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    Make The Next Move: From the MLB to the MLS

    How A Career In Major League Baseball Helped Launch A Successful Real Estate Business

    Hello, my name is Evan Crawford and I have the best job in the world. Let me rephrase that, I have the best job in the world….for me. As much as I do believe everyone would love this job, for me, it is the perfect fit. I have the honor of being the  Director of Baseball for the Next Move Network, a powerful network of licensed luxury  real estate professionals who collaborate all around the world in servicing the unique  transactional needs of their clients.

    My background as a professional baseball player as well as a family pedigree in  the real estate realm has led me to right where I was meant to be, Next Move. I spent 7  years playing professional baseball in the Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago White Sox  organizations. Before I start to sound like “Uncle Rico” rehashing his playing days, let  me expand a bit on who I was as a professional baseball player.

    Once upon a time we were playing the Seattle Mariners in Seattle. While we  were in this beautiful city the weather was flawless and the Toronto fans were out in  droves. For a west coast Canadian, Seattle is the most convenient place to watch their  team compete, logistically speaking. So we go out that night to what felt like a home  game in Seattle.

    After winning the game, some of us decide to go out to get a quick dinner and a  drink at a place near our hotel. At one point three or four of us were standing at the bar  ordering a refreshment when a group of fans noticed some of my teammates. This lead  to some conversation and excitement.

    As a rookie, I stayed quiet and off to the side and only spoke when spoken to,  this level of respect is shown in the locker room as well. I was certainly not there to overshadow a veteran player. The group of guys was dressed in Blue Jays gear from head to toe. These were some very committed fans who knew their stuff. One of them  said, “guys, I know this is weird, but could we get a picture with you all?” As I was preparing to pose for one of my first pictures amidst the fandom, one of the guys handed me his phone and said “could you take this picture of us? Thanks, dude.”

    I picked up my pride and grabbed the phone. As I stood next to another fan and worked to get my teammates and fans perfectly framed in the shot, the person next to me said, “Man, I am like the biggest Blue Jays fan in the world. I saw you were hanging out with these guys, how do you know them? I was at the game tonight. This is  pretty cool!” I could have said, “Well, you aren’t that big of a fan now are you? Because  I pitched the seventh inning.”

    Instead, I knew my place, and took the very best photo I possibly could, and said  “I don’t, I was just standing up at the bar to get close to them.” That’s how popular of a  player I was during my career. The biggest fans ever had no idea who I was. It was awesome.

    Through those years, I was fulfilled with the opportunity to meet some amazing people. The people range from teammates, trainers, host families, front office staff,  batboys, clubbies, coaches, fans, and many more. These are the people that made my professional baseball experience what it was, something to cherish. By cherish I mean,  it is an experience I always keep close to my mind and heart. The adventure that was professional baseball taught me many lessons that frame my life as a real estate professional. A few of those truths that I believe were absorbed through baseball are: Finding your intrinsic motivation, Being a team player, and The work never stops. Let me elaborate a little bit.

    INTRINSIC MOTIVATION

    Finding intrinsic motivation is a must. Simply put, this means the act of doing something without any real obvious external reward. This is something that you decide to go after because it interests you and you find it palatable without any outside incentive or pressure to engage in the particular activity. Both with baseball and real estate, this is a must. As glamorous as getting paid to play baseball may sound,  starting out there is a little reality slap to the face called Minor League Baseball. This is basically the “pay to play” stage of your career.

    At the time, I believe I started out being compensated somewhere between $800  and $802 per month to be a pro. Now, you throw in some clubhouse dues (for food,  laundry, etc.) and rent…you are essentially paying to play the game.

    This is paralleled nicely with getting started in real estate. As most single-agent  Realtors know, starting out in this career can feel very much like a “pay to play”  scenario. With the course fees, testing fee, MLS fees, local commission fees, business cards, signs, marketing dollars, desk fees, etc., it can certainly feel like you are paying to surf the MLS only to see houses that you could never afford at this rate of  (anti)income.

    This is where intrinsic motivation knocks on the proverbial “starter home” door.  At this point in either of these careers, whether you are strapping on your cleats or logging into the MLS, at the end of the day you know in your heart of hearts that you will not go to sleep as a millionaire. Sure, it’s a long term goal on your radar, but first, let’s put one foot in front of the other. The first step? Work ethic.

    Work ethic piggybacks intrinsic motivation. To prove it I’ll go ahead and define it for you. Work ethic is a set of values-centered on the importance of doing work and reflected especially in a desire or determination to work hard. This is yet another example of finding it within yourself to accomplish something without the expectation of a result. So if we can pair these two ideals together, we find ourselves in a position to enjoy working very hard at something we truly enjoy. These are rather strong ingredients for a recipe to achieve. This is where I would like to insert my favorite quote but it would likely just take up too much space. Oh well, I’m doing it.

    “A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his  play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his  recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.”  

    * Lawrence Pearsall “L. P.” Jacks (1860-1955), Education through Recreation, 1932, p. 1. 

    There, I did it. But seriously, this quote gives me chill bumps. It is honestly how I  try to approach most things in my life. It’s a call to find it within yourself to be truly immersed in your passions and work so deeply that you draw no line between the two.  This is a perfect outline of what it takes to be successful in both real estate and sports.  Working your fanny (yep, I said fanny) off without the expectation of an immediate return, because you found yourself to be intrinsically motivated by your course of action.  Hunting for an immediate return in either field can derail the playbook.

    Having a great week, month, or year in baseball will not solidify you in the Hall of  Fame. There is a strong possibility in fact that it will not solidify you at the next minor league level the very next year. I repeated so many levels of minor league baseball that  Bill Murray’s character in “Groundhog Day” felt more like a memoir of my playing career.  Same team, same towns, same bus trips, and same peanut butter and jelly sandwiches year after year. You simply cannot chase the immediate return or else you may go all  Phil Connors on yourself.

    On the contrary, you can very easily give up the game-winner one night and save the game the next. Never get too high and never get too low. Again, this same concept applies to real estate. You may have the week, month, or year of your life in this business and feel you really need to go buy yourself a yacht only to wake up to a market shift and a goose egg for closings the very next month. Whereas you could just as easily hit a dry spell for two months in the early spring only to finish the year as a top producer in your market.

    Stay true and stay focused. These external motivators like accolade recognition and material wealth are the exact things that can distract you from reaching your goals.  Someone who I greatly admire introduced me to the concept of “tending your root.” What they meant by this is to concentrate and care for what helps you grow personally and professionally. The functions of roots are anchorage of the plant, absorption of the water and minerals, and storage of reserved foods. If you tend the tree’s root, you will be blessed with the fruit. Simple. Now, what happens if you reach for the fruit over and over without catering to the root?

    The fruit rots, shrivel up and disappear. I love this analogy. In both baseball and real estate, if you forget about the concepts that led you to production, your production will suffer.

    This means falling in love with the daily grind. The “grind” is something that minor leaguers have coined as the minor league season as a whole. The late-night bus rides,  the stuffy motels, the gas station dinners, and the cold showers (to name a few) were all a part of the “grind”.

    Speaking of a part of it, “It’s All Part of It” became a mantra that we lived by. Bus breaks down? It’s All Part of It. Killer bee swarm passes straight through the field during extended spring training intrasquad? It’s All Part of It. These simple words were something that reminded us that it was all part of the grind, the grind that we cannot live without.

    Real estate is a grind. Anyone who has ever left the closing table with a check knows that real estate is a grind. Frankly, you have to love it. You need to adore it.  Does inspection kill a deal? All part of it. The appraisal comes in low and the deal is crushed? All part of it. Remember, it’s not about the end result, it’s about falling in love with the daily grind. I am a firm believer that one of the most crucial aspects to succeeding the daily grind is setting short-term goals and clinging tightly to those you set for yourself. Most days, especially early on, this is all you have. Oh yeah, you have to actually believe in your goals.

    This means falling in love with the daily grind. The “grind” is something that minor leaguers have coined as the minor league season as a whole. The late-night bus rides,  the stuffy motels, the gas station dinners, and the cold showers (to name a few) were all a part of the “grind”.

    Speaking of a part of it, “It’s All Part of It” became a mantra that we lived by. Bus breaks down? It’s All Part of It. Killer bee swarm passes straight through the field during extended spring training intrasquad? It’s All Part of It. These simple words were something that reminded us that it was all part of the grind, the grind that we cannot live without.

    Real estate is a grind. Anyone who has ever left the closing table with a check knows that real estate is a grind. Frankly, you have to love it. You need to adore it.  Does inspection kill a deal? All part of it. The appraisal comes in low and the deal is crushed? All part of it. Remember, it’s not about the end result, it’s about falling in love with the daily grind. I am a firm believer that one of the most crucial aspects to succeeding the daily grind is setting short-term goals and clinging tightly to those you set for yourself. Most days, especially early on, this is all you have. Oh yeah, you have to actually believe in your goals.

    With baseball, the big goal was to be in the Major Leagues for at least ten years and retire with a nice nest egg and a retirement plan. Of course, to get to this goal, we needed to back into a few other goals. Before getting ten years, I would need three years. This would get me a new contract that could surpass the league minimum. How do I get three years? When I get the call up to the “show”, I must perform well in the face of every opportunity. How do I perform well? Put in the work. The work never stops. Obviously for the sake of this paragraph I have minimized the detail in which the goals have been put forth.

    The breakdown becomes very micro. Each week, each day, each workout, each long toss, each bullpen and each pitch all serve a purpose as a small individual trek along the route to the summit. The moral of the story is to set short term “activity” goals as well as the “the big picture” goal of where you want to end up.

    No different in real estate. Long term I want to be the number one agent in my state. In order to achieve this, I must first be the number one agent in my county. Every year our team sets our goals. We always break down from the dollar amount we aspire to earn, the amount of transactions that will take based on average sales price, the amount of showings it takes to get to the closing table, the number of clients we represent, how many customers we must convert to clients, the number of appointments each week we need to set and all the way down to the exact amount of phone calls we need to make each day in order to know we have done what we needed to accomplish the big goal.

    Baseball taught me how to stick to the process, without the expectation of an immediate return. The caveat to this fun game of goal setting is to be prepared to come up short and use the blemish as motivation.

    I could write a novel series based strictly on my shortcomings as a pitcher and as a real estate agent. For the sake of your time and mine, I’ll only give one example of each. So in 2009, I spent my second year in Short-Season A Ball in Auburn, New York.  First off, repeating any level can be a punch to the gut. Worse off, would be repeating  Short-Season A Ball. I can equate this to embarking on the ascent of El Capitan and plummeting from your second foothold with the feeling that maybe this climbing thing just isn’t for me. So there I was starting a game in Short-Season as one of the oldest players on the team, a sage of the level, if you will.

    Well, the first four innings went great, perfect in fact. Then came the ill-tempered fifth inning. From my recollection, this inning started by walking five hitters in a row,  without mixing in a single strike. Twenty balls in a row are not so professional. The crowd shared this sentiment. When I finally threw the much sought after the strike, I respectfully earned myself a sarcastic standing ovation. I thought this was pretty much rock bottom.  I thought.

    After walking the next two batters the crowd was now starting to feel my pain.  The awkward silence was thankfully broken by an over-served gentleman in the beer garden. The exchange went something like this, “Hey Crawford!!!” I slowly turned in his  direction and responded, “Yeah?” I assume the verbal response of a player on the field  threw him off a little as he stumbled a reply like, “Y-ya-you suck man!” As to which I  returned, “thanks.”

    This was rock bottom. Nope. I was then pulled from the game after walking 7  straight hitters in the fifth inning only to be relieved to a first-pitch grand slam home run by a fellow bullpen pitcher. Certainly not his fault, nor his favorite at-bat, I’m sure. So leaving the field that day I had a stat line that is extremely hard to mimic. 4 innings, 0  hits, 7 walks, 7 earned runs. Ouch. The silver lining you ask? I was prepared for this.  The goals I set for myself every day never changed. I knew the process and needed to trust in what my daily goals entailed.

    Like a broken record, the same applies to real estate sales. Ever been hung up on before? I have. My business partner and I, in the early days, used to “chase the no.”  We would have competitions every day to see how many times we could get hung up on or told a hard no. We always figured this was a numbers equation. The more no’s you get, the closer you are to a yes. Yes’s lead to appointments, which lead to agency agreements, then to house showings, to contracts, and finally the closing table. We figured the more no’s we heard, the more closing tables would feel the warmth of our elbows. (Get your elbows off the table.) I say this to make the point that not every client is going to love you no matter what you do for them, just as not every drunk guy in the beer garden is going to like you turning a 9 inning game into a seven-hour saga.

    One of the last and possibly most important aspects of staying intrinsically motivated is the drive to succeed for self-gratification in adherence to future opportunities. Now, future opportunities may not sound “intrinsic” in nature, and this is true, however, it does act as a resulting outcome of succeeding for self-fulfillment. Because future opportunities, in my opinion, are not direct pressure nor exercised for immediate gratification, I like to consider this under the umbrella of intrinsic motivation.   Ok, enough about my disastrous explanation of why this is included, and let me just move onto some examples in both baseball and real estate. Alright, now I am not sure who was slotted as the short-stop for the AAA New York Yankees affiliate during  “The Captain’s” reign, but I am pretty sure that you do not know either. Derek Jeter’s twenty-year MLB career was arguably the most consistent display of athletic prowess ever witnessed.

    Without looking at the numbers, the guy played a ton of games, year after year,  without missing a beat. He has a few injuries that kept him out for an extended period of time, sure, but in the wake of a twenty-year career, it was but a droplet of the time he spent on the field. Needless to say, if you were in AAA and playing shortstop for the  Yankees in 2006, the immediate return of playing in the Big Leagues was looking grim.  That is, for the New York Yankees. You see, there are twenty-nine other teams out there looking for the next Derek Jeter.

    The Triple-A shortstop for the Yankees has a chance to make it to the Big  Leagues with twenty-nine other teams. This opportunity is the result of being intrinsically motivated to succeed out of self satiation and love for the task at hand. Without wishing for a three year Jeter slump (that will never happen) or an injury (that’s just bad taste),  you can put yourself in a position to succeed, even if it is not how you initially visualized the achievement taking place. For real estate, the same thing. You must treat each transaction, no matter how small, as an opportunity to play in “the show”, or in real estate terms, be the top agent in your market.

    One last example of this and then I am moving forward. The opportunity at future endeavors may present itself as a new niche. It’s up to you to recognize that moment. Yan Gomes is an amazing baseball player and person. I had the honor of spending a few seasons throwing to him behind the plate. He worked as hard or harder than any player I ever had the pleasure of cleating-up with and did it with a positive attitude. Unfortunately, he spent his first 3 minor league seasons as a semi backup catcher to another great current MLB player, Travis D’arnaud.

    Yan took advantage of every opportunity he was given when his name was on the lineup. So much so in fact that one year, and maybe even two, the starter was out so much with injuries, Yan made the all-star team based on his production. He always stuck to his plan, every day, the work did not stop. He was so good in fact the Blue Jays needed to find a way to put him on the field more often. They sent us to the Arizona fall league in 2011 to get some extra work in after that minor league season. While there,  they requested that Yan get some repetitions at third base to see if he was equipped enough to play defense in a position besides catcher.

    You see, D’arnaud was an incredible baseball player who was young, talented and a true whiz at the plate. Instead of losing one of their bats in the lineup, they decided to take a different approach. Yan was on board and ready to be plugged in wherever they needed him to be, with his work ethic and positivity in tow. So of course he played very well at third base and was still a machine in the batter’s box.

    The following season he bounced between catcher and third baseball pretty regularly. Within the first two-three months of that next season, the third baseman in the  Big Leagues was put on the 10-day DL. Would they call up a former backup catcher turned greenly-groomed third baseman to play on the biggest stage in baseball? Yes,  that is exactly what they do. What they saw was someone who was willing to put in the work in an effort to succeed no matter the circumstances. On the contrary, if Yan would have denied the position change or slacked off on his work ethic/daily goals, in no way would he have been ready to perform at the highest level when his name was called.

    Now to relate this to my current career. In real estate, it’s really just an echo of everything said so far. That client that you help purchase a $15k plot of property in the sticks just introduced you to their cousin who builds two-hundred homes per year. The builder then presents an offer to list all of the new construction homes in his new subdivision. This possibility arose out of sticking to your daily goals and applying hard work to every opening you are given.

    The choice is yours. Do you adjust your position in the market to learn a new skill set in an effort to boost your sales through new construction? Obstacles are inevitable,  but so are opportunities. Work hard, embrace the grind, be prepared to take advantage of opportunities, and many more doors will open as a result.

    BE A TEAM PLAYER

    Coming from being on a team and in a locker room every day, I am a  collaboration advocate. Something about being in an atmosphere where people are working together towards a common goal fires me up. This is obviously a huge reason that I wanted to join a team when I started my real estate career. I absolutely adore sharing prosperity. I am a true believer that if you aim to help others succeed, success will seek you out.

    Inversely, I do not believe success was designed to be a lonely place. Next Move is a metaphorical mitochondria for group accomplishment. But possibly the true beauty in surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals is sharing struggles. Struggles are real. Both athletic careers and real estate can be mentally exhausting and cutthroat.  Having a group of people that you can vent to about the things you are grappling with will only make you stronger. This group of people will listen, brainstorm with you, and share akin stories on how they combated these hurdles in their experiences. This is knowledge. Knowledge is power (or something like that).

    In the minor leagues, being on a team is a lot like being in a brokerage. In both scenarios, you are somewhat competing against your teammate in a joint effort for collective success. I know this sounds like an oxymoron, but stay with me. In Single-A,  the guy sitting next to you in the bullpen is bidding for the same job that you want every single time he toes the rubber. In real estate, the person sitting next to you in the morning office meeting is summoning the same potential clients you desire. How do we navigate these murky waters? You help. You help your teammate with their swing,  release point, grip, angle, listing presentation, buyer consulting presentation, negotiating tactics, marketing ideas, etc. The reason for this is simple, iron sharpens iron. The better your teammate performs, the better the industry becomes. If the club breaks the  Eastern League wins record, you will be noticed.

    If your office becomes the top sales team in the area, market exposure is a certainty.  This is more validation for all parties involved. The industry wins. The answer is not to worry about others’ successes while you are in a stage of a scuffle, but instead to focus on what you can control.

    Something I have learned through the years is that you always play to your competition. If you are playing the worst team in the league, it almost never fails that you will have one of your worst games of the season. Hard to get those competitive juices flowing if there is no real threat to losing your foothold as a winner. Sadly, this is somewhat human nature. Sure there are enigmas out there that seem to never allow the dial to turn counterclockwise, but that is rare. So what does this mean? If you want to be the very best at what you do, you need to compete against the best.

    Ask yourself this question, do you think Michael Jordan or Mike Trout would truly get any joy out of playing in a City Rec basketball or baseball league? Or would they rather play in the big leagues? Insanely profitable contracts aside, I believe deep in my core that they would choose the highest level of competition 100 out of 100 times. Why?  (Again, money and fame aside) Well, these guys know they are intrinsically motivated to be the best of the best, not the best of the most average. All of this to say by being a  great teammate and helping others triumph, you yourself are honing your skillset in order to be an even better version of yourself.

    One of my biggest pet peeves concerning team play is the cancer. Do not be a cancer. Of course, I am not referring to the biological monster that has negatively impacted so many people’s lives. I am instead referring to the crappy teammate that consistently rolls into the office/clubhouse with a negative attitude. You know the kind.  This is the person who feels the need to verbalize how terrible everything is going for them and that it is certainly not their fault.

    In baseball, especially in AA and AAA, they say things like, “You know I have better numbers than that guy, and the last game I pitched where I gave up those eight runs in one inning was all because the shortstop pulled up on a ball they could have gotten to. That should have been an error and none of those would have been earned  runs.” First off, nobody cares. Secondly, if they are more worried about the number of earned runs being charged to their stats rather than the eight runs they just gave up which put the team behind, they are a cancer.

    In real estate, they say things like, “You know I don’t get nearly as many leads as  everyone else in this office and I sell way more than them.” Or, “This brokerage is  terrible, don’t you think they are ripping us off on the commission splits?” Again, this is someone who is bringing a lot of negativity to everyone they come in contact with.  Misery loves company and these people want to rally you to join them in their negativity.  They feel that if you are as negative as them, you will not be as successful and that will give them an opportunity to get a leg up. It’s grotesque, to be honest. These people always have a much longer road to finding success.

    Basically, they are doing all of the opposite things that have been discussed so far. I  know I played with a plethora of pitchers who were much more talented than myself but allowed their attitudes to be a barrier. Most of the time this cynicism is birthed out of jealousy. There is no room for jealousy in a team setting. To reword a quote by the  great and powerful Van Wilder, “being jealous is like a rocking chair; it gives you  something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere.”

    If you think you aren’t getting the big break that your teammate is getting, you won’t ever get it. If you believe your teammates will make great plays behind you and you pitch with confidence, big plays happen. This actually makes perfect sense. If you believe in your teammates, you fill the strike zone and stay ahead of hitters. We all know if you stay ahead in the count, your percentages for getting an out skyrocket.  Statistics do not lie. Be a good teammate. Call it Karma or call it energy…it’s real.

    THE WORK NEVER STOPS

    The exact same goal setting and work ethic that got you to the top keeps you there. This idea may be one of the biggest misconceptions from the outside looking in.  People often see people that are sitting on top of their industry and think things like, “geez, that person just has it made, just sitting back and watching the money roll in.”  Wrong. Well, let me rephrase. Wrong, in my experience. I’m positive there is a level of wealth attained that can certainly be used to not work yet it continues to build. I also think that number is much higher than people want to believe. So for the majority of  “rainmakers” in their industry, the work grind never stops.

    Me personally, I was always told by veteran players, coaches, scouts and anyone tied to the game than getting to the Big Leagues was extremely hard, but it was harder to stay. In fact, I believe the odds of making it to the Big Leagues, even after being drafted, is somewhere around 10% (this could be incorrect). If you take out the first-rounders, and especially the top five rounders, that number drops significantly. Like less than one percent, I’m pretty sure. (Again, from a number I found on the interwebs.)  For a collegiate baseball player, their odds of stepping on the field in the show is somewhere less than two percent.

    The lottery starts to sound more and more appealing the deeper you look. With that being said, how could it possibly be harder to stay than to crack in. Well, let me tell you from my experience, much harder. I failed pretty miserably at staying there. In fact, I  failed about seven different times. When the number of call-ups matches the number of  demotions, that means you did not stick. Even for the guys who ended their careers in the Big Leagues, unfortunately, they likely did not end it on their own terms. What separates the players who stuck around? Well, it’s already been said. Sticking to what got them there…and maybe some nice timing never hurts.

    I can give you a perfect example of an incredible display of this kind of discipline I  witnessed in my very first Big League spring training. As a long-time minor leaguer, my vehicle stuck out like a sore thumb in the player’s parking lot. I drove a faded purplish,  overly-dented, five-speed,1998 Ford Ranger. Loved it. This truck earned me the nickname “Falco” around the clubhouse. (Please reference the film The Replacements).

    Typically at the end of the day after a spring training game, the fans would line up outside the gate at the player’s lot in an effort to get autographs from their favorite players. It was a really cool sight and being someone who was not asked often for a  signature, this was somewhat exciting. I will never forget the first time I pulled out of the lot and those wrought iron gates opened up into the mob of adoring fans. As I pulled  through slowly with my window prepped and rolled down (no it was not an automatic  window, yes I had to manually roll it) along with my signature hand-stretched and ready,  I heard someone say, “not a player, just a grounds crew guy.”

    Now, I would like to say this is not a knock on the wonderful field crew. Those guys are awesome and do amazing work. I guess the public perception was this;  grounds crew guy equals old crappy truck while professional athlete equals fancy car.  As wrong as they were, that was their inclination. So as I pulled out into the street with my ego dragging behind the truck like ornamental “just married” cans, I picked up the phone and called one of my teammates to hit the beach.

    Colby Rasmus had been a friend of mine since before the teenage years. We both grew up playing baseball in Alabama about an hour and a half away from each other. Somewhere along the way, we started playing together on the same team over the summers when we were somewhere around twelve years old. We played against and with each other all the way through high school with the goal of being college teammates.

    Well, one of us was a lot better than the other. Colby was drafted in the first round of the draft out of high school and decided to pass on college. We always stayed in touch and rooted for each other’s success in the game. Colby ran through the ranks of the minor leagues fairly quickly, especially for a high-school draft pick. He was already succeeding in the Big leagues while I was still getting yelled at by the beer garden guy in Short-season Low-A.

    As fate would have it, he was traded to the Blue Jays the same year I got my first  Big League Spring Training to invite. So on this particular day as I was leaving the field I  called him to see if he wanted to hit the beach for a few hours and relax. Well, I learned that day that relaxing isn’t really in the vocabulary of a veteran big league. These people already know that the work never stops. His response was something along the lines of, “Na, not today, I went 3 for 4 today. I need to work out what I got wrong that  one at bat.”

    I was blown away and humbled all at the same time. Here I was, thinking I had  “made it,” for the few weeks of spring training and taking an afternoon to relax on the beach. That was clearly the wrong mindset. Life is all about learning experiences, and this was at the top of the list.

    I have since taken this approach into real estate. It’s an attitude and a discipline that leads to big picture success. Once you achieve the kind of success you set out to accomplish, you keep doing it. Even the small stuff. That client looking for $25k  worth of land still gets the same attention as your million dollar buyer with the bigger payday. That’s what got you to this point, treating your clients the right way. Like Colby hitting off the tee after going 3 for 4 in a big league spring training game, the Realtor needs to stay concentrated on the basics. Stay dedicated to your work and your sphere of influence.

    Albert Gray once said, “successful people form a habit of doing things that  failures don’t like doing.” Those who think they are too prosperous for the basics will be awarded mediocrity. You cannot hold up a world series trophy during spring training, but I do believe that world series’ are won during spring training.

    In conclusion, I love this stuff. The relationship between the athlete’s and the real estate professional’s mindset is something that I could talk about in length, just ask my team. I do not say all of this from a soapbox like I have it figured out. I am constantly learning new ways to improve my own mindset in this business. I do believe baseball prepared me in a lot of ways for this career. Discipline, work ethic, loving the grind, and being a team player are just a few values that sports will insert into your daily life and post sports career.

    From the MLB to the MLS:

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