NEW YORK — Mike Ferry doesn’t want to be your friend.

Not if you’re his coaching client, at least.

The industry bigwig, widely regarded as the granddaddy of real estate coaching, believes coaches who socialize with their clients are less likely to be effective at teaching tactics for drumming up business and closing more deals.

That hard-nosed pedagogy, along with a tendency to diminish competitors, including his own son, Tom Ferry, has earned Mike Ferry something of a — as Ferry himself puts it himself — “bad guy” image.

But that’s never bothered the grizzled real estate bigwig. In fact, he believes that his bulldog reputation is part of what’s driven the success of his business over the past four decades.

“I’ve had that label of being the bad guy for 40 years,” Ferry said at panel on real estate coaching at Real Estate Connect. “It’s been a good badge.”

Playing the bully has helped him sculpt a powerful brand that’s loomed large over those of his competitors, he said.

By peddling the message “I’m the guy you listen to, don’t listen to the rest,” he said he’s outlasted many upstarts who’ve tried to claim a piece of his pie.

That sharp-edged marketing come-on jibes with his coaching approach, which seems to emphasize telling agents what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.

“My belief is if you’re involved in coaching, there’s specific things you have to do,” he said. As a result, Ferry said he can be a “demotivational speaker” in pushing real estate agents to do those things.

That could be part of the reason why, according to Ferry, 50 percent of his clients move on every year. But it’s also produced results for real estate agents for the 40 years he’s been in the business.

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