I first met Matt Beall three years ago, while attending Inman Connect in 2014. Matt, principal broker of Hawaii Life, took to the main stage of ICSF and compared surfing lessons to real estate. To this day, it remains my favourite keynote of any Real Estate conference I have attended. His lessons, paired with a backdrop of gorgeous surfing photos, told a story that resonates with all of us. Here are the 10 lessons Matt shared that day.
Learn to swim
The board and your skill is all you have to rely on when surfing. If you lose hold of your board, you had better know how to swim. Sometimes in real estate, we obsess over all the tools and tech, forgetting that our expertise is really what we need to rely on.
Surfers don’t just land on a wave, they have to build up to it. In surfing, you build up a rhythm and never stop paddling until you get to the right spot on the wave. Positioning and preparation matters.
When in doubt, don’t go out
If you are not experienced enough to ride the wave, don’t. In real estate, know when you aren’t ready to take on a deal or a client. Stay in your lane.
Don’t leave waves to find waves
Surfers are always looking for that one great wave. But once you have it, ride it. Stop looking for the next one. Realtors can sometimes be looking for that next best thing, or that next big deal, instead of serving the one they have right now. Focus on the wave you are currently on.
Waves come in sets
Just as waves arrive in well, waves… Real Estate can be an up and down business. In both cases, you should be using the lulls to paddle, position, ad prepare for what’s coming next.
Don’t fear the new
Surfboard style and technology is always changing, and so is real estate technology. Instead of fearing change, embrace it and learn to adapt your own techniques.
Don’t get caught inside
In surfing, if you get too close to the shore, the waves break over you. Timing matters. Creating marketing or closing a deal that is not in the best interests of your client can bring the waves crashing on your head. Keep your eyes on your client’s needs, not on your own.
Don’t drop in
When surfing, the rider who is closest to the wave always has the right of way. The same is true of real estate. Stay focused on earning your own clients, creating your own messaging, and finding your own voice.
When the water is murky, don’t go out
When you are starving, or sitting on your board in the calm water, every wave looks good. But that doesn’t mean you should take on every opportunity or client who comes your way.
You are not Laird Hamilton
Laird is a surfing genius. But he’s a daredevil at the big waves. Nowadays, everyone is a “luxury agent." No matter how great of a surfer you are, you are not Laird. Pick your niche and concentrate on that.
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