Having been an agent for almost 20 years in Calgary, Ben has seen the best and the worst of Calgary Real Estate. He attributes his level of success to his dogged determination, refusal to quit and an extensive sense of humor.
Ben's ability to strategize, systematize and focus on the best end results always ensure the clients end up more than happy. Over his career he has built a business and a team that is very customer service and marketing. The focus is always on exceeding expectations, and he does.
[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]
Umar Hameed 0:01
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone! My name is Umar Hameed, I'm your host on the No Limits Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how you can become better, stronger, faster. Just before we get started, I've got a question for you, do you have a negative voice inside your head? We all do, right? I'm gonna help you remove that voice and under 30 days guaranteed, not only remove it, but transform it. So instead of the voice that sabotages you, there's one that propels you to much higher levels of performance and success. There's a link in the show notes, click on it to find out more. All right! Let's get started.
Umar Hameed 0:41
Hello, everyone, to another episode of The No Limits Selling Podcast where we interview leaders on how they grow their people themselves and their revenue. And before we get started today, we've got a sweet guest today. Oh, that's a really terrible pun, you'll get it in a moment, I want to share some good news, we've got a new app coming out. It's called mindset boosters. And what it's designed to do is to give you applied neuroscience in the palm of your hand. So if you're a salesperson, and today, you're not feeling the magic to make the calls. You go to fearless calling. And it uses applied neuroscience to show you how to become unstoppable. So in six minutes, you'll pick up the phone and you'll be a beast is designed to give you the help you need no matter what's going on when you need it. Today, I have the privilege of having Ben Sweet on the show. In 2021. He was designated featured agent in top agent magazine. Ben, welcome to the program.
Ben Sweet 1:33
Hey, thanks so much for having me on. Man. I appreciate it.
Umar Hameed 1:35
So brilliant. How long have you been in the industry?
Ben Sweet 1:39
You know what? I've got one more week, and then it'll be 20 years.
Umar Hameed 1:43
Wow, that's pretty. Then you can get your pension. You're all set.
Ben Sweet 1:48
Umar Hameed 1:49
So what's amazing is this is such a, you eat what you kill, and you get better as you go. Going back 20 years, when you first came into the industry, what did you think it would be like? And what did the reality turn out to be?
Ben Sweet 2:02
Oh, wow, that's. So when I started out, I really didn't have a ton of confidence, didn't really have the self esteem either. And so like many people who are committed to doing anything, I kind of got put through the meat grinder for a period of about three years and then finally woke up one morning and I was like, no I can I can do this, like I can I can make this happen. But it did it really took me that long. So short answer would be it's, it was much harder starting than I thought it was going to be. I'm glad that it was as hard as it was because it turned me into the person that I am today.
Umar Hameed 2:41
Brilliant. So let's go back to that thing. Like he kind of mentioned that, you know, one morning I woke up and I said to you, I got this, what do you think happened that allowed you to get that different point of view that different mindset? What was the transformation? And what do you think caused it?
Ben Sweet 2:55
So great question. And it's funny, I spend a lot of my time, energy and efforts throughout the day, you know, trying to unlock bigger parts of my brain bigger parts of my mind and help other people to do the same thing on my team, specifically, because everything ultimately about achieving something is about having some sort of a personal shift or some sort of opening within yourself so that you really kind of grasp what it is and become the person you need to become to achieve the thing that you say you want. So, you know, had I gone through that exact same process now I probably could have done in a month instead of three years. And the reason I know that's true is because of the current trajectory that our business my team myself what we've been on recently. So I firmly believe that really what's happened was is that it was just a combination of cumulative changes over a three year timeframe. Where my mind basically was just like, you know, you got this like it's okay that you have the proof now you've you've done it, you've you've seen it, you've you know, jumped through the hoops you need to jump through to get to the place where you now have the full realization that you know you're capable. And it's unfortunate is it take three, three years. But I think for most people like I started when I was 27, which right now nowadays there's lots of people under the age of 25 that are realtors, but when I started 27 was extremely young.
Umar Hameed 4:18
What's interesting is this is I suspect that it took you three years to kind of get to that point, but maybe two months before that, or three months before that you were already that different person. It just took you a little while to have that self awareness to go well wait a minute, so you seem to be a very self aware person right now. How do you maintain that or how do you make sure you don't get distracted with the distractions in life and some of them are wonderful. You got two dogs we notice them earlier in the shot. So how do you stay self aware so you know when when shits going on?
Ben Sweet 4:49
Well, I have two dogs, two stepdaughters a lovely wife, she also has a business and we have you know, number of properties and we travel a fair bit and we do lots of different things. So a very full life for sure. I just wanted to give you a little bit more scope, there is just a single guy with a couple of times working 20. Yeah. What's your secret to success? Well, I work, you know, 72 hours a day is my secret, you know, so it's not but so, self awareness. Thanks for noticing, I guess. But the reality is, is that, yeah, I get I get wrapped up and lost all the time. But I do, I have a belief change process that I do all day, every day. So anytime I catch myself getting lost or bothered or frustrated or upset or pissed off, or I get a result or some sort of an outcome, or I found myself in a circumstance that I'm not happy with, I just sit back and go, Well, how and why did I create that? Why am I in this circumstance? What how did i How was I a participant in bringing this about? And yeah, so I'll give you an example. This morning, I received a phone call that came through our call center, and I looked at it and I could tell it was a sales call. It was a guy from American Express. And it just said, Hey, you know, call this number and I knew exactly what was gonna happen. I was gonna call the number and they're like, Hi, where are you calling us? Like, I didn't call you called me. And, oh, we're so sorry. And that was not supposed to go that way. And that's exactly what happened. So part of it was maybe I created the circumstance. But that's not the important thing. The important thing was is that, you know, I'm on the phone with the guy for 15 minutes, I told him five minutes before I was like, I have to wrap this up, I've got some things I need to take care of. Right. And he keeps talking and talking and talking. And finally my frustration level goes up, and and then we end the call. And then at the end, I was sitting there and I'm like, Look at look at me all frustrated, like why am I so frustrated right now? Why did this ruffle my feathers? Why did this bother me? I've been on hundreds of sales calls. And, you know, as the recipient? Why Did it bother me so much. So I sat there with him for a moment, I was like, I felt like he hijacked my time. And I and I leave it to him. And for me, that really bothers me because and then all of a sudden, I realized that I'm hyper protective of my time. And and I'll be honest with you, Mr. When you reached out, I was like, Who is this guy? What does he want, because I get lots of people reaching out regularly. And again, it's not an ego statement. For me, it's legitimately just the reality of that I currently live in. And so I'm really protective of my time, especially with sales calls. So that's why I got frustrated was that I was a willing participant and I kept giving it to him. So I was frustrated with myself for letting myself down. So I got upset by that. So what I realized was is I had to take a bit of a breather and, and let go of my selfishness around my own time. So that's a process I'm working on today.
Umar Hameed 7:40
Interesting. Two things there. Number one, the way you described it is I knew what was going to happen. Like I willingly went into this mugging. And the second thing you said was, you know, how did I create this event? And I think for some people, when they're going through their trauma, or their issue is like, Ben, what the hell are you talking about that I created this, and I'm a firm believer in this concept of useful lies. Even if what Ben said was a lie that lets you know, what did I do to create this? Even if that was a lie? It's a damn useful lie. Because it lets you ask yourself, How did I get here? What's going on? Why did I have this reaction? If you're always looking at? They did it. They're the faults, you never get to see what's happening here. And what's happening here has a massive impact on what you experience out there.
Ben Sweet 8:27
Yeah, I agree. I, if I could add a little bit more to that one of the things that I tell my team is I'm like, you have to accept radical responsibility for all occurrences. And, and some people look and they go, but that means that I'm always to blame. And it's like, no, it doesn't mean that that's the blame lens, like only if you're looking through the blame lens, are you always to blame but like, there's a better lens to look at, there's many better lenses to look through. And one of them is the responsibility lens. So I always say, Look, if you accept full responsibility for all of the things that are occurring in your life, because, you know, you're the common denominator, right? Like it's you and every other circumstance in your life. So if you accept full responsibility for all of that, then you then you have the ability to create real change because you accept full responsibility because you you now realize that you have more control and more influence over the circumstances in your life, then you more than you ever thought possible.
Umar Hameed 9:22
Absolutely. I think just useful tools. Getting through life like this not at one level is super complicated. And when you get through all the complication, like there's this quote from Einstein, that goes, you know, I don't care for simplicity, but simplicity on the other side of complexity is a beautiful thing. And when you get to the that's what you're describing as the other side of it, it's like okay, don't look at the chaos. You know, how am I I'm taking responsibility just gives you clarity. So speaking of clarity, you have probably how many agents do you lead right now?
Ben Sweet 9:54
We are eight right now. We've got another one coming on right away and I just met another one a couple days ago. I'll be honest with you, it's it is just, it's blowing up right now it's crazy. I've gotten anywhere from one to four people per month reaching out to us completely organically. And it's just, it's just happening, it's just unfolding. And the crazy part was is maybe five years ago, I, for the life of me could not get agents to join me, I was actively pursuing people, I was trying to do all these different things, and I could never get anywhere. It was crazy, really difficult. We made a number of different changes, and then things certainly got much easier so.
Umar Hameed 10:35
So don't name names and the agents, but a particular agent that you were coaching, a particular issue that they had, that you realize that holy crap, I've got this too, I'm coaching that person to get better there. But I'm suffering from the same ailment. Have you had one of those experiences? Where as you're teaching someone you realize, hmm, I think I've got the same issue. Have you had that happen before?
Ben Sweet 10:57
Yeah, every time I coach somebody, my windows are dirty, too. You know, like, and but the cool thing about it is is that, like, I kind of like finding those little things. Because it, it means I now have the opportunity to grow and experience a bigger existence of life, a bigger reality, if you will, by just kind of cleaning those windows. And so yeah, every single time I coach somebody, for sure, and I coach, a couple people are weak. And just like my team members, for the most part, I would say on average I do. But yeah, it's a regular thing. It's just a matter of at what level am I finding that my windows are dirty?
Umar Hameed 11:37
Yeah. So as you get more and more self aware, and you get stronger as a human being and more authentic, those stuck points become more and more subtle. And sometimes you need that other person to let you see in yourself. And I think one of the reasons we have the 8 billion people in the world is it's hard to see who we are. But we can see who we are and other people quite easily. And so when you're looking at someone who's amazing and wonderful, and you admire them, and you go, I admire that attribute. That's a clue to who you are. And then when you think about that dirtbag who is a complete idiot, and you think about what's the thing they've got that I hate, then you should be looking at a mirror going, you've got either a molecule of that, or a lot more of it. And so yeah, me too. It's like, when I discovered those shortcomings in me, it's a happy day, because found another one. And I think that's my wish for other human beings is everything in the entire world. That comes like this chapstick thingy. This is how you open it is the instruction manual, it actually says that and how you make the thing come out. So the simplest thing in the world, you get an owner's manual, the most important thing in the world, this, your mindset doesn't come with one. And if we could teach people how to take charge of their mindset, then they would be able to go, Oh, fantastic point. This afternoon, I'm going to get rid of it. Because if we each become who we were always meant to be, we get permission to the people around us to go on the same journey. Yeah, that's really because a lot of people just feel stuck. There's no hope. And so that's my mission, make the world a happier place by teaching people how to take charge of this.
Ben Sweet 13:11
Yeah, well, that's a very valiant mission, for sure. And, obviously, you know, with the success you've had so far with your podcast, you're creating some ripples and waves in good ways. So let's go.
Umar Hameed 13:22
Brilliant. So as you move on, and you're growing from the team you have right now as you grow, oftentimes, it's hard to maintain the culture and the connection. So you have to do it purposefully. So how are you consciously ensuring that the culture the vibe of the team stays true?
Ben Sweet 13:22
Oh, that's a good one. So our team has almost doubled in just the past few months. And our transactions have, like, same thing, like we've almost tripled in sales. And so I honestly, I mean, we go for beers, you know, like, we go out for wings and beers. And we have semi regular office meet, I say office meetings, but really, like, we just get together and talk. And we have, you know, we've got I'm sure most people do this these days. But I mean, we have a, you know, WhatsApp groups, where we're chatting about different things. And everybody's pretty fun and light and let like we make we definitely have some, you know, decent off color humor there, I would say and, you know, we have have lots of fun, you know, as much as possible as much as we can. And it's funny, we're actually even last night someone's like, Should we take a team trip somewhere? And I was like, That's a great idea. Like, why don't we? Let's do something. So we're even talking about the possibility of doing something like that, which we'll probably do with our brokerage meeting. We've got one coming up in October, in San Antonio, Texas. It's the real event. So we're pretty excited and we'll probably end up doing that. But So short answer is how do we how do we maintain that well, I mean, honestly, like, we're I, we're constantly just doing our best to unfold in the best possible ways and be really good human beings and serve our people. And I think that the big part of the big part, the way that we do that is by serving each other in successful ways. So in other words, just ensuring that we're helping everybody else on our team become more successful. And then we're all becoming more successful as a result. We don't have any specific type of team building or different things like that, I definitely have lots of great things I'm looking forward to doing. But as far as the whole idea of culture goes, I'm playing catch up, you know, that's the short answer. I'm just learning as I can.
Umar Hameed 15:43
And certainly what you're doing right now is a good way to maintain it and do it. It's just like, hey, we care for each other, we have events where we're connecting, and we can talk outside of the office, all that social connection adds value to the team, and is the glue that keeps them together because, you know, challenging times are coming. And what keeps a team together is those bonds that were made earlier on, that just becomes a way of supporting each other, loving each other and growing together.
Ben Sweet 16:09
Right? Yep. I buy that for sure. Yep.
Umar Hameed 16:12
So what's your biggest challenge coming up? Like, what's the next face for you? In order to be a better leader? What are you identifying as I need to get better at x or y? Or I need to let go of A or B, like, go? What are you thinking right now? Or are you thinking that?
Ben Sweet 16:26
So one of the biggest challenges I'm chewing on right now, or I should say, working through is, is truly stopping production. So I've been, you know, I'm not I was never like 100 transactions per year type of real estate agent, I was always more along the lines of who can I get to help me leverage, you know, and, and grow an organization that way versus me being, you know, the robot realtor, no offense to anyone that does the kind of level of production but I personally find it's, it's really difficult to maintain balance and health and have good relationships and being a family person and actually enjoy your life. If you're closing 100 transactions to yourself anyway. Maybe I'm wrong, I'm happy to be wrong there too. Anyway, short answer is that the biggest thing I'm working on right now is as April 1, so 21 days ago, was when I no longer taking on any new clients. So I probably have maybe three or four clients, maybe five clients left to kind of work through over the next little bit. But one of the things I feel like I'm just coming to the tail end of is being able to say to people, I'm not doing it anymore. I know I've you've been I've been your agent for 20 years, but I'm no longer, you know, doing real estate. And so it was the struggle of handing business over that was my long term clients, yeah, over to my team was was really, really very challenging initially. And I would imagine that probably a good solid 90% of team leads go through that same kind of thing. But the truth is, is that I am really my best when my focus is being a team lead, and finding new ways to generate business systematize, the systematize the business, working with our admin, and really just kind of helping to elevate the entire team, and then focusing also on, you know, Agent attraction, recruitment, and focusing on just kind of making it better. So what are my big focus right now? Well, you know, I guess I need to put some limits around some things. Like, I don't know how big I want our team to grow. I don't know if I want it to just cap out at 10 or 15 agents, or if we're going to go to 20. But it just kind of keeps happening. So I'm just kind of going with it, I want to make sure that the agents that were here before it was a 10,15, 20 person organization, that they still feel solid and comfortable in our organization as well. So is that a challenge? Well, no, it's but it's definitely an awareness of mine, it's a, it's a, I don't want to call it a concern. But it's something I'm I'm doing my best to make sure I'm holding dearly, because I care about my agents, like I care about my family. And it's important to me that they feel really well taken care of, and that they are in an environment where they can truly get to whatever level of success they want to get to and then beyond if that's, you know, their next level so, so, those kinds of things, I'm also regularly struggling with some technology issues, we're always kind of working in upgrading, trying to find different ways to make things better and better, better. And then, of course, I like many real estate agents who, like I literally started as a single agent that needed to control every single aspect of my business, right and then brought on the VA and then all you can have, here's a couple hours a week of let me watch everything you do and then and then I just kind of overtime grew into you know, being having, you know, a medium sized team and looking forward to growing further. So challenges Yeah, I mean, you know, there's there's always more challenges, how can we, how can we get our lead cost down? How can we convert more business? How can we have better technology? How can I control our costs better? How can I help my agents to become more productive? Probably the same things. I assume that most other teams focus on as well.
Umar Hameed 20:01
Absolutely. So here's just something to think about in terms of just leaders in companies, like the CEO kind of position, there's three main things that that CEO position should be doing. One is a kick ass amazing vision of where we want this company to go. And it should be compelling enough that people go, I want to come on that journey, as to is the culture, how do you get people to put the team ahead of their individual selfish interests? How do you get a team where people are willing to put up their hand when they got a problem and don't think I'm going to look weak, but can rely on the team. So that culture piece and the third piece is long term shareholder value for the thing that we're building, and real estate slightly different, but pretty much you know, if you're doing those high level things, you're doing your job, right. And till you get to that position, because recruiting is really important. And part of that is you sharing your vision with people, this is what we're looking to build. This is the vibe on our team. And either this is right for you or not. But recruiting correctly really is important because you can get the wrong person coming in, if you're not on top of it enough and so brilliant. So it's been let me ask you this. I think fundamentally, happiness is a really important element of life. And so, Ben, what makes you happy?
Ben Sweet 21:23
So I don't believe that there's anything that makes me happy. I believe that happiness is a is not based on conditions. So it's not a conditional thing. It's like real true love for your kids, for your dog, for your wife, for your family. You know, it's true love is not conditional, right? It is unconditional and dribbling happens. I believe happiness is the same. In which case things don't need to be right. For you to still feel happy, I can still have massive challenges in various areas of my life and still feel joy and contentment and happiness as I go through my day. Moment to moment. So short answer is Umar is that I don't have any thing that makes me happy. I do have some things that I love to do, where I feel in a more enlightened or non light, but more enlivened state of more joyful state. Like, I love sports, I love doing sports, like skiing, mountain biking, climbing, like when I do that, and especially when I do my family, like, it's phenomenal. Like it's such so uplifting to me, but it's temporary, right? Like, it's not this is how I, you know, I don't need to constantly focus on filling the cup, so that I can get to that place where I'm feeling happy. Like, you could lock me in a room, and I can be happy, like you can take away everything. And ultimately, I can still have that happiness within myself because I firmly believe that happiness is it's a state of mind interior. It's an interior. Well, it's an experience. It's a sense of awareness. It's it's a spiritual state, if you will, that happens spontaneously. And that can come and go. But I also believe it can simply be brought about in a moment's notice by just simply allowing it to be there. And I, I that that would be my short answer. So I don't really have anything specific. But you know, there's some things I do that bring about greater feelings of happiness, for sure. Yeah.
Umar Hameed 23:24
Brilliant. What's the one mind hack you'd like to share with our viewers, listeners that they could implement that would make them either better, stronger, faster, happier, sexier? What's the one thing you'd like to share?
Ben Sweet 23:37
Okay, so I would say that a couple pieces, I guess one of the first things that I would love to share is that is the understanding that you're way more powerful, and you have way more control and influence over the circumstances in your life than you have any concept of right. One of my favorite quotes. I don't know who said it first. But I heard Jim Carrey say it, he's like life happens for you, not to you. And so when you understand that it happens for you, then you do really have a bit of an understanding that you can kind of shift and change. You know, Tim Ferriss, one of the great things I heard him say was, he's like life is way more the experience of life is way more malleable than we currently believe it is. So when you understand that it is malleable, it gives you the opportunity to shift and change certain things about your life to make it better. So that's the other thing the other the other key thing is that I have found that the sword that is amazing at kind of lopping off negativity in your life and being able to really harness the creative ability that we all have, truly comes from belief change. So understanding that belief is the substrate for reality four and when I say reality, I don't mean V reality. I mean, the reality that you experience as a human being like the way that you see and experience your world, the substrate for that is belief. So if you believe, you know, any number of things, and it's never about one belief, it's always about a system of beliefs. But you know, successful people are successful because they know, they know firmly that they can create success no matter what. But that knowing this comes from belief itself. It no you don't know first and believe second, you believe first and no second. That's, that's ultimately the order of operations. So the one thing I'd love to leave people with is the understanding that they have way more power to create a perfect life or a beautiful life or whatever kind of life they want for themselves, or whatever success you're looking for. You have the ability to create it way beyond any measure of what you currently believe to be true. And understanding that belief change is that key lever that can create massive change in your reality so.
Umar Hameed 25:47
Brilliant. Thank you for that. Ben, thank you so much for being on the show. 26 minutes kind of zipped by like that decision and I'm looking forward to our next.
Ben Sweet 25:57
Me too. Thanks so much, Umar. Appreciate. Have a great day.
Umar Hameed 26:00
Umar Hameed 26:06
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there, that's going to teach you some insights from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.