at one office would like me to leave, and the TL at the other office does not like me and has made it very clear. There are two other office that want me to join them but I can’t handle the drive. Most of this has to do with the ownership groups and there is more but I think I’ll send you a note if you are really interested in any of this KW mess that I got myself into. I have to say though MO Anderson sent me a lovely personal note recently that I have hanging in my office. I am a major fan of hers and admire her very much. If I ever grow up I might even consider being more like her. A truly remarkable and amazing woman.

  15. Ben Bach

    December 12, 2007 at 9:41 am

    Sounds like something is up in St Paul 🙂

  16. Ryan Hukill

    December 12, 2007 at 10:34 am

    Marianna, you’re so speaking my language here. I too struggle with finding anyone local to “follow around” because I can honestly say that I’m the only one truly seeking the new-school way in my market. The blogosphere has definitely been my means of finding leaders to learn from, and that will probably continue to be my only means. I don’t so much mind though, because I like standing out from the crowd. It can be a lonely place at times though.

  17. Teresa Boardman

    December 12, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    There is no St. Paul office. 🙁

  18. Mariana

    December 12, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Ben – I am an outsider. Yes. Qualification: I am ALSO a thought leader – a go-to person for all things remotely innovative and tehnological. But I am still an outsider. No one to “mastermind” with inside my office or area …
    I definitely believe that my office is “better” than most other offices (both KW and non-kw) in my area, because no matter WHAT I am (outsider, thought leader …) I have the BEST support on the planet. My TL, OP, MCA … They do whatever they can to support me and what I want to do, because ultimately they know it will help their office. I DO love my office.
    Many agents that I work with/teach/mentor are great listeners/students but most are not at a place where (I believe) they are ready for a blog and all that it means, let alone in a place where they can be a role model for where I am in my business life. There is nothing wrong with that, but how I help others was not the intent of my post, here. … which leads me to …

    Ryan – Yes. Standing out from a crowd is an awesome, awesome place to be, but it can be lonely.

  19. Mariana

    December 12, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    Teresa – “If I ever grow up I might even consider being more like her.” I totally agree with that. Mo Rocks! Good luck with your office, though.

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