This week, we’re getting a bit philosophical, while hopefully providing some tips at the same time. A little while ago, we put out a call for stories, and wow, you delivered big time! Thank you to everyone who shared your story! We noticed a common thread through many of your experiences and it’s a recurring theme in our conversations with others: what it means to be number one.

“Number One” is a Mentality, Not a Statistic

We’ve been entrusted to make and keep real estate brokerages, agents, and teams number one for over twenty years, through our personalized digital marketing strategies, award-winning real estate websites, and full-service advising. The thing is, while many of our conversations about what number one means start out focusing on sales, market share, and other productivity stats, number one usually means so much more than that. It does to us too. We won another award recently and while it’s always exciting to be recognized as the best at something, we love the conversations where we can dig deeper, and you share what number one means to you and why. Here are some of those perspectives:

Number One is Being Recognized for Your Expertise

Often, conversations about becoming or staying number one revolve around expertise. As a local real estate expert, you are deeply knowledgeable about what you do, how you do it, and where, and you take pride in being recognized by others for your knowledge. For you, having the go-to website for real estate in your area and/or for the property types in which you specialize is more important than transacting the most volume, because it’s your expertise and reputation as an expert that make people want to work with you again and again. You’d prefer to be known as the most knowledgeable over the best seller, even though you may be both. A great example of this is a story about helping navigate pricing in an ever changing market. When one of Charles’ buyers, Sam, realized the offer he had made to secure his dream home was much higher than the appraised value, he started to get cold feet. Years later, after he had talked it through with Charles and decided to buy the house after all, Sam told him “the thing is, Charles, it has always been worth it. Because it’s my home. Thank you.” That was the epitome of a “number one” experience for him.

Number One is a Reflection of Your Work Ethic

For top producers, success is often a product of incredibly hard work. You’ve put in the time, you’ve dedicated yourself completely to your career, you were resourceful and figured things out, you did whatever it took to survive and then thrive. Being number one is a source of pride, as it should be. You’ve earned that top spot, as top seller, top of your market, top team, or whatever it is that you’re top of now, and know that number one is often a reflection of what you didn’t do, as much as what you did. Those things you didn’t do – you didn’t have the luxury of taking time off, you didn’t have money to buy food besides sardines (for real), you weren’t able to spend as much time as you liked with your family – were sacrifices you were willing to make to get where you are today. As one client put it, “If the difficulty of doing one thing is A, the difficulty of doing two things in parallel is definitely not A×2, but A×3 or A×4.” Now when you talk about staying number one, though it often starts with a discussion about sales or market share, it’s really about getting your business to work as hard for you as you have for it.

Number One Means Thriving in the Face of Adversity

For many, number one is about confidence and tenacity. You’re the best because whenever you’ve been faced with a challenge, you’ve figured out how to overcome it. And you love that. You enjoy the challenge of meeting new people, understanding what they need, and winning them over. Market dynamics are just par for the course. New competition? You can handle that too. You’re rarely, if ever, intimidated, because you believe in yourself. Number one is having wisdom that comes from experience, which is different from knowledge, because anyone can become knowledgeable. Wisdom is the ability to use knowledge in a profound way, which comes from being humble and aware of what it means to have achieved the success you have now. Your dogged determination to succeed is deeply admirable and has won you a lot of business – and respect – over the years, rightly so. And you’re aware of when you’ve beaten the odds. As one client shared “my father retired after 62 years and I’m incredibly proud to continue the family legacy. Happy to say forty years later I remain one of very few independents.”

Number One is About Your Impact on Others

In this relationship industry, we often hear “we only succeed when others succeed.” We feel the same. Altruists care deeply about others and find opportunities to help them despite not always gaining anything by doing it. For altruists, number one is a measure of their impact on others, from the relationships they’ve built to the dreams they’ve helped them realize. Altruists have hundreds of positive reviews from raving fans, which they probably never requested, because of the deep and personal impact they’ve had on others’ lives. Altruists love being in real estate because of the nature of providing services to others and the significance of buying and selling real estate. They’re made to help others through difficult situations and major life moments. The pride altruists feel in succeeding in helping others is stronger than anything else, including the commission check they receive. As one client put it when describing a tricky potential client situation and whether to take on their business, “I was so happy I had trusted my instincts and helped her as a new agent so we had 15 years of friendship to enjoy.”

For our part, we love remaining an independently owned business rooted in Vermont values: we believe in independence, in real and genuine relationships, and that real estate agents are the future. Thank you for being there for your clients, for entrusting us to realize your vision of number one, and for inspiring others to follow in your footsteps.

If you have a story to share and haven’t yet, we’d love to hear from you!