Ralph Roberts wasn’t born being best at what he does. In fact you’ll read that he was pretty hopeless at other businesses. The key was that he found something he had a passion for, turned it into a dream and didn’t mind working harder than anyone else he knew.
Ralph Roberts manages to sell 600 houses a year! In 1995 Time Magazine named him ‘America’s top realtor.’ Ralph is so good that real estate agents from around country pay for opportunity to ‘shadow’ him so they can learn about methods he uses.
Born in 1956, he got a job as a teenager cutting a neighbor’s lawn for $10 a time, while all neighbor hood kids were charging $5-because he convinced neighbor he would do a better job. As a recent high school graduate in 1975, Warren, Michigan dynamo took $900 and invested it in a three-bedroom house. ‘I moved in and rented out all three bedrooms to different people,’ said Ralph, author of Walk Like A Giant, Sell Like A Madman. ‘I lived in hallway.’
Over next 15 years, Ralph lived in 23 houses, selling each one at a profit and moving on to next opportunity. Although Ralph seems to have been born with a knack for selling, he wasn’t born knowing how to succeed. He claims that he was class clown at school and could have been voted ‘most likely not to succeed.’ In fact, he failed at several business ventures before he discovered his gift for selling real estate. Despite heartache they caused, Ralph says he’s grateful for failures, which preceded his success because each one taught him valuable lessons that brought him closer to realize his dreams.
‘To be successful you must surround yourself with successful people’ says Ralph who runs his real estate sales business with help of a secretary, two listing agents, two buying agents and one closing coordinator.
Ralph believes that setting goals, writing them down with specifics about how you want to achieve them and visualizing them are absolutely essential for success. One of his goals is to pay $1 million a year in taxes. Another is to do $1million a month in business with a particular investor group he works with. To symbolize this goal he often passes out fake $1 million notes to those investors.
Twice a year, Ralph’s key staff comes to his house for a workday during which they storyboard area in which they work. They set goals, brain storm and put good ideas down in an ‘idea of week’ book. Employees are encouraged to write ideas in book whenever they occur, even if timing isn’t quite right yet for implementation. Ralph and his department heads look through book regularly. Often they find a good idea that they had forgotten about and realize that now is time to implement it.
The book is also used to ‘educate’ new employees. ‘When we hire someone we have them read book and buy into concept,’ Ralph notes. ‘If they don’t we don’t want them working for us because we only want people with us who share our vision.’