Keeping It Real
Kudos to Leigh Brown for such a refresh-
ing article (“Forget the Facade,” March/
April 2014, page 16). In our industry, it
seems like we spend most of our time
catering to others’ needs. We are told to
emit a bland, professional exterior. Stay
neutral. Don’t get personal. I say bull
honky. My business is 100 percent refer-
ral. My existing clients know exactly who
they are referring, and my new clients
know exactly who is going to show up.
Cami Pinsak, Realty ONE Group Summit,
You don’t have to hide yourself away. I
loved Leigh Brown’s “Top of Mind” article
about forgetting the facade. When I
first started 29 years ago, I tried to be
someone I was not and did not really find
true success until I was myself. I hear
so many agents saying “You don’t want
to post anything political on Facebook
since it may cost you business.” My views
(and my profession) are very front and
center. I never shy away from a (respect-
ful) debate on religion or politics. Never
have I lost business from it. People want
to know who you are, not who you are
not. Leigh Brown nails it.
Scott R. Bader, CRB, GRI, Coldwell Banker,
The Real Estate Group Inc.
Fish Creek, Wisc.
Shout-Out to GRI
I read the article on affiliate organiza-
tions and designations (“Dig Deeper, Get
Smarter,” March/April, 2014, page 38).
Where is GRI? GRI is at the grassroots
level of promoting professionalism and
does not require an annual renewal fee.
My hat is off to licensees who aspire to
obtaining a GRI as a basis for considering
themselves a professional. Most brokers
don’t take the time to teach the basics
these licensees can learn in GRI classes.
Cindy Lynch, CRS, GRI,
Prudential Lynch Realty, Ruidoso, N.M.
Editor’s Note: In an article whose main
focus was NAR’s affiliated societies,
institutes, and councils, unfortunately,
we did not have space to discuss all of
NAR’s 11 designations and certifications.
So thank you for this shout-out to GRI.
See the full list at realtor.org
Book Smart, Biz Smart
For this 30 Under 30 issue, we sought
input from a guest editor who can fully
appreciate the aspirations of today’s
rising stars in real estate. Mark Spain
(seated) was an ambitious 28-year-old
RE/MAX sales associate near Atlanta
when he was selected as a member of
the inaugural 30 Under 30 class in 2000.
He was singled out then for growing his
team’s annual sales volume
from $40 million to $62 million
in three years. Today he leads a
41-person Keller Williams team
that notched an astounding
$264 million in sales in 2013,
making it KW’s top-producing
team in the nation. “I’ve always
had a drive to win,” says Spain, an avid
business reader who credits The One
Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan as
the book that helped him break through
his own ceiling. Spain, 42, was never one
to follow the herd. During the housing
downturn when competitors were cutting
agents and marketing expenses, he
doubled his spending on local radio ads
and ultimately quadrupled his billboard
exposure (from 9 to 36 today). He also
committed his team to becoming short-
sales experts. When he visited our offices
in April, Spain applauded the entrepre-
neurial spirit of this year’s 30 Under 30
class. The ones who keep ascending, he
says, are those who’ll reject limiting be-
liefs. “You need a big vision,” he says. “The
way to get ahead is not by chasing bright,
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