Wet behind the ears but with creases in my suit pants that could split an atom, I arrived for my first day as a real estate agent.
The principal advised that he was going to sit me opposite Frederick … the most successful agent in the office – and that I should “watch, listen and learn.”
Like Cher, Frederick the real estate agent was so famous he no longer needed a surname.
Mouth agape, I kept stealing glances at Frederick, slowly absorbing the aura that surrounded him, with feet on the table, dripping in gold jewellery, Armani suit and Rolex watch…
He was a truly daunting image on my first day.
What intimidated and somewhat bewildered me though, was the drooling Doberman sitting menacingly by his side.
That Rolex must be worth a fortune I concluded.
Finally lunch came around and Jimmy, one of the younger agents in the office, offered to buy me a sandwich.
Over our lunch, I asked Jimmy just how expensive Frederick’s Rolex was, if he felt he needed a Doberman by his side.
“It’s not the Rolex he’s protecting,” Jimmy said. “It’s the Rolodex!”
That lesson has not left me to this day. It’s all about the data and keeping in touch with your contacts.
Fortunately, systems have improved dramatically since Frederick’s day and I can manage to engage and retain relationships with 100 times more contacts than Frederick ever could.