The real estate industry is full of power players. Throughout my career, I’ve met and interviewed a lot of them. 

But few inspire quite like Lisa Chinatti. Her relentless drive, data-focused approach, and ability to connect with everyone make her unstoppable. 

Lisa and I first met within the Tom Ferry ecosystem, a place where we both felt surrounded by a growth mindset. Since then, we’ve become accountability partners, co-hosts on the Knowledge Brokers Podcast and, most importantly, close friends who continuously challenge each other. 

I’m fortunate enough to talk with Lisa almost daily—and it’s safe to say that my business wouldn’t be the same without her pushing me to think bigger and do better. And since we all need a little inspiration now and now, here are five invaluable lessons I’ve learned from Lisa Chinatti. 

#1—Give, Give, Give

I’ve never met anyone in real estate who gives everything away for free without any expectation like Lisa Chinatti. She gives more than any broker, coach, or mentor in the business. If you ask her how she does something, she typically has a template or complete procedure manual that she previously poured hours into creating, and she is willing to hand it to you immediately just because you asked. If more leaders in real estate adopted this mentality, the industry likely wouldn’t be in the dark place it is today.

#2—Take Risks

From the ages of 19 to 21, I bought three investment properties. This was right before 2008 when banks were giving loans away to anyone—even teenagers like me. You can probably guess what happened during the Great Recession: I went bankrupt and lost everything. 

After that, I was scared of taking even the most calculated risk. But Lisa’s approach to risk-taking has been transformative for me. She understands that fear and failure are part of the journey to success. 

A few years ago, Lisa challenged me to a bet—reach 1,000 sales within a year or give her a $5,000 Louis Vuitton bag. My initial instinct was to back down, as my team wasn’t on track for that number. But Lisa saw the bigger picture. She pushed me to see the opportunity to invest in the team’s growth, knowing it could lead to long-term success.

While we didn’t hit the exact 1,000 mark in that year, the risk paid off in a major way. The investments we made in recruiting, agent development, and infrastructure transformed my team. That $5,000 bet became the best investment we made all year.

Tom Toole summed up Lisa’s approach to risk-taking: “At some point, you can’t be afraid to be wrong or paralyzed by fear. Taking massive action will solve the majority of your problems. Other problems may result, but they are good problems to have because you are growing and moving in the direction that you need to.”

#3—Don’t Play the Victim Card

Real estate leadership has been dominated by men for decades, despite the fact that over 65% of the industry is made up of female agents. You hear a lot about this discrepancy, but Lisa never brings it up. She doesn’t cry disadvantage or complain about having to outwork everyone else because she doesn’t fit the mold. She just does the work. In today’s world, it’s easy to say you’re at a disadvantage because of whatever circumstance, but Lisa shows that hard work and dedication speak louder than complaints.

#4—Connect with Everyone

Here’s an inside joke from our Knowledge Brokers Podcast: Tom Toole and I often say Lisa has two faces. This sounds negative, but it’s actually the highest compliment. Lisa has the ability to connect with every level of human. It’s something I’ve struggled with my entire life. If I feel like I’m not part of your club, my instinct is, “Well, then, F– you. I’ll just go out and prove you wrong.”

Lisa, on the other hand, can connect and articulate a message that needs to be heard, even when she disagrees or knows she’s being excluded from a “good old boys club.” She does this in such a professional way that she overwhelmingly earns respect from even the biggest names in our industry. Her ability to navigate different personalities and situations is something I strive to emulate.

#5—Inspect What You Expect

Real estate businesses are nothing more than a math problem. Whether you’re an agent calculating how many conversations you need to have to get X appointments or a broker running a monthly P&L, it’s all about the numbers. 

When I asked our longtime friend and Knowledge Brokers co-host Tom Toole what Lisa does better than anyone he knows, he said, “The data. The answers are usually right in front of you when you inspect the data in your business. Most real estate agents know nothing about what the data actually tells them.” 

I get that there’s also an art to sales and a “feel” for homes, but we aren’t building museums or art galleries here. Real estate professionals are licensed to help serve people in their community buy, sell and invest in the single biggest life-changing asset for Americans: homeownership. If you don’t continuously inspect your numbers—for your business, your sales,  your market, etc.—you won’t impact many people. You also won’t be able to grow.

Final Thoughts

Surround yourself with people who challenge you, hold you accountable, and push you to be the best version of yourself. Just as Lisa has done for me, you can learn and grow from the power players around you. Remember, the best investment you can make is in your own growth and the growth of your team.

Here’s to the agents of change pushing boundaries, taking risks, and making the industry better together.

Follow Lisa Chinatti here for more inspiration.