The Style of Give and Take

“It feels as though Adam Grant is already part of our family,” Keller Williams CEO Chris Heller said as he introduced the keynote speaker at Family Reunion.

"Keller Williams Family Reunion 2015"

Grant, who is the youngest tenured professor and top-rated teacher at the Wharton School of Business (“So he’s young, popular and brilliant!” Heller quipped), is an organizational psychologist who studies human interaction styles. Grant’s New York Times bestselling book, Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, explores the fundamentals of human interactions and how to make them work for you. “Our interactions are a huge driver of success,” Grant said. “The way we treat our colleagues and clients shapes what we accomplish.”

Grant categorizes people into three basic behavioral styles: givers, takers and matchers. He asked audience members to think about their own interaction style, the styles of the people they deal with everyday and the implication these styles have on their success.

“Givers help people with no strings attached – sometimes to the peril of their own success,” Grant said. He cautioned that this is not the best path for success. “It is hard to be successful when you spend all of your time helping others succeed,” he observed.

At the other end of the spectrum are takers. Takers put themselves first and do so at the expense of others.

Somewhere between the givers and takers are the matchers. Matchers give but they often expect something in return. They linger in safe territory.

“Helping others can either sink or accelerate your career.” – Adam Grant
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After explaining the counter-intuitive finding that givers are both the least successful and the most successful style, Grant provided a two-step process to accelerate the success of a giver and make sure they don’t sink.

Step 1. Get rid of the takers. “It is nice to have the right people on the bus, but it is critical to keep the wrong people off your bus,” Grant said. When there are takers present, givers get paranoid and watch their back. When givers are taken advantage of by takers, they burn-out and shut down. To get rid of bad apples you need to know how to spot them.

You can spot a taker if they have a great reputation with people upward in the organization but a mixed reputation with their peers and downward. This is because takers kiss up and talk down. You can also spot takers because they usually use the words “me” and “I.” Once you spot the takers, remove them or limit your interactions with them.

Step 2. Become a successful giver by redefining “giving.” Look at Adam Rifkin, LinkedIn’s number one networker, for example. Rifkin redefined giving with the “Five-Minute Favor.” It’s a simple and effective strategy: Perform several five-minute favors every week. Examples of five-minute favors include using a product and offering feedback, introducing two people through email or LinkedIn or sharing something of value on social media. The reason this works is because it prevents the giver from giving too much. As for the takers, they can’t claim they don’t have at least five minutes to help someone. No one is that busy.

Step 3. Ask for help. If you never ask, there will be a lot of frustrated givers in your life who would help if they knew it was needed. Look into your network  to ask for help. You can tap into your strong ties (friends and family), weak ties (acquaintances) and even your dormant ties (people you once knew, but have lost contact with). Start by contacting your weak and dormant ties as they have circles outside of yours and generally are able to offer better resources.

Grant concluded his captivating speech with describing the Reciprocity Ring. The idea of the reciprocity ring is to take  8-10 people and put them in the same room. Everyone has to ask for something they want or need, but can’t get it on their own. Everyone asks the people in the group if they could tap into their network and see if they could find someone to help them. This is a great exercise for three reasons:

1.It gets people comfortable asking. When everyone is expected to ask they feel compelled to do so.

2. It motivates the takers to act like givers. They don’t want to be the only person in the room not giving.

3. Matchers learn that matching is not the most efficient way to conduct their life. Matchers realize if they can invest in more giving with no strings attached, they can all get more of what we want.

To learn more about Grant and his book Give and Take, visit his website.


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Mastery Clients Board Hogwarts Express

As Dumbledore said, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live” and KW MAPS Coaching Mastery clients did exactly that at an exclusive private event with a night of unlimited rides, food and entertainment.  Rainy weather did not keep Dianna Kokoska and the Mastery members from dancing into the party at Universal Studios Monday night.

Mastery Client Event- Family Reunion

Keller Williams Family Reunion 2015

Keller Williams Family Reunion 2015

Keller Williams Family Reunion 2015

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Luxury: Working With Affluent Clientele

Working with affluent clientele can lead to more referrals, more closed transactions, and more reputational success. But working with this market is not something to be taken lightly. It requires hard work, dedication and a superior level of customer service. At Family Reunion, KW Luxury Homes agent Diane Kink who leads  The Kink Team in the Woodlands, TX, facilitated a panel of three luxury agents to discuss how they work with the affluent.

Lee Ziff of Beverly Hills, Calif. had plenty of tips about his experience working with buyers in the Los Angeles area. Although the average price point is higher in LA than it is in most other areas, not all buyers have the money for that price point. While it can sometimes be hard to tell whether or not the buyer is qualified, Ziff cautions agents to be careful about pre-judging people when they walk in the door because just never know what they can afford.

Kent Temple of Mooresville, NC emphasized the importance of customer service in this market with one phrase: “it doesn’t flow down but it flows up”. Referrals are likely to come from the higher end of the market and spread down, but never the other way around. When you work with a luxury buyer or seller it’s essential to show them the best level of service and expertise you and your team can offer. The affluent audience is used to a high level of service and that’s what they expect.

When it comes to communicating with this market, staying in touch shows that you are working hard for them. Zana Dillard of Atlanta, Ga., says the biggest mistake you can make in this market is assuming that you have the client. It’s best to get them to sign the listing paperwork or buyers agreement before so you don’t waste your time and your superb customer service on someone who doesn’t follow through.

It is not uncommon to go above and beyond for the affluent clientele. Some agents will offer to pick them up from the airport or hotel if they are from another area. Others have dedicated endless amounts of time for showings. It’s important to know where to draw the line. Temple suggests setting the expectations up front, how far you go for them at the beginning is what they will come to expect. On the other hand, Dillard’s team sets up an “on-call” person in order to protect her time on weekends.

No matter what market you are working with, as a realtor, customer service will always be important and expected. Communication and respect are the best ways you can treat your clients and will help you to grow your business.


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Purchasing Commercial Real Estate Using SBA 504 Financing

Nancy Lemas, now a seasoned commercial real estate agent, went through multiple market downturns before she decided that she had had enough. Her “aha” moment came when she realized that you can have all the listings in the world, but if banks aren’t lending you’re still going to fail!

For this reason, Lemas decided to specialize in the SBA 504 financing program, a loan guarantee by the federal government to help small businesses purchase tangible property. She leveraged the government-backed program to sell commercial buildings to companies that were leasing space and missing out on the opportunity to build equity.

An SBA 504 is especially attractive to companies that are looking for a source of income by renting out unused building space to tenants. In many cases, this rental income can subsidize expenses or even become an additional revenue generator. This arrangement also provides a growing company with a long-term plan for their business. As they expand, they can simply occupy the rest of their space.

Additional benefits to owning a building:

  • Tax benefits
  • Ability to control operating costs
  • Effective occupancy costs
  • Fixed low interest for 20 years
  • Potential appreciation

SBA 504 requirements for eligibility:

  • 51% owner occupied
  • For profit
  • Domestic
  • Net worth less than $15m
  • Net income less than $5m
  • No spec or investment real estate
  • Fixed assets – real estate or requirement

Two simple ways to begin positioning yourself as a SBA 504 resource:

  1. When a business closes in your community be proactive and contact the building owner.
  2. Offer your expertise to commercial banks by presenting during educational programs. If you can educate and then secure small business clients for yourself and the bank you have created a win-win situation.

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