This blog series explores the ongoing transformation in real estate, with aspecial emphasis on the interplay between agents and technology. There’s been a lot of change already, but there’s much more to come.


Last week, while I was sitting at the warm airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, waiting to fly to Chicago to get on stage with the largest tech savvy brokerage in Chicago, @properties, I had a rare moment:  The luxury of time to think about conversations that I had earlier in the day with top producers at Keyes.

It was a small but very well organized fundraising event, with over top 100 agents in South Florida donating $25,000 to fight cancer during one day. 

We discussed with a few real estate office managers how they started their businesses and why we have chosen to work in the real estate industry.

Our conclusion?

We all got into the real estate business because our primary interest was to help people.  The expectation of something in return was secondary. All the success, relationships, customers, and, finally, sales came as a result of giving first.  

The discussions reminded me how I started in the real estate business.

I didn’t know anyone and I could barely speak English when I came to the U.S. at the age of 19.  I went to work on a fishing boat in Alaska to make my first U.S. dollars, but the greatest “return” from my experience in Alaska were the relationships that I found transformational.

People went out of their way to help me- when they simply didn’t have to. In fact, they knew I had nothing – no assets – to give in return.  

One stop along the way, was my time working at Trident Canary in North Naknek with an American manager named Dallas. I told her about my plans to go to college in the U.S.  

She gave me a phone number of her ex-boyfriend (!) and suggested I call him once I get to UC Berkeley, I did call him and a few weeks later, I was sleeping at the Berkeley co-ops (although I ultimately attended and graduated from the University of Washington).  

She and her ex didn’t have to help me – in fact it probably created a certain level of disruption in their lives to help an immigrant with lodging, getting around the city, etc.  

I remember clearly how such acts of people’s kindness have shaped my heart and my own personality. And some of my own “give-first” efforts ended up creating surprising outcomes.

One of my first clients was the result of helping a gentleman cut and move a tree that fell down after a storm.  

Another example:  After I started to volunteer with Overlake Service League, helping to fund-raise for kids in poor communities, one of the people I met became my business partner.  

And another story:  When I made an introduction to a tech CEO, he later returned the favor by connecting me to the best investor my business could wish for. 

I find the biggest blessing is to help people. 

In business, it’s about helping our customers first, then helping employees, partners, investors, and, finally, helping yourself.  

For Flipt, our mission is to help real estate professionals become better agents and we do that by allowing them to focus on the GIVING side of the process.

We take care of the tough parts of real estate marketing and allow you to focus on giving your clients a great experience….which ends in you winning their listing and earning the commissions.


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