Lesson Learned: Do unto others

He’s one of NAR’s 30 Under 30. Find out how superstar agent Sean Anthony keeps the focus on adding value

In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.

In just a few short years, Sean Anthony has created a powerhouse footprint in his Twin Tiers market spanning Pennsylvania and New York.

His success has been due, in part, to his #CommunityConnect video show, where he interviews local business owners. He uses the show to help them to promote their businesses while reaching a wider audience himself. Find out how he pays it forward and adds value to every interaction.

How long have you been in the business?  

I’ve been in the business for three years. Before real estate my job consisted of cold calling people who were past due on their student loans to get them set up into a monthly payment plan. I was awarded top producer at the end of several months but was still living paycheck to paycheck.

I had an uncle who had been working part-time in real estate for almost 10 years, and he said, “What do you have to lose by getting licensed?”

Within six months of that conversation, I had my real estate license after a lot of long days and nights working full time at my day job then taking my pre-licensing coursework at night.

Once I got licensed, I took the leap and jumped full time into real estate — without a net. So I ended up borrowing $20 here and there from my parents and other relatives to put gas in my car and picked up side jobs in between showings to make do.

I just knew that this is what I wanted to do; when I was out showing homes, I felt like I was a part of something bigger than myself, something with a meaning. I felt like a superhero helping my clients who put their trust into me to take the journey with them to find a place called home.

I door-knocked 98 houses in one day in my community and got three good leads; my first sale was a buyer referral from one of those sellers, and that’s how it all started. This all seems so crazy to me, typing this out right now, from where I came from to today.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years, I would love to be overseeing my team’s day-to-day activities and have weekly meetings while I use my free time to direct more videos, create a media production company to offer to my community, coach other Realtors and speak nationally about my story to motivate others to tackle their dreams. I also hope to travel more and see the world with my free time not doing business.

What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate? How did you learn it?

To be authentic, you have to be you, and you have to go all in on that.

Thinking about doing a crazy video idea? Just do it. Some of our biggest weaknesses are just ourselves getting in our own way. Less thinking, more executing on those great ideas running through your head.

You have two followers? Who cares! Just keep building your content library and delivering good value content, and everything else will happen. Wondering what you’re going to look like or sound like on camera? Who cares! The only person you have to please is yourself.

We as agents need to collectively stop living our lives based on what other people think. We just need to go for it. Failure shouldn’t be scary; failure should be part of the process. Sharpen your mental willpower to allow failure to be the fuel to you getting better and continue sharpening your skills.

This is part of the reason #CommunityConnect was born. I was sitting in a place in my community shortly after I was licensed, and I watched two Realtors walk in and say to the business owner, “Hey, I’m a local Realtor. Can I leave my business cards in here?” What does that do for the business owner? Nothing. It’s all about me, me, me.

The next day, I walked into that place and said to the business owner, “Hi, I’m Sean Anthony, and I come here often, and I love this place. Is there anything I can help you with today?”

He looked at me weird at first, and I repeated myself and said, “Seriously, how can I help you today?” He looked at me and he said, “Well, I have no idea how to do social media, and I feel my business is struggling. Do you know anything about that?”

One of the episodes of #CommunityConnect was born, giving that business owner value for free and never mentioning once I was a Realtor. The idea of doing more for people than you ever expect in return is how I built my brand.


The “how can I help you?” method builds lifelong relationships and does not focus on transactions. It will take more time and effort upfront, but year after year of this time invested will generate endless relationships in this relationship-centric business.

What advice would you give to new agents?

Focus on organization, infrastructure and relationships first. Too often as we get into this business wanting, wanting, wanting, but first we have to close the gap between the public’s trust and our own likeability and comfort; to do that you need to offer value upfront.

Invest time in creating relationships, then add infrastructure, and leverage technology to help you nurture that relationship with your CRM and apps like Agent Legend.

Don’t lose sight of the personal handwritten cards, pop-bys on their birthdays or just a “thinking of you” gift while traveling. Focus on these things early on to build a strong foundation to your empire.

How do you stay ahead in a changing market? Inman Connect Las Vegas — Featuring 250+ experts from across the industry sharing insight and tactics to navigate threat and seize opportunity in tomorrow’s real estate. Join over 4,000 top producers, brokers and industry leaders to network and discover what’s next, July 23-26 at the Aria Resort. Hurry! Tickets are going fast, register today!

Thinking of bringing your team? There are special onsite perks and discounts when you buy tickets together. Contact us to find out more.

SAVE MY SEAT

Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate in Alexandria, Virginia. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook or Twitter