November 8

Jeff Sands On How Authenticity Helped Him Improve His Life And Business


Jeff has been what we like to call "go getter" since the very beginning! He is one of four siblings whom were born just twenty minutes north of Kingston in the small hamlet of Battersea.

His fierce competitive spirit combined with his determination and unbeatable work ethic enabled him to excel at sports while growing up. Excelling mostly in team oriented sports lead Jeff straight to a successful career as a hockey defense man. He had outstanding results, playing in the Provincial Junior Hockey league, where he played for the Kingston Voyageurs for five years.

Upon adulthood came a career! And what a career it has been! At just 23 years of age Jeff became one of the youngest members of the Kingston Real Estate Board. It was clear that Jeff has found his calling, as he has continued to thrive throughout his Real Estate Career. One of his biggest accomplishment to date came in 2005 when he made history by becoming the youngest member ever to enter Royal LePage's National Chairman's Club and became a part of Royal LePage Hall of fame (an award which is given out only to the top 1 percent of Realtors in Canada, based on total sales volume).

After working for Royal LePage for five years, Jeff set off on his next venture and opened his own office building and worked under the Re/Max brand for several more successful years of Real Estate service. In 2015 after only six years with the company, he earned the Re/Max hall of fame award.

Jeff has been coming up to the Peterborough area, where his wife Katie grew up, for the last fifteen years. Each consecutive year he added more and more time onto his visits in the area, as he fell in love with the Kawarthas. Coming from a small town himself, he loves the small town, friendly feel of Peterborough and couldn't be happier to have made the move! Ball Real Estate could not be a better fit for Jeff, with its energetic, friendly environment, distinguished agents and its desire to continue to grow.

[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, welcome to another episode of The No Limits Selling Podcast. Today we got brilliant guest, it's Jeff Sands. And he's going to talk to us about how he built his business, how he built his life and how the universe sometimes surprises you, and gets you to re examine what the hell's going on. But before we go, they're coming really soon we've got a new app coming out is called Mindset Boosters. It will give you the ability to decide how you feel and act in any situation. So if you're feeling anxiety, listen to a track, it shows you how to take charge your mindset, and you will be anxiety free for the next two hours so you can boldly go and do something fabulous. Whether that's asking that attractive person out on a date or closing the deal, or just spending time in your own presence. Jeff, welcome to the program.

Jeff Sands 1:25
Thanks, Umar. Thanks a lot for having me.

Umar Hameed 1:27
So Jeff, you were saying that you know, life's going perfectly well and then the universe decided to say, "Guess what? You're going to be apparent, not once but twice." So tell me what was going on there it was, you're in the real estate business, did you get over that hump? Because initially when the pandemic came, there was panic in the real estate industry. But you know, a few months into it, people realized, and I'm hearing from agents that have been in the business for 30-40 years, that this is the second best market they've ever seen in 40 years. So where were you in the pandemic, when you realize that we're going to have a baby?

Jeff Sands 1:59
Oh, my God. So it was the fall of 2019, Katie, and I found out that we're having our first child Mitchell,. And that was six months, I guess, before the pandemic started.

Umar Hameed 2:11

Jeff Sands 2:11
March of 2020, was when I remember for the first time in my 20 years of selling real estate that we were not able to show houses or list houses. We were all told to stay home. And that was Mitchell was born in July. So everything was kind of coming at us actually, at that time in early 2020. And yeah, it was, it was frightening, it was frightening to say the least at that time.

Umar Hameed 2:35
Yeah. When did you see the market turn around? It seemed to me like as March, April, May, there was like panic setting in then all of a sudden houses were getting multiple offers. And here's like I was talking to one of my clients, a CEO. And he said, you know, when the pandemic first started, they had to work from home. He said his kids annoyed him for the first two weeks. And then he realized, "Oh my god, this is such a blessing," and it became a joyous time for him. But for realtors, after about three months, a pandemic, house prices started going through the roof, multiple offers, and it was like a boom time for the industry. How did you cope with a you know, a new baby and the market picking up?

Jeff Sands 3:11
You know, that's a great question. You know, when you're in it, you're just in the trenches, right? And you just work and you put your shoes on and relationships up and you go to work. Having some time to reflect now. It was a really crazy time, we had Mitchell was our firstborn, I was 40 years old, had my firstborn, and that was in July of 2020. Well, right after people were being allowed back out and people things were semi starting to normalize after the first real shutdown in the spring of 2020. People have been cooped up interest rates were, you know, historically low. And the market that I'm in is Peterborough, on the courses, which has just started. And it absolutely started to boom. And I think a lot of people started to rethink while they were working from home, and they started to rethink, you know, family time and quality of life. You know, everything that points to our market, right? which is about an hour outside of Toronto, and it went absolutely crazy. And in my 20 years, I've never experienced the type of demand and ultimately the lack of supply just drove the market to heights that we've never seen.

Umar Hameed 4:16
Absolutely. And the people that were the happiest I think were pool guys. Because all of a sudden people were saying, We can't go on vacation, and we're here together and I'm gonna get a kick-ass amazing pool put in my backyard and all this home renovation. And the interesting thing to me was this, we'll talk real estate in a minute. But what's more important to human beings is that at least from my point of view, we told the lie to ourselves, we told the lie that you know, the most important thing to me is family. And then my career and then my friends. And the reality was for most people work was the most important. Then found me in France and what the pandemic ended up doing was people rethinking that and going, "Oh my God, I've got this amazing family and I get to be there with my kids and my family and my spouse." And it was almost like the universe just smacking everyone on the head saying, "Hey, pay attention to what's most important," thoughts on that?

Jeff Sands 5:05
Yeah, absolutely. And I think we're still seeing the fallout from that, like just so many people having career changes. And, you know, I talked to a lot of colleagues and clients have really struggled to find quality employees and people leaving certain industries. And you know, it's really, it's had a huge ripple effect throughout everyone's house.

Umar Hameed 5:24
The world, yeah. Like, just down the street is a Portuguese bakery, and they get these spinach pastries every morning. And they've not been getting them for a while, because workers don't want to work there anymore. Like they're making decisions like, "Hey, I don't want this job anymore." And these guys are basically stopping production is shutting down a whole factory. And it's because people are reexamining their lives. Because I think ultimately, at the end of the day, Jeff, there's a better human side you. And the way to find that better you is this an authentic Jeff, who has strong, powerful, loving, amazing. Oftentimes, we are way different masks like "Hey, I'm a consultant," "Hey, I'm this, I'm that." When you get down to who you truly are, it changes the world changes around you and I think that's the journey as human beings. And I suspect that's what you want for your children, you've got to have them now, is that if they can just be who they were meant to be that they would have a fabulous life. And it's a hard thing to accomplish?

Jeff Sands 6:18
Well, yeah, it actually is one of the hardest things when you really start to look at yourself and try to find your true authentic self. I started examining myself, I'm actually in recovery, Umar. I got into recovery back in 2013. And really, just to reexamine everything about my life, I'd been selling real estate since the early 2000s. I'd gotten burned out, the business can really take a lot from you. And when you're young, and you don't really, I don't know, you just you just look at the world, you just look at the world differently. Let's just say that, and...

Umar Hameed 6:49
What were you recovering from?

Jeff Sands 6:50
It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do was just really look and try and figure out who Jeff was and what Jeff want. And like...

Umar Hameed 6:56

Jeff Sands 6:57
...try and find my true authentic self. And it's a journey, right? I'm still on it. And I think a lot of people through the pandemic, have really started out on a new journey, you know, they really have.

Umar Hameed 7:07
So let me ask you, what do you recover from Jeff?

Jeff Sands 7:10
From alcohol.

Umar Hameed 7:12
One of my favorite realtors in the world, his name is Michael Schiff. And he's ex-drug addict and you know, is doing amazing things. And he also invited other ex-drug addicts to join his real estate business and they are passionate professionals. And all sober and building amazing lives and creating wealth for the people around them. And my friend Michael just opened up a rehab place as well, because that was part of his mission is to help other people. And real estate, such a good business for providing a great career that allows you to follow your path as well.

Jeff Sands 7:50

Umar Hameed 7:51
Whereas a lot of businesses like you're you're really tied down all the time real estate, it's not easy. But if you choose to you can build other things as well.

Jeff Sands 8:01
Yeah, no, absolutely. And yeah, you just have to be very mindful of it. Because it's, it's it can take a lot from you, right? It really did for me anyway, in my late 20s and early 30s and we're very busy and very successful. But it's an emotional roller coaster, right? I often tell my clients, it's an emotional, we're on an emotional roller coaster, but you get to get off one day and I just keep writing it, right? And especially through residential real estate, I think Umar, you know, some of my friends are in commercial real estate. And it just seems a little bit different as far as the emotional side of it, right? It's more business and numbers and Monday to Friday, nine to five, from what I understand where residential real estate is 24/7, seven days a week, right? So I just had to be very mindful and really take a look at my life and just see what was important to me. And that was part of you know, Katie and I wanting to start a family. And yeah, and it's all worked...

Umar Hameed 8:48

Jeff Sands 8:48
...out great.

Umar Hameed 8:48
So what's kind of interesting is you're a commercial friends in commercial real estate, you may have noticed they're not dead. And the reason I mentioned that is this is that, you know, residential real estate, you know, took a dip, then all of a sudden, it blossomed into the strongest market. For the people in the commercial space, it was like a disaster for like, at least a year, they all survived. And I think that's a life lesson that we need to learn is that when I think about the financial ruin, that was possible for me, several times, it never happened. Money showed up just in time, near death accidents in the car, or whatever never occurred. And I think ultimately, what we need to realize is that we are here on planet Earth, and everybody has a purpose in life. And my purpose is to teach people how to take charge of their mindset so they can remove their limitations and become who they have always meant to be because the Maker didn't put you here to struggle. It's of our own devices. Just as your kids grow up, you're noticing that they are too dumb to know nothing is possible. Learning, they're walking, they're asking questions, they're inquisitive, they're passionate, when they want something, they're wholeheartedly go there and somewhere along the journey, all of a sudden, it's like, "Oh, I shouldn't do this, people will think that I shouldn't do that." And if we can just retain that, that light within us. And I think that's what you're doing, Jeff is, as you're discovering who you are, you're allowing that possibility for the light within you to shine. And I know we're talking about real estate, but it doesn't matter what you do when you embrace who you are. And you allow that powerful version of you to show up, you're there more strongly for your wife, for your kids, for your clients and for yourself, right?

Jeff Sands 10:28
Yeah, no, absolutely. And even to be able to share the fact that I'm in recovery with you, as you know, that's seven years in the making for me, right? Like, that's just, you just, I'm getting closer to that core authentic self and core authentic person that I really am and who I want to be, right? And really, at the end of the day, I find it's all about relationships, it really is. And it's building relationships with my family, my friends, my colleagues, my clients, right? And the more authentic I can be, I just, it's just a feeling it's really hard to explain, I guess it's just, it's a connection I'm able to make with people that I wasn't able to make before.

Umar Hameed 11:01
Absolutely. And what's interesting is this, as I'm sure Jeff, you were prettier and more amazing 10 years ago, but that was the inauthentic you and I might have gone, you know, "Hey, I like Jeff. But the Jeff I see right now is someone that is just being Jeff," here I am. And there is a stronger connection that I get to do and no, there's gonna be some people that are like, "Oh, I don't like Jeff. And that's okay, too." But there's more people are going to feel that connection strongly. Because there's so few of us out there that are truly being ourselves that it's a rarity and it's a blessing. And I think when you step into who you are, you give permission to the people around you to do the same thing. And that's what I think is so important is when you're you, you allow them to be them.

Jeff Sands 11:46
Yeah, you're...

Umar Hameed 11:47
See the possibility of it.

Jeff Sands 11:47
Yeah, you're 100% right. And it just gives people this comfort level that, you know, maybe they might not might have had a shield up or a guard up, you know. And it really, it's just such an easier way to live, it's just so much less energy, and I can focus my energy on things that are super important to me, right? Because when you have those masks and those walls up, you know, I do a lot of reading now, just since I've been in recovery about you know how domesticated we become as as children and you get domesticated the older you get. And, you know, a lot of people vote the same way their parents voted or...

Umar Hameed 11:48
Oh, yeah.

Jeff Sands 11:50
Their parents eat or, you know, and then they you know, when they really, you know, some of us are lucky enough to really start to just examine who we are, we start figuring out well, you know. My father in law, actually, yeah, he always had a great, he always has this great saying that he tells me you, really, we really figure out that we're adults, when we see the weaknesses in our parents. And it's just such a great show. It's...

Umar Hameed 12:41
Brilliant. And I like the the flip side of the coin. Adults don't raise kids, kids raise adults.

Jeff Sands 12:47
Yeah, that's great. I haven't heard that before. That's great.

Umar Hameed 12:50
And what's going to interesting is, as you become your authentic self, you get to be the role model for your kids. Or you say something and you do something different. And now you get to kind of walk your talk, which is like the best model. So it's you and your wife in the business, who else is part of your team?

Jeff Sands 13:05
Yeah, so there's four of us actually, there's myself and Katie. Katie and I have been partners. I'm originally born and raised in Kingston. Katie had went there to go to Queen's University. Her and I met in Kingston. And she actually used to skate on the Canadian national figure skating team with...

Umar Hameed 13:19
Oh, wow.

Jeff Sands 13:19
...back when they were like 15 years old. So Katie, and I met and she was actually my first assistant and that didn't work out great. And then she went out and worked on her own for a couple years and then joined my brother and I, I'm gonna say around 2006-2007. Partners, we've been business partners. We got married in 2010. So we've been married for 12 years. And then we also have two full time executive assistants that work with a Sydney and Jessica. And both of them Sydney's originally from Hamilton. And Jessica is originally from Eastern Ontario, like Brighton Belleville area. And they both ended up in the Peterborough area. And they both join Katie and I over the last couple years.

Umar Hameed 13:57
So Jeff, you've seen many realtors in your career. So realtors that are you know, doing 20 transactions a year, you know, 10 to 20? Like, uh, not really, at the level of success they capable of? What are the biggest things that get in the way? What are the biggest things that cause them anxiety that stop them from reaching their potential do you think?

Jeff Sands 14:18
Oh, my God, that's a great question. You know, and I think that it's being authentic, you know. So, so many, just going back to our original conversation, just being authentic, I don't know, connecting building relationships. So much of everything we do is about the relationships that we build with our clients, right? And I think a lot of people get into this business for, you know, a last ditch effort to get rich or quick money.

Umar Hameed 14:42

Jeff Sands 14:42
You know, so you know, people, people checking their modems, but that would be one of the biggest things, just people failing to be authentic and building the long term relationships, people.

Umar Hameed 14:51
So one of the things I'm going to be launching soon is a 60-day journey. It's eight weeks and week one, people get to figure out their purpose in life, "Why am I here on planet Earth?" And one of the things he does for realtors is this, is that you get to align your practice with who you are so not like, because there's like hundreds of 1000s of realtors in North America. And distinguishing yourself is hard to do. And if you do it like artificially, it's inauthentic but if you know who you are, my purpose in life is to do X, then that becomes a mission of your company. You can also pick a vision along that pathway to build something significant. You know, week two is identifying your biggest fears and removing those learning how to take charge of this. And just over the course of eight weeks, the idea is to transform human beings, agents from who they thought they were, to who they actually are. And when you do that, they just become stronger, more certain, more confident, and happier in what they're building. And I think that becomes attractive for clients, for their spouses for their kids. And that's going to be my legacy is teaching people how to, instead of spending years at a mountain meditating to just freakin 60 days baby, figure out who you are, and build a life in alignment with who you are. And it just makes that journey so much easier because you're building something that's true and powerful, as opposed to, "This is what I think I want." Because way too many people get to build a life that they think they want they get there and go, "Is that all there is I thought I'd be happier or more at peace." And kind of thoughts on that? Do you think that's a journey worth taking?

Jeff Sands 16:22
Oh, 100%, yeah. That sounds like recovery to me, to be honest with you, it's like a form of recovery, finding your self, right?

Umar Hameed 16:28

Jeff Sands 16:29
And when you started that?

Umar Hameed 16:30
So we're gonna start that in September, and it's going to be a joyous journey. And I think, because last year, May, actually last year, April, in 2021, I had this thought, you know, holy crap, I've only got 30 years left on planet Earth. If everything goes, well, I've got good genes and all that stuff. "Have I had an impact on the world?" And the answer was, "No, you've not had an impact on the world." So I say, like, "If I stay here in my comfortable life, my comfortable house with my comfortable clients, nothing's going to change." So I sold my house, got rid of all the possessions and just kept 10 T shirts, literally two shirts so I look pretty when I need to. And started traveling the world. And as I was traveling, what I uncovered was this is that happiness is everywhere. But people are so busy looking at what's wrong, that they miss out on the joy of life. So my mission is happiness. And one of the ways to do that is to help people become authentic and learn how to become fearless. Because if we did that, it would just make the world a better place. Because ultimately, you said the magic words, "It's all about relationships." And when I can be me truly and powerfully when I build a friendship with Jeff, that's a friendship that lasts, that's a friendship that counts. When I try and be I want to be fancy and I want Jeff to like me and all that stuff. Sure you would, because I'm a charming guy, but you'd feel there's a disconnect. And that's my hope for humanity. Be yourself and reach out to the world with happiness and love.

Jeff Sands 17:57
Yeah. Well, if we could move away from fear to love, right? Wouldn't you know, that's just that's yet? That's that's the secret, right? That's amazing. Good for you.

Umar Hameed 18:06
And this is what I think, this is a loves on one side and the other side of the coin is fear. It's the same continuum. And, Jeff, I want to thank you so much for being on the program today but I have two questions for you before we parked company. Number one, specifically, and think of a moment what makes you happy?

Jeff Sands 18:26
Quiet time with my family.

Umar Hameed 18:28

Jeff Sands 18:30
That's really what makes me happy. If I really think and I'm being really honest with you, quiet time with my two young boys and my wife is really what makes me happy.

Umar Hameed 18:40
Thank you for sharing that. And, you know, there's people out there looking for, "When I get the Tesla" "When I get the job" "When I get the client" And just something as simple and accessible as that brings you joy to your poor. Second question. What is one piece of advice you would give people to live better lives, be better realtors that they could implement today that would make them happier, more successful, sleep better, love better? What would that be?

Jeff Sands 19:06
Find their authentic self.

Umar Hameed 19:08

Jeff Sands 19:09
Go on a journey to find out who you really are. Who you are not who your parents wanted you to be, not who society wants you to be. Just find out who you really are what actually makes you peaceful, what brings you peace. And I got on this journey seven years ago, and it's going to be a journey, hopefully one day at a time that I live the rest of my life, but I, it's...

Umar Hameed 19:28

Jeff Sands 19:28
...best advice I could give anyone, yeah.

Umar Hameed 19:32
Totally brilliant Jeff. And can't tell you how useful and pleasant and joyful this conversation was. Thank you, thank you so much for being on the show.

Jeff Sands 19:42
Oh, thanks for having me. It's real pleasure. I really appreciate you reaching out. Thanks, Umar.

Umar Hameed 19:50
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.


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