You Can Either Pinch Yourself OR Kick Yourself

A Pinch or Kick?  Which one will it be?  There are certain moments that come up and you have to make the call.  Do you step up and move out of your comfort zone?  Or do you sit back and kick yourself after the moment has passed?

Well here I was sitting in a room learning from one of the top executives in the real estate industry, Mrs. Tami Bonnell.  When I say one of the top executives let me be clear, I don’t just mean one of the top female executives, I mean top executives across the board in all of North America.

She was named President and CEO of EXIT Realty Corp International in 2012.  She has over 30 years in the real estate industry and has been instrumental in building three major real estate brands.  She has been named among the Top 100 Women in Real Estate, the Natl Association of Women in Real Estate Business (NAWRB) honored her with their Roaring Twenty Award, and there have been many others.

She describes herself as a leader who takes on having the tough conversations because it makes everyone better.  She leads by example and she demonstrates her commitment to the success of those around her.

Laya Gavin with Tami Bonnell, CEO & President of EXIT Realty Corp International

Laya Gavin with Tami Bonnell, CEO & President of EXIT Realty Corp International


So I am sitting in the room, feverishly taking notes as she is training the EXIT Arizona Regional leadership team.  She shared the foundational concepts that lead to longevity and success in the real estate business no matter what cycle the markets are going through.  Here are a few of her leadership insights from that day and when you look at them you see that really apply to ANY business:

  • We all get busy with competing responsibilities (family, work, community, etc) so she plans her life in 6 week action plan segments.  On a Tues/Wed/Thur around the 15th of each month, she takes 4 hour block of time where she says “you have to take this time out to work ON your business instead of IN your business.”  She pulls all of her commitments together onto one calendar and integrates work, family and play all into one.
  • Build your “Dirty Dozen”.  The “Dirty Dozen” is a list of people in your industry or connected fields that you align yourself with to build trusted relationships so that you can keep each other abreast of developments and changes in the marketplace that could affect your business.  It is a give and take of knowledge.
  • Know your marketplace.  Know the street level numbers for your market or industry.  What is happening in sales and revenue for your competitors and how their are serving clients and how you compare.  Be prepared when you walk into a client meeting to educate them on the differences and the unique advantages that you bring to the table.
  • The Power of 120 Seconds.  Before you start running, take 120 seconds and visualize the entire day.  Think through how you want your meetings to go.  Think about how you want people to feel after our time together.  Visualize what you want to create.

So after the meeting, this amazing lady, business leader and industry executive took a few moments before catching her third flight in less than a week’s time and stopped and gave me her full attention.  It was at that moment that we talked about her habit of being a voracious reader.  Long story short, she left that meeting with a copy of my book in her hand and declared that would be reading material for her next flight.

This was an example of gracious leadership.  Tami Bonnell, CEO and President of EXIT Realty Corp. International is #1 in my book.

So I didn’t have to kick myself thinking of the missed opportunity of speaking one on one with this phenomenal lady.  I did walk away having to pinch myself, thinking “did that really just happen?” 🙂

Step out of your comfort zone, because you never know what amazing things could happen.