Thursday, June 21, 2012

Buffini and Company

As I alluded to in my last post, I went to a conference called the Turning Point given by Buffini and Company at the Hyatt on Long Island.  I was able to spend Father's Day with Alex, Rachel and Liam in Manhattan (we picnicked in Schurz Park) and then drive out to the hotel.  I had been looking forward to this event for a very long time.

I had seen Brian Buffini in Vegas at the RE/MAX convention years ago.  I think it was 2007.  I came back ready to go and that's when I started my blog.  So I like the way that spawned a new beginning and hopefully Turning Point, at the 500th blog, has started another chapter in my career.

I have always liked the philosophy that Buffini espouses:  real estate success is formed by relationships, not "one and done" fly-by listings and sales.  As I've said before, my clients become friends or acquaintances, people I enjoy meeting on the street or having lunch with.  I have been in business for 11 years almost, and their children have grown up and gone on to their own lives.  I have one entire family which I have watched as the four sons develop their businesses, meet and marry, have children.  And it's not just them, it's their friends to whom they refer me.  I went to a party last year - there were at least 40 transactions represented there, and every single person or part of a family in the room had been my client at some point, most for multiple transactions.

The other part of the Buffini message is a direct expansion of Rational-Emotive Therapy which I studied years ago while doing my Master's in counseling at Ohio University.  RET is based on the assumption that what you tell yourself produces your behavior.  Much simplified.  If you do certain things you will receive rewards, even if the reward is simply telling yourself you did well.  That confidence boost will produce energy that will produce more good things that will increase your energy....and on and on.  You can actually work your way out of a slump or depression.  Therapists hand out homework - do the homework, and in the doing you are actively participating in your recovery and - voila - you recover!

One thing I've always liked about real estate is that, unlike other careers, the harder you work the more you make.  Within reason of course.  So I have worked hard and it has paid off, not only financially but emotionally and socially.

I still needed a tune-up.  I needed and wanted a way to work smarter.  Buffini - through a discussion with our broker, Dave Cramer - had helped me through financial planning so that my money was not scattered but relegated to separate accounts.  Now I needed to find a way to work and have a life.  Last year by necessity I spent days away from Skaneateles with the birth of Liam.  And I had one of my best years - how could that be?  I told Rachel I had to find a way - and that Buffini and Company would make it happen.

They did.  Through two intense days I got the answers I needed.  The answers were there before, of course, but I hadn't been ready to do the work.  Liam's birth pushed me over the edge.  And everyone will benefit.

Basically they gave me a structure to my days and weeks.  One I have to implement and individualize but I am ready.  And it all makes sense.  I hadn't seen the forest for the trees.

So, Brian Buffini, who came to America from Ireland with $92 in his pocket and became a millionaire at a very young age and now employs 370 staff, I thank you.  He told a story the last afternoon about the notes he receives.  He can't keep them all, but he keeps those of the children who write.  They say things like "Thank you for giving me back my mother."  "My father finally saw one of my games."  

I will be there both for my clients and the children of my clients, and my family as well.