A-B-C Always be closing, but maybe just today take a day off
A-B-C Always be closing, but maybe just today take a day off.
In Glen Garry Glen Ross an exceptional play by David Mamet, re-worked and expanded with the inclusion of Alec Baldwin as Blake in the 1992 film version, we hear the immortal lines, ‘A-B-C. A, always; B, be; C, closing. Always be closing! Always be closing!’ It is part of a seven-minute tirade where the Alpha agent Blake bludgeons the down hearted sales team by showing them their collective weaknesses.
A lifetime ago, ten years into my agency career, I left the world of corporate estate agency realising that it was time to scare myself with financial worry, put the new house and my wife and the three children in the balance and move from a large regular salary to a minus salary for the foreseeable.
This had two repercussions, I became the most driven agent on the planet, and I also lost sight of what mattered. I can remember going to my first ‘valuation’ in 1995 as the owner of my new enterprise, the vendor had no chance, it was an instruction, my need was stronger than his, and soon in the month we had thirty instructions.
My attitude to sales and building a team, was more Alec Baldwin on steroids than a collaborative approach, I was young, driven, arrogant, stupid, and mindful we needed income to survive. Now I think back and realise that ABC is great, I broke even in eight months, not two years, and things got easier, but it definitely was not an easy ride for those around me, and was not too good for my mental health.
Yesterday whilst out in the snow with my co-director Zara, she loves the snow, though her yellow ball tends to get stuck in the snowdrifts and she has to dig deep with her paws to release the prize, I realised that when we put pressure on ourselves, and for sure Lockdown 3.0 is piling it on – it is a good idea to mentally take time out.
Sure, agency is a daily bear pit, dealing with all the moving parts, if you are a Property manager for a lettings business or a financial advisor trying to get a lender to go with your latest client, it can all get a little ferocious inside our heads, especially if Alec Baldwin is inside there too.
My advice and it has only taken thirty years, if things are a little difficult, a little stressful take some time out, I am not suggesting you go so far as Mathew Broderick in the 1986 film ‘Ferris Bueller’s day off’, but I am suggesting take delight in something that makes you smile, for me it is trying to keep Zara happy in a field during a blizzard, for you it might be reconnecting with some people who maybe you have lost contact with.
Everyone is feeling fragile, and a little lost, taking time out – for yourself and those around you will definitely not harm anything, and it may just help get some perspective on things, in a good way. And if you are struggling do reach out, lots of people are there to support you, and it all starts with a conversation.
If you have a view – please let us all know by emailing me at [email protected] – Andrew Stanton Executive Editor – moving property and proptech forward.