So your down and out.....the world is falling apart.....can't sell a home......can't find a buyer.....business is too stressful.....ready to throw in the towel of the real estate world..... Well, here is a story that has changed my life, and I hope that it will change yours. It' long, but if you make it through, it may change your life forever........
Before starting up The Bartlett Real Estate Group with Keller Williams with my partners, Ken, Tom, and Marissa in 2003, I had strong insecurities of leaving a job where I was earning between $200k and $300k. That is a tough decision to go from making a pretty decent income to zero. So, yes, I was wetting my pants with such a decision.
T H E A D T H A T C H A N G E D M Y L I F E
So pondering the decision, I went on vacation to La Jolla California to relax my mind for several weeks. At a restaurant, I saw a real estate magazine, and as most agents, I just had to read it. Flipping through the pages, I saw an ad (which I keep in my wallet everyday) with a picture very similar to what you see above with blurbs about a couple of multi-million dollar homes for sale. My wife saw the confused look on my face and asked what was up, and I showed her the ad...and I said "What the heck is this!"
At first I was baffled, but then, I figured it out in my mind. HE MUST HAD BEEN A VERY SUCCESSFUL AGENT, and then lost his sight. That made since.....I could see myself pulling that off....maybe. BUT, I had to dig into this to see if this really was the case. Mind you, he has an extremely successful brokerage office on La Jolla's prime downtown real estate street of Wall Street.
Well....I was wrong.
B E F O R E T H E C A R C R A S H
So, I found his website and found that I was completely wrong. At age 19, he had a horrific car crash where his car fell off of a 100 foot cliff in La Jolla. The crash should have killed him, but, after a prolonged stay in the hospital, he survived, but lost both of his eyes....and had years of constructive surgery. (details on his website)
Thereafter here is brief outline of a fraction of his accomplishments:
- Graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Masters in Real Estate; with further BA's in real estate, securities law and insurance law.
- Received his real estate sales license
- Receive his real estate brokerage license
- Received a doctorate in Real Estate Law (yes, a doctor of real estate)
- Opened a real estate brokerage office
- Started a real estate mediation company
- Became a highly desired speaker.....not about his story..but about real estate economics!
- Became 4 time president and chairman of the Board of Realtors
T H E I N T E R V I E W
I was now totally baffled and had to meet this man...and I did. I met him at his office and we strolled with his guide dog down Girard Avenue to the La Valentia Hotel. I had a very hard time keeping up with him at the pace speed either set by his dog or him. I was used to an entrance that I normally take but Joe and his dog went another....with Joe saying "come this way, it's quicker". Huh?
During my meeting, I felt as if if I were talking to an extremely successful SIGHTED person. I asked him as nicely as I could.....Why did you decide on real estate? (of course, in my mind, I really meant, were you nuts to even thing about real estate). He said "my dad was in real estate and was also a builder, and I wanted to continue the dream I had before the accident". So, I said..."Ohhhhhh..Kay.....but how did you get started?" He said "my dad had a friend that had a real estate office, and he got me a job their to answer phones....of course I had my license at the time:" "of course" I said...but how did you get from that into selling homes."
He said "there was a day when none of the agents where in the office and a client came in to look at a specific listing". He said "I told them that there was not any other agents on duty, but I could take you there....but (in a joking voice) you would have to drive". So they laughed and agreed. They went to the house. He knew the location and the house quite well as he attended ALL PROPERTY TOURS and remembered the comments made by agents on each home. He said "the clients went through the home, I noticed that they would open up much more than when I was with a sighted agent with a client". He did remind me that he was 19 before he went blind and did have a picture in his mind of where things were in town.
" I H AV E A N A D V A N T A G E O V E R S I G H T E D P E O P L E "
Then he said the line of all lines I have heard in my life. "AT THAT POINT, I REALIZED THAT I HAD AN ADVANTAGE OVER SIGHTED PEOPLE". I even asked him to repeat that line, as I could not believe my ears. The couple bought the home. Thereafter, he worked as an agent becoming a top producing agent, then later starting his own brokerage firm and mediation firm, got his doctorate...yes a doctor of real estate.
So....at that point...I think I had him figured out, so I thought. I asked him, "So, are you mainly focused on sales in La Jolla. He said "oh no. I sell anywhere in San Diego, and sold 2 home in San Fransico last year". Moreover, the way he replied with his voice inflection was like any other top producing sighted agent in San Diego. He said it in such a manner that I felt foolish for even asking such a question....but I had to ask the obvious next question: "So, how did you go about selling 2 homes in San Francisco"?
In his same confident tone he said "well, both clients were pretty well to do clients that had their own planes...so we flew up to San Francisco and took a look at a couple of condos and made offers on both." What!!! "How did you know what offers to make". He said that he knew an agent that gave him comps and they made and offer. His reply was as quick as you read that sentence....it almost sounded like he was saying "what a foolish question to ask.... or duh".
T H E I N T E R V I E W C O M E S T O A N E N D
So I finish the interview more confused than when I started. We started to walk back to his office at this extreme pace (almost like a speed walker), and I am wondering why we are not running into anyone or things as the foot traffic was very heavy. So I had to ask, right? I said, "Joe, I am seeing hundreds of people walking down the sidewalk, benches, large potted plans, and trees.....do you have a visualization of all of this as we walk so fast?" He said, "do you mean like noticing Victory Secret to your left?" I looked to my left and there it was. He then said, "am I walking too fast?". I lied and said "no".
So I carry a laminate card of his ad in my wallet at all times. When I am in a situation where I am not so sure if I can pull it off.....I know that there is a blind man that is kicking my rear (actually I use the "a" word, but don't want to get in trouble with AR). When we started our group, we set our site to be in the top ten in the city the first year. I knew that his production would be in the top ten in Austin....so by golly we are going to try. (as motivation we named our website www.TopKWGroup.com. It has been 10 years and we have been in the top 7 (#3 the last 3 years) of groups in Austin ranked by the Austin Business Journal, yet, we strive to keep up with Joseph.
Joe has kindly put a link to my post on his website..... www.klattrealty.com If you think that you can design a better website than this, try to to it with your eyes covered. .
OPEN YOUR EYES.........