Why I’ve Joined the Massimo Group

And why you may want to as well

I met Rod Santomassimo in 2007. Sperry Van Ness was recruiting our firm, and Rod was giving my parents and me – along with 10 other prospects – a presentation. I remember thinking, “This guy is tough as nails and knows what he’s talking about.”


My next interaction with him was at SVN bootcamp. He was playing the role of Mr. Big Ego, and I had to give him a presentation to win his business. Our group won his business. I felt like I impressed him. He probably doesn’t remember that, but I was proud of it.

Then he started the Massimo Group, and I hired him as my coach. For two years, he had a profound impact on my business. We restructured my entire prospecting system (which probably saved the company) and focus. He encouraged me and showed me how to build a presence.

Then he asked me to become a coach for the Massimo Group. I was coming off a really bad year in CRE because I’d started an insurance company that had failed. My attention had been diverted. I hesitated to tell him yes. So I spoke to my mentor who told me to do it. He said that coaching would sharpen my ax. He was right. My brokerage career had its best years while I was coaching.

So for the last 5 years, I’ve been coaching CRE brokers. During that time, I’ve owned and operated a CRE brokerage firm, I’ve been a corporate exec at a national CRE firm, and I’ve been a VP at a food safety technology start-up. The constant during that time has been the Massimo Group.

I love to coach. I love to see my clients grow in their prospecting, presence, fill their pipelines and explode their production. It is some of the most satisfying work I’ve ever done.

And it is so different than training. Trainers show up, brain dump, and then leave you with their well-wishes. Coaching is jumping in a fox hole with your client and ensuring they accomplish their goals. It involves accountability.

So when Rod started talking with me a couple months ago about coming on with the Massimo Group full-time, I was intrigued and excited. And after nailing down some details, I’ve completed my first week as Executive Vice President of the Massimo Group. I’m convinced that we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible. Our clients see results. They average 5 times more income than the average CRE broker.

It is a blast being a part of that.

What we need from you…

The Massimo Group needs more coaches. We have approximately 15 coaches now, and we are at capacity. New clients have to wait sometimes 6 weeks before we can place them with a coach. This is a great problem to have, but one we have to solve.

If you:

  • have strong transactional history and experience,
  • can be coached and can follow a system,
  • don’t struggle with technology
  • want to sharpen your ax as you positively impact others,
  • value making a difference more than financial gain (the financial gain isn’t bad at all),

then I want to talk to you. Shoot me an email at bo @ massimo-group.com and let me know you are interested.

Tomorrow, I’ve got another announcement I’m excited to share with you so be sure to check back.

There was an issue loading your timed LeadBox™. Please check plugin settings.

8 Reasons a Coach Can Accelerate Your Personal Development

“Clock in – let’s go to work!” ~ Bobby Grant

I ran cross country and track in high school.  I was active duty Marine Corps for 5 years, 2 months, and 4 days (who’s counting?).  In the ten years I’ve been out, I’ve gone through spurts of working out.  Nothing has prepared me for this.

couple woman man exercising workout

One of my personal development goals for 2015 is to work out with a personal trainer 2 times a week.  I’ve never done this before.  I’ve been active my entire life.  I know how to work out.  However, I want to get in the best shape of my life.  I want to be able to out-play my 3 kids.  I want to become the best version of myself and maximize my effectiveness.  I want to be healthy for as long as possible.

I love when my trainer says the quote above.  It motivates me.  It reminds me that the breath I’m trying to catch can be caught later.  I’m there to work.  After just a couple workouts, I regret that I haven’t worked with a trainer sooner.

You may be thinking, “I don’t need a trainer/coach.”  Consider this.  The elite in any industry have coaches.  Obviously, all elite athletes have coaches.  Did you know that most of the CEO’s for fortune 500 companies have coaches?  The best of the best rely on coaches.  They relentlessly pursue personal development.  It is the mediocre and average who think they don’t need it.

There was an issue loading your timed LeadBox™. Please check plugin settings.

How to Find Your Specialty by Answering 3 Questions

At the end of this post, I will share with you how to download a free worksheet of the exercise I describe in this post. It will allow you to visually see where your sweet spot lies.

I am continually surprised by Commercial Real Estate brokers who lack a specialty.  All top performers in CRE have a specialty.  Yet, those mired in mediocrity refuse to hone in on what they can be awesome at doing.  In fact, business owners of all kinds often have this problem.

Image courtesy of iStockPhoto.com

Image courtesy of iStockPhoto.com

I had a call last week with one of our advisors on the East Coast.  He was traditionally a specialist in hospitality.  Because of some changes in his life, he needed to shift his specialty to something he could practice locally.  His question was what should he specialize in.  What would you tell him?

Many of my coaching clients face this question as well.  It doesn’t matter if you are new to the business or you are mid-career.  Making this decision correctly will have a profound impact on your career.  Not only can it determine the amount of income you can make, but it can determine if you will like going to work every morning.

A CRE broker, or any business owner or salesperson, can find his/her sweet spot by answering 3 questions.

Three Questions to Find Your Specialty/Sweet Spot

1.  What do you like?

You should always start here.  What product type do you like?  What would you own if you could?  For me, I love multi-family.  I love to broker these deals.  I own this property type.  I understand it.  I don’t like industrial properties.  They don’t fit my eye.  I don’t enjoy being in industrial parks.  It just isn’t my thing.

You need to answer for yourself – what are my favorite 3 product types?  Write them down.

2.  What are you good at?

This is completely different than what you like.  Consider what you are good at.  Do you enjoy intense underwriting and analysis?  If so, multi-family might be your thing?  Do you enjoy fast paced prospecting and deal making?  If so, then maybe Single Tenant Net Lease (STNL) is your thing?  Maybe you love evaluating how the business aspect of hospitality properties and convenient stores impact value?

Again, list what product types fit your skill set.  Write them down.

3.  Where is the market velocity?

I did this exercise in 2009.  The market had dried up everywhere.  My business was suffering.  I looked around and saw that Dollar Stores were still trading at a rapid rate.  That was the only market velocity I saw anywhere in Kentucky.

Now I already told you that I love multi-family and it fits my skill set.  But no apartments were selling.  If I would have chosen apartments as the object of my prospecting campaign, I would have failed.  Instead, I began focusing on Dollar Stores.  It was a great move, and I learned to love that product type.

Look around your market.  Where is the transactional velocity?  Write those down as well.

Now look at your lists.  Where the answers to the three questions overlap is where you should specialize.  This is your sweet spot.

I ask that you to do two things:

  1. Regardless of what industry you are in, what benefits would you realize by finding your sweet spot and being known as the expert in your specialty? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

  2. You have a friend that needs to find their sweet spot. I challenge you to email this post to them so they can do this simple exercise. It could change the trajectory of their career.

To download a free worksheet that will allow you to work this exercise and visually find your sweet spot, click the button below.

Download Your Free Worksheet


There was an issue loading your timed LeadBox™. Please check plugin settings.

7 Steps to Unleashing Crowdsourcing by Utilizing Testimonials

My wife drives a Toyota Sienna.  Do you know why?  It is because a couple of her friends do.  My family is going on vacation next month.  Do you know how we came up with Disney World?  We asked our friends on Facebook what they recommended.  This is what crowdsourcing is.  By definition, it is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people.

Courtesy of iStock Photo

Courtesy of iStock Photo

Crowdsourcing is not a new phenomenon, but it has never had more power.  Social media has brought the world to you laptop screen.  You can access more content and opinions – and quicker – than you ever could before.  People are making decisions this way.  You probably did today.

Did you know that over 80% of all due diligence starts with a Google search?  Do you know how many people trust a recommendation from a “friend”?  90%!  Do you know how many people are positively influenced by a Facebook ‘Like’ button from someone they don’t even know?  70%!  That number astounds me.

By contrast, only 19% of people now trust traditional advertising.  I’m talking about print, TV, or radio.  Do you know why?  Because the game has changed.  No one wants to hear you toot your own horn anymore.  They want to know about real people who have actually used your product or service.  They want a testimonial.

I plan on writing more in the coming months about the power of crowdsourcing and how you can maximize its advantages.  But today, I want to give you 7 steps to harvest testimonials.  There are a dozen ways to repurpose them once you have them.  First, though, you have to get them.

7 Steps to Getting Testimonials

  1. Make a list of your top client relationships – This is obvious, but you first need to list those clients from whom you would like a testimonial.  Consider who was in love with the service or product your provided.  Consider who has the most clout.  Who are those people who you have done business with who can sway the most people in your direction?  Write them down.
  2. It doesn’t matter how dated the client relationships are – Don’t be concerned if these clients go back years in the past.  It doesn’t matter as much when you provided value, but that you did.
  3. Write the testimonial for them – Typically, you are going to send an email request.  For the first one or two, write the testimonial for them.  It should read, “I’m writing to respectfully request that you write a couple of sentences as a testimonial for the service I provided.  I’m looking for something like this…”  Spoon feed it to them.  Then let them know that if what you wrote is accurate, you are happy to use it as their words – with their blessing.  This is the quickest path to obtaining a testimonial.
  4. Use peer pressure – Once you have your first one or two, introduce peer pressure.  You can accomplish this by including the testimonials you have already received as examples of what you are looking for.  This demonstrates that others are providing these testimonials.  Peer pressure can then kick-in encouraging them to follow suit.
  5. Engage their competitive nature – By providing testimonials you have already received as examples in your email request, you will engage their competitive nature.  Your client is likely to want to give you a testimonial that out-does the ones you have already received.  Over time, this can really work in your favor.
  6. Make it easy – I have a coaching client who has collected recommendation letters for years.  He has a book of them.  It is very impressive.  It also took a ton of work to accomplish.  I’m not saying this is a bad idea because it is not.  I am saying that you will have more success more quickly if you keep it simple.  Use email.  Ask for a couple of sentences.  Provide examples.  Make it as easy for them as possible.  You are interrupting them with your request.  The simpler it is, the more you will get.
  7. Systematize – To this point, I’m suggesting you look to the past for your testimonials.  Once you’ve accomplished that, then systematize the process.  Make it a part of your business to seek a testimonial from every new client you do business with.  Over time, you will develop a stable of clients that scream from the mountain tops how awesome you are.  Remember that 70% of people trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know!

I’d be so grateful if you would add to my list by using the comments section below.  What have I left off?  How have you put the power of testimonials to work in your business?

There was an issue loading your timed LeadBox™. Please check plugin settings.

February’s Top Posts

In case you missed them, here are the top posts from February on the topics of Next Practices in Life, Business, and Commercial Real Estate.

I do want to invite you to subscribe to this blog just to the right of what you are reading now.  This will make it so easy for you to get my new posts without having to remember to check my site.  And I will never violate your privacy!


February’s Top Posts:

iStock_000021836294SmallWhat are You Worth? – I have a mentor and client who is incredibly successful.  He owns over a dozen businesses. He employs hundreds of people.  He loves Jesus and is one of the most generous men I’ve ever met.  He is an amazing man.  He is someone who we should all want to be like.  A couple of years ago, I was meeting with this man.  I asked him what the inflection point was in his career.  He surprised me with his answer. He told me about a conversation that he had with his mentor.  At that time, my mentor had hit his limit.  He was experiencing what John Maxwell calls the Law of the Lid (read the book – affiliate link).  Read more…


Me and the Beast

Me and the Beast

A Letter to My Kids – So, here is a not so short letter to my children.  I share this because I believe intentionally communicating with our children what they should know is a great idea.  Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life, but it could also be my last.  I want to intentionally take steps to share certain things with my children that could make a huge difference in their lives.  I share this to encourage you to do the same.  Read more…

interviewCRE All-Stars:  An Interview with Chad Grout, CCIM – I tried something new!  Thanks to my new friend Dan Hayes, I can now record a Skype call (if you want to know how, just leave a comment below, and I will hook you up).  This is the first in a series of interviews of CRE All-Stars.  I will be interviewing CRE All-Stars throughout the United States and bringing you their best practices.  So…meet Chad Grout!  I asked the following four questions to Chad.  Read more…

  1. How did you get into CRE?
  2. How did you decide on your specialty?
  3. How have you gone about establishing your presence and becoming the top-of-mind broker in your specialty?
  4. Explain what having a coach for your business has allowed you to accomplish?

Thank you so much for reading.  I’m excited about the topics for March’s posts.  If you have any ideas on what I should write about, please leave your suggestions in the comments below.



There was an issue loading your timed LeadBox™. Please check plugin settings.

Take Advantage of 2 Year-Making Events

This is the first time that I have used my blog to promote an event.  In this case I am promoting two events.  I am not making a dime off this.  I am simply bringing this to your attention because both of these events have the potential to bring great value to your businesses.




I remember when I first began in the Commercial Real Estate industry in 2004.  The idea of auctioning off a listing meant failure.  Using our own marketing and market expertise, our company could not produce a closing.  Thus, we punted and looked to auction as opposed to losing the listing.  We split our fee with the auctioneer and secretly cursed under our breaths that we couldn’t sell that property without them.

No longer.

AuctionPoint2013 is an incredible opportunity to expose your listings to a national online event.  I’m not sure where to start with the benefits, so here is a list:

  • Over $300,000 is being spent to promote the event internationally.  None of those dollars comes from you!
  • AuctionPoint2013 is a collaboration between AuctionPoint.com, LoopNet, First American Title, Sperry Van Ness, Cushman Wakefield, Marcus & Millichap, Colliers, RE/MAX, CBC, NAI, Lee & Associates, Voit, REITs, and numerous national and regional banks.
  • You keep you entire commission.  Whatever you listed the property for, you receive.  A 2.5% buyers premium is paid by the buyer.  This is half of what normal online auction sites charge.
  • You can still sell before the auction.  This is a great way to bump stalling buyers off-center.
  • This auction is already filling up with outstanding assets.  This is not an auction full or garbage assets.
  • Your brand is aggressively promoted with your property.  Every time your property/listing is seen, you are seen.
So how can you get involved?
  • Go to AuctionPoint2013.com
  • Click Learn More
  • In the circle at the bottom right, select “Click for Details”
  • This will take you to a screen that explains how to submit an asset
Important Dates:
  • Feb. 1, 2013 – Asset Submission Begins
  • March 15, 2013 – Asset Submission Ends
  • March 29 – May 28, 2013
    • Asset list released to the public
    • Nationwide market campaign deployed
    • Property inspections and underwriting performed
    • Pre-auction offers accepted
Note:  All properties submitted are reviewed by a selection committee.  Only a certain number of properties will be accepted.

Question:  What is preventing you from serving your clients by utilizing CRE Event of the Year?


Massimo Group Logo

Free Webinar:  How to Maximize Your Brokerage Income in 2013 – Feb. 19, 1:00 pm EST

In 2010, I made a great decision to hire Rod Santomassimo as my CRE coach.  Rod is the president and founder of the Massimo Group which is the premier CRE coaching and consulting firm.  After 2 years of coaching, Rod asked me to come on as a coach for the Massimo Group.  I have been coaching CRE brokers from all over the United States and Canada since then.
In this free webinar, Rod is going to discuss proven strategies and tactics that create greater opportunities for commission income.  This will not be a Massimo Group commercial, but a real sharing of practices and ideas.  Learn how top producing brokers:
  • Fill their pipeline with continual business opportunities
  • Create a top-of-mind position with their clients and key prospects
  • Develop personal teams, both virtual and physical to increase efficiencies and productivity
  • Implement tactics which consistently help them Find, Win, and Close more business.
I encourage you to do what over 500 CRE practitioners have already done and invest 30 minutes in yourself by attending this free webinar.  You will be glad that you did.
  • Date:  Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013
  • Time:  1:00 pm EST
  • To Register:  Click Here

 Invest in yourself and register today!

There was an issue loading your timed LeadBox™. Please check plugin settings.

What Are You Worth?

What are you worth?  You don’t have a clue, do you?

I have a mentor and client who is incredibly successful.  He owns over a dozen businesses. He employs hundreds of people.  He loves Jesus and is one of the most generous men I’ve ever met.  He is an amazing man.  He is someone who we should all want to be like.

iStock_000021836294SmallA couple of years ago, I was meeting with this man.  I asked him what the inflection point was in his career.  He surprised me with his answer. He told me about a conversation that he had with his mentor.  At that time, my mentor had hit his limit.  He was experiencing what John Maxwell calls the Law of the Lid (read the book – affiliate link).

In that conversation, my mentor asked his mentor, “Why can’t I break through?  What is my problem?”

Last week at my company’s national convention, I spoke on becoming a Power Prospector.  Afterwards, one of our top producers wanted to talk with me.  He is tapped out.  He has so much business.  However, he is struggling to keep up with it all. He’s trying to do everything himself.  It isn’t working.

I ask you again.  What are you worth?

This is one of the most important things that you can know when running your business.  Why?  Because you have more to do in any one day than you can accomplish.


In both of the stories above, lack of delegation is the problem.  My mentor was trying to control everything.  He wouldn’t delegate.  Thus, he was the bottleneck.  He was the problem.

Our top producer has not put together a team or a system to maximize his efforts.  He is the Lid holding his business and his productivity back.  We are going to remedy this situation, and his business is going to explode.

You have heard that delegation is a good idea, but can you articulate why?  As the CEO of you, there are certain tasks that only you can do.  These are the high-dollar activities or the high value creation activities.  You want to delegate everything else so that you can focus on those activities.  Said another way, anything that anyone else can do, they should do.  This frees you up to do only things that only you can do.

To effectively accomplish this, you must do 3 things:

  1. Catalogue your activities – Before you can delegate, you must know with clarity all the activities that take up your time.  The best way to do this is to catalogue everything that you spend time on for a week.  Write it all down.  Some of you just rolled your eyes.  Don’t skip this step.  Write it all down.
  2. Triage – The triage step involves deciding which are the high dollar activities and which need to be delegated.  Ask yourself, “If I could only do 3 of these activities, which ones would they be?”  Some you will simply want to delete and stop doing entirely.  This step gives you clarity of purpose.  It also gives you the job description for the team member or virtual assistant that you may add.  If you already have an assistant or team in place, this list is now their playbook.
  3. Know what you are worth! – Many of you will be tempted to simply read this and move on with your life.  I challenge you not to.  Go through this with me.  You will thank me.

I’m going to use round numbers.  Let’s assume that you work 50 weeks a year and 40 hours a week.  Now write down what your income goal for the year is.  Great.  The math looks like this.

50 weeks x 40 hours/week = 2,000 hours worked in a year

Income Goal  / 2,000 hours = your value per hour

If you want to make $100,000 this year, then $100,000 / 2,000 hours = $50/hr.  If you want to make $400,000 this year, then your are worth $200/hr.

Rod Santomassimo, the president and founder of the coaching firm the Massimo-Group, knows his number.  He has a note on his desk that reads, “Is what you are doing right now worth $___/hr?  If not, stop doing it!”  This is why you must know your worth.  It allows you to effectively focus on the activities that maximize your effectiveness and earning potential.  Otherwise, you are leaving money on the table.

So what are you worth?  How will knowing this number effect how you lead and work?  Let me know in the comments below!

There was an issue loading your timed LeadBox™. Please check plugin settings.

Social Media For Brokers Webinar: Twitter

Please join Angela Brown and me for a free webinar sponsored by CoStar!

Social Media for Commercial Real Estate Brokers Webinar:  Twitter

Thu, Nov 29, 2012
3:00 PM ET (12:00 PM PT)

Click here to register!

During this live presentation with social CRE experts, you will learn best practices for elevating and managing your social media presence on Twitter. This program will go beyond the basics, leaving participants with actionable information that they can use right away.

Our topics include:

What you can do with Twitter – You’ve heard all the fuss but what is it good for?

Nailing the profile – A look at profile best practices and recent changes to its appearance

Connect with clients and prospects using
“The Rule of Thirds”


Angela Brown, Communications Manager, CoStar Group

Bo Barron, CCIM, Managing Director, Sperry Van Ness/The Barron Group

Click here to register!

*Do you communicate on a social media channel?  If so, spread the word!  Tell those that may benefit from this webinar to join us.

There was an issue loading your timed LeadBox™. Please check plugin settings.

My Next Week at CRE B.O.S.S

I need to confess.  I am a huge University of Kentucky basketball fan.  Huge.  I have managed to successfully brainwash my children as well.  My parents met while attending UK.  I have been going to games my entire life.  If you don’t know already, after Louisville, Duke is the most hated rival that we have.  Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley….makes me feel icky.

My son and I with National Champion John Calipari and the John Calipari Father-Son Camp

So at this point you are wondering why am I talking college basketball?  Because I am excited about going to Duke University next week.  I never thought I would say that.

Next week is the Commercial Real Estate Broker Owner Success Summit (CRE BOSS) put on by the Massimo-Group at Duke University.  I will be there facilitating the Summit in my capacity as a coach for the Massimo-Group.

I’m excited because CRE BOSS is something new – fresh – different.  This isn’t the same old conference with the same speakers.  BOSS is something else.  This summit is an exclusive first-class event for Broker/Owners and has two goals:

  1. Maximize the Production of Your Individual Brokers – How do you give your brokers and advisors every competitive advantage to be successful?  How can you train and mentor them into becoming top producers?  How do you create self-motivated high achievers?
  2. Maximize the Value of Your Brokerage Firm – How do you control costs while enhancing the client experience?  How can you grow your firm?  Mergers and Acquisitions?  What kind of exit strategy or succession plan do you have?  Is your firm being built to be sold?

Not only is the focus of the Summit to benefit the broker/owner, but the speakers are world-class achievers themselves.  We will get to hear and learn from the likes of:

  • Bob Knakal, Chairman of New York City’s top firm Massey-Knakal
  • Finn Johnson, President and Founder of RunMyBusiness and 25 year veteran at all levels of the Commercial Real Estate Industry
  • Warren Greshes, Hall of Fame speaker, top-selling author and expert in sales, motivation and employee motivation
  • Lee Rust, Florida Corporate Finance, M&A and succession planning expert
  • Rod Santomassimo, CCIM – President and Founder of the Massimo-Group and author of the best-selling CRE book, Brokers Who Dominate

Be on the lookout for some post from CRE BOSS next week!

So answer this question for me.  What are you willing to do in 2013 to ensure that you are investing in yourself by attending events like this one?
There was an issue loading your timed LeadBox™. Please check plugin settings.