Lesson Learned: Don’t just talk the talk. Walk the walk

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Find out how South Florida luxury Realtor Darin Tansey learned that there’s always a chance to make dreams come true in real estate.

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Born and raised in Burlington, Iowa, life is vastly different now for South Florida agent Darin Tansey. With nearly two decades as a Miami resident, he serves the market for luxury waterfront properties focusing on Miami Beach and surrounding neighborhoods. His expertise in prime and super prime ground-up development and dedication to working with real estate investors and property managers drive his growth.


Beside a professional commitment to his high-end clients, Tansey has made a personal commitment to charitable endeavors. For more than 10 years, he has proudly supported a 501(c)(3) children’s charitable foundation focused on education in Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic.

Find out about the lessons this luxury specialist has learned along the way and the wisdom he’d share with agents just starting out.

Name: Darin Tansey

Title: Realtor, Executive Director of Luxury Sales

Experience: 17+ years

Location: Miami Beach

Brokerage full name: Douglas Elliman

Rankings: Top 1 percent nationwide for 10+ years

Sales volume: $3 billion in lifetime sales

Awards: Top 8 percent companywide, Platinum Award recipient, consistently RealTrends ranked

What’s the best advice you ever got from a mentor or colleague?

Answer your phone and follow through with what you say you are going to do. This may sound very simple, but in our business, especially in South Florida, consistently adhering to these two key fundamentals every day, throughout the year, and over the course of one’s career can be monumental in determining success.

What would you tell a new agent before they start out in the business?

Before starting out in the business, picture an upside-down triangle and focus on the point; that’s how you should view your business. Become a highly knowledgeable professional by concentrating on one specific aspect of the broad term “real estate.”

For example, master the ins and outs of a particular neighborhood or a specific condo building — understand the data, trends and opportunities to sell or lease there. Build upon each transaction to grow your business and gradually expand your expertise.

As you gain experience, your knowledge base will broaden, similar to the widening triangle. Eventually, when you become an expert, the triangle will turn right-side up, with a solid foundation to match the competition.

What do too few agents know that would make their lives easier?

Too few agents understand the importance of listening more than they speak. If you don’t listen to what people are trying to tell you, you can’t truly hear or understand what they are saying and feeling. By listening attentively, you can better comprehend their needs and concerns.

Many Realtors I’ve encountered over the years seem to enjoy hearing themselves talk, but genuine listening is key to building strong relationships and making their lives easier.

What is the one thing everyone should be doing to make their life/business better?

Delegation is essential for a successful business. Executive assistants enable us to “divide and conquer” both selling activities and the necessary behind-the-scenes work. If your budget doesn’t allow for your own executive assistant, consider teaming up with another Realtor for mutual benefit. Remember, 50 percent of something is better than 100 percent of nothing when it comes to closing a deal.

If you could do anything other than real estate, what would it be?

If I could do anything other than real estate, I would be a professional golfer. I can’t imagine ever waking up and not wanting to go to “the office” if that office were a golf course! Fortunately for my real estate career, my current golf handicap ensures I’ll keep selling homes and watching the pros on TV.

Tell us about your most memorable transaction

“So you’re telling me there’s a chance?” Eight years ago, I had been showing ultra-luxe waterfront homes to a couple, yet couldn’t find the right fit. We then shifted to discussions about finding land and building a home. I sourced an off-market property that was the perfect lot and location for them.

Prior to presenting their offer, we learned that there was another buyer who had placed an offer before theirs. Obviously, my buyers were very upset, knowing they had found the perfect property for them. We knew that there was still a chance. We quickly learned that the first prospect wasn’t willing to eclipse a certain price point; my clients quickly took advantage, outbid them and ultimately built their dream home.

Fast forward seven years, I picked them up from their dock on my boat to go see a new project without any expectation they would fall in love with their to-be next chapter. The only residence they want (you guessed it) had a standing bid on it. My client smiled and said, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance?”

From that point, I knew we had to defy the odds once again and was certainly confident in them. A year later, telling this story, my clients are under contract and greatly looking forward to their next dream property. The moral of the story: there is always a chance. Never give up.

Email Christy Murdock

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