Applying Ray Dalio’s Believability from his book Principles | Silicon Beach | Venice Beach | Real Estate

By David Bramante  |  March 18, 2018

During our Mentee Mastermind conversation at Keller Williams Realty Downtown Los Angeles on Friday, we were discussing how to best deal with the issue of completing and properly documenting the 10 property previews per week requirement.

The book, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent written by Gary Keller and usually referred to as the MREA, states that a top-producing real estate agent will follow the following formula for success:

  • 10 owner conversations per day
  • 10 database entries per day
  • 10 personalized notes per day
  • 10 property previews per week

So as our 17 real estate agents at KW Downtown LA were discussing the amount of work required to follow the MREA and stay in the Mentee Mastermind contest, coined during the conversation the #AlphaAgents project, we struggled as a group on how the agents could properly document the previews online. (We started with 18 agents, but one agent tapped out this week).

The initial recommendation was that our KW agents would take 10 selfies at the properties they visited (open houses for residential agents and property visits for commercial agents).

What we have seen over the last two weeks has been all over the place… some of the agents in the group took photos of property exteriors and interiors, some took photos of only addresses with their selfie, some took pictures of the MLS print-outs usually found at cooperating agent open houses… and yet many more did not do any previews at all. We want uniformity for the contest.

The top three agents in terms of completing property previews for the week were Rosie Mazariegos, Summer Gorjian, and Matthew Blessing. In my mind, they had the microphone.

So as I opened the conversation up about how to best resolve the issue of proving property previews, I expected one of my top three to steer the conversation and teach the rest of the group and set the rules for the contest in this specific category.

They would talk about taking multiple photos at each open house which include some sort of selfie, open house sign and an interior right? Nope. All of a sudden agents who had not completed any open house previews whatsoever felt comfortable chiming in on how this party of our Mentee Mastermind / Alpha Agents contest should be conducted and that overall this requirement was too difficult.

This sounded the alarms in my mind because the book I recently read and had recently become addicted to, titled Principles by Ray Dalio, was being ignored. What I was listening to and experiencing was a violation of one of the main principles in Ray’s book, and that was a violation of his rule on “believability” and so I needed to correct the conversation and remind the group of this core belief.

As one of the agents who hadn’t completed any previews from the week continued to talk about this and that with the contest’s previews and social media posting requirements, I realized that she was confident, that she was persuasive, and that she had no believability in the category of previews. Worse, my top three quietly listened to her and this was dangerous.

Alarming… she had the entire floor during the conference call and 16 other agents were actively pondering her thoughts. They may take her advice and form their businesses around what she was saying, which was not based on anything other than opinions.

As the Team Leader of KW DTLA, I have routinely experienced this issue, but never was it more painfully obvious. I was actively looking at all my agents’ stats on the call in my Google Sheets tracker and sure enough, an agent with a glaring zero in this category was weighing in happily about this category. An agent with zero credibility in this category was happily sharing her opinion and knowingly or unknowingly trying to influence the agents in the contest.

These are the moments where I need to get involved, remind the group of our core principles, about the book Principles, and the concept of believability. I politely interrupted our talkative and “unbelievable” agent (on this topic) after a few seconds, and reminded the Mentee Masterminds that our brokerage, KW DTLA, believes in believability and that the opinions of the most active agents in the preview category had the floor.

I called on Rosie first, since she had done 20 property previews in the week, then I called on Summer who had done 17 previews. As the book Principles states, the person with the most experience takes on the role of teacher, while the challenger and would-be debater (or show-boater) takes on the role of student.

This was one of the moments, though seemingly very minor, that I was able to course correct the group and specifically outline one of our brokerage’s beliefs in 2018. It felt great and it probably seemed relatively minor.

What happened is so routine that no one usually notices, and so dangerous that those who are aware of this rule need to setup and make the group aware of what is happening. I couldn’t believe I had to re-introduce the concept of believability.

PS In case you’re wondering what the group settled on, we stated that there needs to be 10 images posted on Instagram, with descriptions of the properties and the hashtags: #AlphaAgents #KWDTLA and #KWDowntownLA. The posts should be shared to a linked Facebook account, so that our office can quickly find and count the preview posts for each agent.

PSS The featured image of this post is from my Instagram, where I’m doing handstands in front of agent’s open houses… to preview that I visited the open houses and I’m believable.

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David Bramante is the Team Leader & Managing Partner of Keller Williams Realty Downtown Los Angeles, and the manager of BRE Investment in Echo Park.

He has been a top producing California Realtor since 2005, helping clients sell, buy, invest and lease residential and commercial real estate in Los Angeles.

As a real estate consultant, he has hired, mentored and coached over 150 Realtors in Southern California, including many top producing Realtors in Los Angeles County.

For questions about the above blog post, becoming a real estate agent, or joining Keller Williams Realty, send an email to David directly at david (at) breinvestment.com or davidbramante (at) kw.com.