As a businessman, mentor and leader in the Ontario real estate industry, John Lusink has had the better part of three decades to develop into the guiding force that his clients and colleagues look to for professional advice. Over the course of his career, John has served in a variety of positions in both commercial and residential real estate, from business owner to broker/record manager, and from trainer/coach to marketing manager.
John has demonstrated that he is an accomplished leader and has consistently shown success in three areas of focus: mergers and acquisitions, innovative operational solutions, and assembling high-performing teams.
Today, John serves as the President and Broker of Record at Right at Home Realty Inc., Canada’s largest independently owned real estate brokerage.
We recently interviewed John about his experience as a mentor, his advice to new realtors, and how he sees technology impacting the future of the real estate industry.
As a mentor and coach, how do you help agents with managing their time efficiently?
John Lusink: This is one of the most challenging issues to tackle for any sales person. Overtime, I have coached sales people and staff to consider focusing on the vital few items that will have the most impact. Really this is an extension of the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule). It requires implementing a routine into one’s day of reviewing all the ongoing tasks and continously prioritizing them and being mindful of which will have the greatest impact or results.
Lead generation is the number one topic on the minds of real estate agents. What advice do you give to new agents looking to build their book of business? Is cold-calling still relevant?
John Lusink: In fact, the true job description of a Realtor is to be a “lead generator”. However, the approach has evolved as Privacy and Anti-Spam rules have begun to dictate whether or not cold calling is permitted. What this does mean is that even more emphasis is placed on relationship selling and the importance of one’s personal sphere of influence. It has also meant that Realtors have to prove even more to customers that they add value to the equation. Prospecting is still very relevant, especially in the early years of a new Realtor’s business, however, they need to learn early on how to offer value to their contacts.
You live and teach by the mindset that our highest and best use in life is being of service to other people. Give us an example of how this philosophy applies to a successful career in real estate?
John Lusink: Mindset is the most important area for Realtors to work on. The difference between being a Victim or a Victor or another way of putting it is having a positive mental attitude or a negative mental attitude is what determines success. Extending this mindset to “how or what can I do for my client” with out adding the “WIIFM” what’s in it for me component is what makes for a long-term successful career in real estate. This is truly the meaning of service – choosing to engage without expectation of reciprocation!
We live in an age where technology continues to evolve. In your eyes, describe what the brokerage firm of the future might look like. How do you see artificial intelligence impacting the industry?
John Lusink: The successful brokerage firm of the future is the one that has truly figured out how to make technology convenient and accessible for the customer. A perfect example of this is the Uber experience. This is one way technology has reinvented an old standby service and delivered real benefits to the end customer while also enhancing the experience of the service provider (driver). Whether this is accomplished by AI or another, as yet to be invented technology remains to be seen. The recent rash of so-called new technology has mostly been aimed at the Realtor and it seems we have forgotten all about the customer.
Will real estate agents still be relevant in the age of tech?
John Lusink: Those who have evolved, adapted and can offer real value to their customers will be very relevant. Data still needs to be interpreted. Buyers and Sellers still require assistance with negotiations, understanding legal and regulatory issues, paperwork. All things that require a level of intelligence and understanding beyond what AI can deliver.