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The worst thing that can happen is that you don’t connect with someone. Big whoop. In a few years you won’t even remember that moment. So just start today.~ Colleen Barry

Today on the Sales Pitch Podcast, Melissa Kwan speaks with Colleen Barry, CEO of Gibson’s Sotheby’s International Realty. Colleen took a fascinating path to real estate, first working as a graphic designer and even a pizza cook, before taking a job answering phones at a real estate office in Boston. While she worked that job, she started helping with marketing projects, and then was hired on to work in the marketing department before she ended up running it. As she puts it, she took a circuitous route, working in other departments before taking on the CEO role about a year-and-a-half ago. On today’s episode, Colleen and Melissa talk about how Colleen fosters collaboration in her firm, how agents can help get past sales obstacles, and what explains Colleen’s meteoric rise.

How to develop stronger agents: connect people

During Colleen’s time as a member of Gibson’s Sotheby’s leadership team, the firm’s sales have grown fivefold, making it a top-three Sotheby’s firm in the nation. Colleen said that one of the first things she did when she took on the role of director of productivity, which she came to after being director of marketing, was to help connect people across departments and across offices. As a business grows and acquires other offices, it’s easy for people to stick to what they know and stay within their tribes. So Colleen started connecting people who were maybe tackling similar issues. And she interviewed top-performing agents so she could glean advice that she could then share with others who hadn’t hit that mark yet. For Colleen, it’s all about connecting people, and she gives great advice for how to achieve that on this week’s episode of The Sales Pitch.

Fostering a collaborative culture

As Colleen says on this week’s episode of The Sales Pitch, there isn’t a direct line from her efforts connecting people, to agents have an easier time asking for help when they need it. agents have an easier time asking for help when they need it. But, her firm has what she calls an “unusually collaborative culture.” Real estate is both a competitive and collaborative business, says Colleen, so fostering collaboration is not always easy. But by encouraging people to get together and help each other out, she says her agents see that it’s a “1+1=3” equation, rather than a culture of fighting tooth and nail for clients. It’s a very unique and obviously productive approach that’s elevating Gibson’s Sotheby’s.

Lead generation is all about telling your story

Real estate has changed dramatically in the last ten years, says Colleen, especially when it comes to lead generation. Gone are the days when the MLS was a closely guarded book kept by real estate firms. Instead, Colleen says agents need to be able to tell their story, what value they bring to potential clients. Agents who made the pivot away from being the gatekeepers of information to articulating the service they’re offering have been the most successful. The way Colleen and Gibson’s Sotheby’s has addressed lead generation is to help agents connect better with their communities. One example is how her agents are using digital open house tools like to connect better with potential clients, and foster those relationships. If you’re struggling with lead generation, you need to listen to this week’s episode of The Sales PItch podcast.

Connect with people by telling your story

As Colleen says, it’s imperative that you are able to tell your story well so that you can connect with potential clients. But the million-dollar question is: How do you do that? It can often be difficult to tell your own story. Colleen recommended a book, Start with Why by Simon Sinek, to help you craft your story. It’s important that you dig into why you do what you do, not just that you’ve been selling real estate for 15 years. Colleen recommends looking through your testimonials and figuring out why people like working with you. There is so much great advice on this episode of the Sales Pitch podcast, from a true leader in the industry.

Here’s What You’ll Learn:
  • [0:45] Introduction to Colleen Barry
  • [3:00] What explains Colleen’s meteoric rise
  • [6:45] How to foster a collaborative culture
  • [8:20] Lead generation has changed drastically in the last five years
  • [10:00] How to not sound sales-y
  • [17:20] Telling a better story to clients
  • [21:30] Common roadblocks for agents
  • [27:00] How to get past your insecurities and self-limiting beliefs
  • [30:30] Find the motivation to get past your insecurities
  • [32:10] Have a more productive open house
Resources & People Mentioned Connect with Colleen Barry Connect With Spacio
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