The Sarmiento Team Real Estate Blog/Blog/Work Smarter, Not Harder

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Wednesday, July 05, 2023

Work Smarter, Not Harder...

I went to a family BBQ for 4th of July yesterday.  My wife, brother and I took a car ride to NJ where we met our family.

On the car ride, I had a conversation with my brother Andy, we work together. We talked about the all the changes our business has gone through in recent years.  It reminded me of a story about a listing I took a long time ago that I completely I messed up.

It's been over 10 years, but I can still feel the pain of losing this sale.  It was an expired listing, this means the owner had already hired someone else that couldn't sell his home, so now he was looking for a new agent.

During the interview, the owner said, "Walter, you're lucky we're choosing you. We interviewed five other agents, and you were the best. We want to hire you as long as you price our home at $575,000."

I knew the right price was $549,000, but since we were only slightly higher, I agreed and he hired me for the job.

As time went on, it became clear that the home wasn't selling at the higher price. Eventually, the owners agreed to lower it to $559,000.

Back then, I spent a lot of time making cold calls for my business. I would make cold calls for up to five hours a day, all I focused on was "lead generation," running around on appointments, and taking on too many new clients with unrealistic expectations, it felt like I was running 100 miles per hours.

Because of this, my phone was constantly ringing, and I didn't have the right systems in place to handle it all.

A few days before the listing was set to expire, the owner called me.  And, I was too busy to take the call.

I remember thinking I would call him back in a few hours, but I ended up forgetting. I was exhausted from work, and it slipped my mind.

A few days later, I saw that my seller decided to list with another agent at the price of $549,000. The home ended up selling for $545,000 with the different agent.

First I felt frustrated, I told myself, that I did everything right.  I lost a $15,000 commission check where I worked so hard, in fact, I felt like my hard work had backfired against me.

This experience taught me that hard work alone isn't enough for success. If it were, construction and sanitation workers and dishwashers would be the most successful people in our society. 

Hard work is necessary, but it's not the only factor. I worked hard to secure the listing, beat out five other agents, and got close on the price, but it still was not enough.

My constant cold calling got in the way of properly managing my time and prioritizing my current clients. That's why I lost the listing—I failed to prioritize my clients over cold calling.

Like I said, since then, we've made a lot of changes to our business, learning from our mistakes and growing.

Here are some photos from our 4th of July BBQ. It started off rainy, but once the sun came out, we had a great time.

Let me know if you need anything.

Let's talk to you soon!

The Sarmiento Sales Team

Andy, Damaris & Walter Sarmiento

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RE/MAX Distinguished Homes & Properties
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