The Real Estate Elephant Gun

Ask most real estate agents what they want to create for their careers, and more often than not, they'll tell you that they want to "get into the high-end"; to sell luxury listings; do multi-million dollar deals; etc.. Presumably, it's because those deals look easy, and the payoff looks big. So, they get out their elephant gun and go hunting. But there's not often a lot of consideration given to how they expect to go about "breaking in" to the high-end, or any market analysis that supports that decision. The result is an under-trained, under-informed salesperson walking around with a huge weapon that could do a lot of damage.

Some of the best advice I ever got in real estate came from Ken Kubiak, who was a great mentor to me as a Principal Broker:

"It's way better to do ten deals for $100,000 than it is to do one deal for $1 million. That's ten people that will refer other clients to you. Ten more people who could eventually list with you."

Real estate agents often don't want to hear this. Sustainability and long term considerations are horribly absent from the real estate industry's zeitgeist. It appeals to a get-rich-quick, win-the-lottery mentality, and the barrier to entry is so low that any hack can show up, get out their elephant gun, and go hunting. Why work when you don't have to? After all, it only takes one, right?


Product knowledge. Market knowledge. Demographics. Psychographics. Vendor resources. Personal networks. Sales experience. Transaction management. These things don't just fall from the sky, just like million-dollar deals don't either. (Right now most agents are thinking about that one deal that so-and-so did that one time where that buyer just walked in off the street and bought that house for millions of dollars and... and...). This isn't roulette. This is a career. Do your homework. Pay attention.

It's virtually impossible to achieve sustainable results in real estate without a comprehensive, integrated approach, and a lot of hard work. By "sustainable results", I don't mean one or two big deals with big payoffs. I mean sustained, continued, predictable success. The bulk of most markets is not in the high-end. It's in the day-to-day grind. Where the real game is, not the elephants.