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Why real estate brokerage is hated by the Life Is A Journey crowd

Radical life changes

On June 15th, 1967, the last day of my sophomore year in high school, I found myself in Dad’s car headin’ down I-5 towards my new home in San Diego County. It was only several weeks till my 16th birthday, and I was both sad to leave Mom, but excited in my anticipation of pretty much everything in my short life radically changing. In a 100 mile trip, I went from livin’ on Planet Estrogen, no job, and eight years of virtually no adult supervision from sunup to sunset, to alpha men everywhere, a job, and adult supervision that seemingly never slept.

Oh, and did I mention accountability? (Now before continuing, don’t get the wrong idea. By this time, Mom had already raised a well behaved OldSchool gentleman. She wouldn’t have had it any other way. Mom made you accountable. I left simply cuz at that age a boy should be led by a man if it’s possible. Furthermore, as a single mom in the 50’s and 60’s, Mom was one of thousands of mothers who were unsung heroes. Against what seemed insurmountable odds, she got it done.)

The Book of Dad

The Book of Dad had one chapter repeated 27 times. It was titled:

Don’t Make Excuses — Make Good. Life Is About Nothing If Not Results!

Achieving the goals we have in every aspect of our lives, regardless of what the Kumbaya crowd would have us believe, is about results. ‘Course, those who rarely if ever arrive at the finish line, often preach about process. As in, “It’s not about gettin’ to point B, it’s about the journey.”

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Oh yeah? Ask the seller on your last unsold listing what they thought about the freakin’ ‘process’ — their ‘journey’ to nowhere.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the sentiment behind the thought. But anything except gaining the desired result means we didn’t get the job done. Sure, we don’t mind falling short of a grandiose goal. But let’s not quibble about what we’re really talkin’ about here. Don’t insult intelligent people by comparing personal income goals with delivering the results for which we were hired.

We’re separating the talkers from the doers

The finishers from the wannabes. The excuse makers from those who consistently bring home the bacon. In life, there are those who do, and those who constantly expound on why they never seem able to get it done.

That’s why I love what I do as a real estate broker, getting folks to a better quality retirement through investing in real estate. See, the Kumaya Tribe isn’t enamored with the real estate industry. Go ahead, ask me why. Cuz it only pays for results — and nothin’ less. Either produce, or go hungry. Whiners not welcome.

Dad didn’t teach process. He taught triumph. He taught grinding it out. He never cared whether you worked 27 hours a week or 90. His questions only touched on process AFTER he’d ascertained the level of results attained.

Did ya get the listing? Yes or No?

Did the listing sell? Yes or No?

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What the worshipers of ‘process’ abhor so much about the real estate brokerage industry, is that it only rewards those who produce the results for which they were hired. Know what body of water the Kumbaya Tribe loves? The Sea of Gray.

There is no gray in this business. Sorry. Either produce results — or get a job where they pay you for showin’ up every day. It’s ALL about gettin’ results — Duh!

Written By

Jeff Brown specializes in real estate investment for retirement, has practiced real estate for over 40 years and is a veteran of over 200 tax deferred exchanges, many multi-state. Brown is a second generation broker and works daily with the third generation. With CCIM training and decades of hands on experience, Brown's expertise is highly sought after, some of which he shares on his real estate investing blog.



  1. Matthew Hardy

    October 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Jeff, you're one of the best and brightest writers in the world of real estate and one helluva guy too. When I was a kid I travelled with (then real estate trainer only) Tom Hopkins and now have been in the business of real estate software for nearly 10 years, so you could say, yeah, I've met a few. I'm sorry that I get to know your Dad only through you, but I'm sure he's proud of the facsimile.

    Yes, today it's too often about a "special" definition for ROI, "reaching out" and your "social graph" while being masters at pretend-work that if you tried in years past, would be rightfully seen through and you'd be out on yer keister.

    Keep saying it Jeff. I've got a feelin' that folks are getting ready for some sound thinking again… a bad economy can have a way of wringing out some of the BS that's easier to believe than actually working.

  2. Jeff Brown

    October 6, 2011 at 12:23 am

    Hey Matthew — Thanks so much for the kind words. I met Tommy Hopkins, and can do a serviceable impression. 🙂

    Agree with you about how tough times ferret the wannabe pretenders out pretty quickly. Schmoozing has gotten a bad rap the last few years, being associated with social media. Even I've grown tired of makin' fun of 'em though. It's too easy and no fun any more.

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