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ANTHONY JENKINS/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

He's Toronto's condo king and the man whose giant head you have probably seen attached to a cartoon lamb's body on a billboard. Sure, it's a bit silly, but it works. Here, super agent Brad Lamb shares his advice on sticking out from the crowd, shutting your mouth and why your local bartender could be the best hire you ever make.

If you can sell a martini, you can probably sell a condo

Real estate is one of the few jobs today that is truly, 100 per cent commission. It's a very special person who can survive in the eat what you kill market, and so I look for people who have a really positive aura about them and who are likable. Sales is really about creating and preserving relationships. I've actually hired a lot of bartenders. These are people who basically work on commission and who survive on their personality and ability to connect with customers. I have about five people who started working for me straight from working behind a bar and they have become tremendously successful real estate agents.

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It's never baaaaad to stick out from the crowd

I know some people think my lamb ads [billboards where Lamb's head appears on top of a cartoon lamb's body] are funny or creepy, but the main point is that they get people's attention and to present a clear and simple message. I wanted to sort of make fun of the industry convention where real estate people put their picture and say they are the "number one" agent. How can all of these people be number one? They all sort of bleed together where as my ads stick out.

Zip it to win it

After university I worked at a manufacturing facility. My boss was a classic 1950s, huckster-type sales guy. We used to do a lot of travelling together and he had this line where he would ask me, 'Hey Brad, what do you tell?' and the answer was, 'Enough to sell.' What it really means is shut your mouth. As a sales person, learn to take the order and just be quiet. People think they have to talk so much to be effective, but the truth is you will learn a lot more by listening to people then by going on and on. I tell my employees that when in doubt, just shut up.

Fate is code for failure

One of the things that you hear a lot in my industry and that drives me bananas is when people say, 'Oh well, it wasn't meant to happen.' I don't believe in that idea of fate or karma – I believe that you make things happen and saying something wasn't meant to be is just an excuse and it means that you won't learn from your mistakes. Anyone who is really successful doesn't wait for the world to come to them, they go out and grab it.

Sell the condo, but first sell yourself

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A lot of condo agents think that the purpose of an open house is to sell that condo, but the reality in the condo market is that the odds of selling the property are very slim, so the real purpose of an open house is getting the opportunity to convert every single potential client that walks through the door. Agents will be so busy trying to sell a unit that they forget about learning about the buyer – what kind of place are they looking for, do they have financing, what neighbourhood are they wanting to live in. We're talking about a single sale versus the chance to form multiple, lasting business relationships.

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