In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
With billions in sales and a reputation as an influencer, coach and mentor, Washington, D.C., broker Keri Shull is a big believer in the power of surrounding yourself with the right colleagues and mentors.
Find out how she learned to overcome obstacles and found her tribe to build a winning team, and supercharge her growth.
How long have you been in the business?
I started my real estate career in new home sales in 2003. In 2008, one of my mentors encouraged me to take a leap of faith and enter the general brokerage side of the business to service a very wealthy investor.
He had $50 million and was hoping to acquire bulk short sales and foreclosures; however, within a few weeks of my transition, he ended up buying a hotel with his liquidity, and my mentor retired.
It was the perfect start because I had no business plan and no experience, and I had to go out and learn to thrive in a challenging market. I am grateful for getting started at that time because it made growing seem easy.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Our real estate team is focused on being the top team in the country for real estate sales volume for five consecutive years in a row. We want to serve agents to help them compress time and fast track their results.
In December 2018, my husband Dan Lesniak and I started Hyperfast Real Estate, where we have an academy for agents to learn anything from lead generation tactics to creating an effective buyer process to scaling a profitable team. We also have an inner circle where agents get the community, mentorship and support they need to take their businesses to the next level.
In five years, we will have expanded on our live events and [will] be able to provide many of the services agents need at a lower cost than they can find in their individual markets. We don’t just want to teach agents how to succeed — we want to help them execute instantly.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
I have learned the power of surrounding myself with the right people. There will never be an individual that can provide better service and support to clients than a well-run team can.
It is just not possible. So the lesson is to find the right people, have a clear vision and keep growing so the right people are exhilarated by the ride and want to stay.
How did you learn it?
I worked for a sales firm in the D.C. metro prior to going out on my own. When I took over the sales management for a project, it had been left in an alarming state. There were checks that had been lost for more than six months under a desk, and no one noticed.
Ultimately, when I was trying to learn how to avoid ever letting this happen in the future I realized a difficult lesson about being surrounded by the wrong people.
In this particular company, people were often hired because they were a family member of a local developer or the son of a salesperson. This led to mistakes and a lack of accountability because no one feared losing their job, and people were often hired for jobs they were not suited for.
When you have the right group of people together, the synergy causes breakthroughs and efficiency that just cannot be produced otherwise.
What advice would you give to new agents?
I would tell them to dream big and get very clear on what life their vision will enable them to have, so when accomplishing their goals gets hard, they persevere.
Nothing worth celebrating is easy to earn, so play the real estate game in a big way, and live life on your terms.
Are you an agent with a story everyone can learn something from? Reach out to us (contributors@Inman.com). We look forward to featuring more of our best agents and brokers in a future edition of “Lesson learned.”