The single most important lesson I’ve learned about business, I learned from Alicia Venegas. Back when I first got my real estate license I used to do side work for Alicia. Helping her with data entry and misc admin for her real estate business about 10 -11 years ago.
Prior to being a Realtor, I was a general manager at the same brokerage. When I started there, the market was booming. All of the agents were making good money. Many showed up with new cars. Business was good.
Then, as we all know, the market crashed and many agents left the business, by choice or by a lack of any work since the market was SO slow. Our office had several branches and tons of agents. At the end of the aftermath of the down market, we had about 10 total agents.
Alicia was still busy. She stayed busy, from what I could tell, straight through all of the dark days of the down market.
As I watched other agents go down, quit, give up or move on to new industries, I wanted to know WHY her business was still ok.
So asked her. “Why Alicia? Why do you still have clients when other agents do not?”
She told me her business had taken a hit too during the down market. That she was affected, however, she still had enough clients to survive that slow time.
Then she told me the single most important lesson of my career. It’s was a decade ago so this is not an exact quote.
“Treat your clients the way you would want to be treated. Treat them like they are your family. If you do that, they will stay loyal and refer business to you for years to come.”
She went on to tell me that the reason her office (at the time) had a kitchen table in the middle instead of a conference style table, was so that her clients would feel like they were at home, gathered around the kitchen table. She also shared stories with me of clients she has worked with spanning 3 generations of family members as they grow and buy and sell throughout life.
I took that advice to heart.
I wanted to be just like her, as an agent. Someone so trusted that generations of family would continue to trust me for years to come.
Many times over the last 12 years I have thought of the lesson she shared with me.
Every time I’ve had the choice to choose people or profit I choose people. Because I learned from one of the very BEST.