Barbara Corcoran won't take "no" for an answer.
Speaking at the Greater Boston Associaton of Realtors' Roadshow, Conference and Expo yesterday in Norwood, MA, she recounted the story of how, just days before she was to fly to California to sign a contract securing her role as one of the star entrepreneurs on Shark Tank, she received a message from producer Mark Burnett saying that she had been relegated to merely a "backup" Shark. Rather than accepting that disappointing pronouncement, she shot back an email to Burnett, asserting that she was in the habit of being #1, she had already purchased her plane ticket, and she planned to be on that flight. Burnett was so impressed that he told her to come on out for the meeting, and of course, the rest is history.
"I'm great at failure," Ms. Corcoran told an appreciative audience. "My great talent was taking a bad hit and turning it into something good." She's proved that again and again, not only in her determination to win a seat on Shark Tank, but in her scrappy development of the prestigious Corcoran Group, which she sold 13 years ago for $66 million (cash), after having made an initial investment of only $1000.
During the lean years, when she didn't have any money to advertise, she invented The Corcoran Report, using only sales statistics for New York city apartments that had been sold in-house, and sent it off to The New York Times. To her amazement, it appeared in the next Sunday's Times' Real Estate section. She was off and running, and she parlayed her wits and fearlessness to create the hype that attracted well-heeled clients, such as actor Richard Gere, whose agent called Corcoran to ask if she might have the time to work with him. "Perception creates reality," she believes. "The big mouth inherits the earth."
Corcoran noted that she looked for particular personality traits in the agents she brought on board. "If you're not aggressive, you won't make it in real estate. We're hunters, not gatherers."