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Lesson Learned: Forget The Commission

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In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.

Award-winning NYC broker Leslie J. W. Singer leads a team that has repeatedly been No. 1 in sales for Brown Harris Stevens. She differentiates her services through tough negotiating, tailored marketing and down-deep knowledge of the difficult application processes for New York City nursery schools, secondary institutions and colleges. In fact, she frequently leads workshops on these topics, making her an invaluable resource for homebuyers with children.

Learn more about the roots of Singer’s service-oriented approach and how she found out that putting the commission last can do great things for your business.

What’s the most important thing you learned in school or in your pre-licensing classes?

While getting my Masters in Business, I learned that true success comes from understanding all facets of a business. In-depth knowledge of how the holistic real estate business and transactions work will catapult you to new horizons because you become invaluable to clients who can last a lifetime. I train my team members with their own growth prospects in mind.

What’s the best advice you ever got from a mentor or colleague?

Never think about the commission. It will detract from putting your client’s interest first.

What would you tell a new agent before they start out in the business?

More important than all the research, analytics, marketing, negotiations and preparedness that are paramount, listening is one of the most critical skills. It is the way to identify your client’s true objectives. Then you can focus on all the aforementioned. Be efficient and sensitive to people’s time. It is a scarce resource. Lastly, one has to work exceptionally hard and be committed.

What is the one thing everyone should be doing to make their life and business better?

Be passionate. I absolutely love this profession. Real estate agents can make a positive difference in people’s lives. So as hard as I may work, it does not necessarily feel that way. The phrase “Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life” stands the test of time for a good reason!

What is your best advice for other real estate agents?

Never stop learning. Keep reading every day. Sign up for success in business and in life by staying curious. Daily newsletters and curated alerts are so helpful for me. Time management is also critical to master; your time is your whole life.

Christy Murdock is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. She is also the creator of the online course Crafting the Property Description: The Step-by-Step Formula for Reluctant Real Estate Writers. Follow Writing Real Estate on TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Do you want to be featured in an upcoming “Lesson Learned” column? Reach out to us here!

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