If you have been following along on my blog and video journey since 2012 on this website or read my articles in NOVA/DC Real Producers Magazine, you may look at me in a certain way. Maybe you see me as an expert in the Title Insurance Sales business or someone who has always been successful. Well, that has not always been the case. For every Realtor, Lender, and Title person who you “see as successful”, there were many times when they had to crawl through mud and endure some difficult times. straight-up humiliating. This story is one of them for me.
In 2006 I was just one year into the business at Capital Title. No training so trying to figure it out along the way. Our office in Phoenix (Ahwatukee) had a big Realtor client who sold real estate to many of the players on the Phoenix professional sports teams. He was a high roller and had an ego to match it. He was not my client, but a client of my branch manager. The revenue he generated for our branch was great, but many times at a cost. He would yell, scream and badger my branch manager if things weren’t to his expectations or desires. My interactions with him were not frequent but when they did happen I was on pins and needles because what came out of his mouth was very unpredictable.
One day he closed three transactions with us, all into the millions of dollars. Back in 2006, we didn’t have social media to easily see other agents and interact with them, so my branch manager gave me the closing packages with the commission checks and asked me to drop them off at his office. This was advantageous because I could then wander the real estate office and talk to the other agents. This was common practice back then as a way to interact with other agents you were prospecting.
As I was driving to his office I got a call from my branch manager, “Wade, are you to the real estate office yet? ME: No. HER: Ok–um…(Realtor name) wants you to stop by McDonald’s on your way and pick him up a #2 with a diet coke.” There was silence because I couldn’t believe I was hearing this. “WHAT!?” I had over $150,000 in commission checks with me and this guy wants me to do what?? Imagine how I felt at that moment. My place in the chain of hierarchy was quickly realized. After going back and forth pleading to not go forward with this humiliation, I relented as it was in the best interest of our Title branch. Also, my branch manager said she would put my name on his next two deals as a compromise. It made me feel a little better, but not much.
Raising the Bar
When I arrived with his food, he quickly took it from me and began eating and carelessly tossed his closing packages and the $150,000 of checks into a drawer as if I gave him a promo flyer about an upcoming event. I just shook my head. From that moment on, I pledged to myself to raise the bar and always be a valuable resource to clients. I wanted the value to be seen so clearly that this would never happen again. That day helped me realize the future of what I wanted to be and how I wanted to be seen by my peers and clients. Being humiliated to that degree and having someone not care because they feel that is the role you play to them, is a hard pill to swallow.
Everyone’s journey is different and never underestimate what is underneath someone else’s successful appearance as it is shown today. Lastly, be humble, treat others with respect, and reward people for the value they bring to you. The Title Insurance Sales business can be hard. It can also be fun. It also has times like this that make you feel two feet tall. Never put yourself in a position like I did to be viewed this way.
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Back in 2006, there was very little mentorship or coaching (that I was aware of) in this business. Guess what? There is now. Fill out the form or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to have a discussion about your business and how I can best help you.
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