I just returned from the state championships of a debate team that I coach as a volunteer, at a local high school. My team ended up winning the state championship and will compete at nationals, but in watching them in a difficult final four, I realized how similar and reflective this team had become of my personal values and the operation of my team in real estate.
1. Handling the Pressure! My team had narrowly lost the championship last year and are almost all graduating seniors. This added pressure for them to win, being a prohibitive favorite is not always easy. At the Al Gage team, our work ethic and dedication helps to alleviate the pressure. I see many agents today who do not perform very well when things go wrong, either because they are under personal financial pressure or simply lack the ability or experience to see the process through.
2. Well Seasoned: I am not talking about what you put on a steak. My team had been in the trenches, had experienced defeat and were determined not to let that happen again. At the Al Gage team, the same can be said. We have been in the trenches for just over 30 years. With the market crash we experienced the equivalent of defeat and are determined to do what ever it takes to offer the most professional, ethical service possible without sacrificing our ethics and morals.
3. Knowledge: Envision how hard it is to get a student, independent of their high school AND college studies, to learn a 700 page book of rules just for fun and competition. Being a brainiac is not enough in this competition. They also have to be able to communicate professionally and effectively their position on a subject and also convey their technical knowledge. Although, I do not profess to be a braniac, I can convey the wealth of knowledge and technically accurate real estate information to my clients in a timely and professional manner. Being able to CALMLY handle any situation that arises is a very difficult attribute to acquire. With less experienced cross sale agents and excited and volatile sellers and buyers in a transaction, it is very common that I am the only calm person in the transaction. This leads directly to a very low sale failure rate and has greatly contributed to my success over the years.
4. Team Work: The team that I coached had been doing this contest for four years (an eternity in a teenagers life). When adversity struck in the middle of their competition, the entire team had to work together to solve the problem. They showed exemplary teamwork skills trying to save their competition and with 20 seconds to spare solved the issue and went on to win decisively. It was so scary for me that I am sure that there is no need for me to have to have any cardiac screening for the next couple of years. In my real estate team, I have also assembled a group of professionals, with a wealth of knowledge, experience and extreme integrity. Many of you know my level of experience, reputation with other real estate agents and success. Selling over 1000 homes just in Avondale is no accident. My wife, Terri is also a member of the team. She has been in the business for 6 years, is able to tolerate me, and prior to that worked in both banking and escrow. She brings a shining personality, strong work ethic and absolute friendliness to the team. Rita Marie is my lender. We have been working together since 1997 and is one of my best friends. She also runs her business in much the same way as this article describes. With over 35 years in real estate and lending practice and a memory like an elephant, she is absolutely the best in the business while still providing personal service. Patty Miller with Drigg’s Title is my escrow officer and brings her own team of professionals to the table. Her experience with 25 years of escrow and the IRS solves a lot of problems that other escrow officers just can not fix. This team is the best in the business while still being able to provide personal service from the person with the experience.
5. Skill-The team that I coach has skill that is easily measured and will get a chance to demo it competitively at Nationals in October. In real estate, skill is a little harder to measure but statistics do not lie.
6. The Final Piece: More than anything else the team that I coached, under extreme pressure never gave up . . . And neither will we!