From The CEO's Desk

Good As Gold

By Cliff Long
Orlando REALTOR® magazine, Summer 2019

Do a quick Google search of “how to succeed in real estate” or “how to overcome objections in real estate,” and you’ll uncover a virtual gold mine of advice. There are articles, blog posts, books, videos, podcasts, and even scholarly journal entries. You can hire success coaches to provide you with a personalized plan, attend a workshop, or purchase a pre-recorded program. There is no shortage of data and information about success that is offered by successful people. And while the pitches may come in a variety of styles and formats, if you look closely, you will find that success typically results from a few very common personal character traits.  

You can also succeed by following the examples set by others. As a REALTOR® association executive, I’ve spent years quietly observing REALTORS® toil their way toward success. I’ve had the pleasure of watching REALTORS® from the moment they walk in the door as new sales agents to the moment I attend their sales award presentation or the moment they become an owner-broker overseeing hundreds of agents. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom that I’ve gathered from their efforts.

•Their “no” is not your “no” - You will encounter many so-called “experts” who will tell you what won’t work. While their experience may be true for them, there’s no guarantee that what didn’t work for them also won’t work for you. If you always accept others’ roadblocks as your roadblocks, you’ll never find your own path to success. Their closed doors aren’t your closed doors. 

•Don’t quit – Real estate is hard! Television and friends say it’s easy, but we know that it’s not. Success takes energy, perseverance, and determination to overcome both your inner objections and the many other challenges that you’ll face. Giving up at the first sign of opposition guarantees failure. Successful REALTORS® learn to work through rough spots and become experts at those things they initially dreaded the most. You can’t outsource hard work.

•Stay the course – Don’t flip-flop on your priorities and goals. Stick to your beliefs — especially when faced with a group or peers who are pressuring you to change direction. Sometimes you have to go it on your own, but in real estate you are truly never alone. There is always another listing, another buyer, or another builder. Stay true to who you are to become successful and happy at the same time!

•Listen to many voices - There is a Proverb that states, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” Don’t be too proud to learn from your colleagues, especially those with decades in the business. You are not forced to take action from the last voice you heard from. Survey many and find the answer that suits your desired end results. Pick the thoughts that you believe will work best for you in your unique situation and execute… then repeat.

•Have the courage to take the advice that you asked for - Are you asking because you want someone to agree with you or are you asking because you want to do the right thing?  Oftentimes we learn that something is not going to be as easy as we thought, or we learn that it’s going to take a little more integrity than we expected. Perhaps the advice you received says that you need to go in a different direction. Maybe you learned that you need to part ways with your highest selling agent or your broker. Tough decisions call for tough people and advice from solid confidants who share your morals and beliefs. Do the hard thing, and watch your business grow as a result.

•Listen to your instincts – You may find yourself in a situation where caring more about what others think of you supersedes your common sense. Don’t be afraid to do what you think is best for yourself and for the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. Be your own REALTOR®.

ORRA CEO Cliff Long can be reached at