Barbara Corcoran has been trending lately—from the advice she gave during an appearance on the Chicks in the Office Podcast to a recent TikTok where she gushes over Friday firings, her name has been everywhere.
Not that that’s a bad thing. But from some folks’ reaction, you’d think she was throwing dirt at small children and kicking puppies. After all, firing people is one thing—but enjoying it?
Also, how many twenty-somethings have rich uncles they can tap for a down payment on a home? On the other hand, for those who do, it can’t hurt to ask.
This week’s Real Word Podcast covered both of Corcoran’s appearances, so we’ll be including some of their reactions and insights on both topics.
Check out the full podcast to hear the full conversation.
Real estate advice for 20-somethings
We’ll start with Corcoran’s appearance on the Chicks In The Office podcast, where she shares her perspective on and experience with investing in real estate.
Having forfeited the deposit on a deal at age 26, she urged everyone in their 20s to “beg, borrow, and steal” to start investing in real estate. In her words, “Get in the game as fast as you can!”
As for timing the market, Barbara’s advice is to forget about that, because “what you earn on that home has more to do with when you have to move than when you buy in.” So, whatever’s happening in the market, her advice is to “buy now.”
On The Real Word, the first question Byron and Nicole addressed is whether twenty-somethings should do anything they can to get into the game of real estate.
I think that, as long as they have a job and they are responsible enough to take on a home, I do agree with her. I think that if someone is willing to have that conversation with you, I think that if they’re a close relative…it’s a business transaction, but I definitely don’t think it’s a bad idea—again, as long as you’re responsible enough. My hope is that the person that’s borrowing the money knows that you have a job and that you’re responsible and you know how to take care of things, how to maintain a house, because it’s a lot more than just owning it. It’s maintaining it, too…I wouldn’t say ‘steal’ the money, but I think there should be some real, true conversations, absolutely.
I had significant losses in my first three real estate transactions…my first home purchase was at 19 years old…I think 19 years old was way too early for me to buy my first piece of real estate because I didn’t know a lot of different things about the game. She’s saying you’ve gotta get in the game. You’ve gotta get in the game and learn the game. You’ve gotta know the game that you’re playing….or you’re gonna make incredible mistakes whether you’re 19, like I was, or 26 like Barbara. Barbara didn’t know the game at 26, which is why she backed out of that deal…I’m fine with buying in your 20s, but do you know—do you know—that you’re gonna be in that location for the next 10 years? If you buy on decades, you don’t lose.
As for Barbara’s second piece of advice, Byron asked Nicole, “Is it always a good time to buy?”
I do believe that if you need to buy, it’s a good time to buy…If you’re gonna leave in two to three years, you’re gonna lose out…If you want to be in real estate—again, like she was saying—and continue to climb it, you have to get in it. At the end of the day, I think that’s her bottom line…Unfortunately, you never know if it’s a good or bad time because your life can flip at any moment…So, if you want in, it’s time to get in.
Both agree that Barbara Corcoran is the furthest thing from being a racket. When you know your stuff, you know it.
“I love firing people on Friday”
Next up was an article on Fortune highlighting a TikTok with Barbara explaining why she loves firing people on Fridays.
I would stop by someone’s desk on a Wednesday and say, ‘Hey! Would you have any time—some time on Friday?’ They should have heard about the rumors. ‘Yes! What time’s good for you? Two? See you at two!’ I couldn’t wait ‘til I came in to fire them!
On its face, that sounds a bit harsh. But then she clarifies exactly whom she’s firing and why:
You know why? Because I picked out individuals who were negative. And my attitude toward the negative person was they were ruining my good kids. ‘Cause people who are negative have to have somebody else to be negative with them. They gotta talk to somebody…I’m not talking about people who tell you what you’re doing wrong. They’re invaluable so that you can get better. I’m talking about chronic complainers and negative people. You gotta get rid of them. So, I learned very early, after firing one negative person, never tell them why you’re firing them. Okay? Or you get in a rat’s nest. ‘Why am I negative?’ ‘I don’t know. You just don’t fit the company.’
Some folks enjoy cleaning house. And sometimes that means firing people whose penchant for complaining could infect other people on your team. We don’t want it to be, but negativity is contagious. So is a positive attitude. Which would you rather see spreading like wildfire?
There’s that word “fire” again. Maybe that’s what Barbara Corcoran is doing: fighting fire with fire—which has been a thing for a while.
Now, let’s see what Byron and Nicole had to say about Barbara’s Friday firings:
For context, Byron and Nicole have a team up in Connecticut with 50 agents and over 10 people on staff. Byron asked Nicole if she can relate to what Barbara said—specifically about negative people trying to spread their disease of negativity.
Yeah. I mean, to be honest, that’s the disease of the world, though. If you’re feeling bad, you love company, so yes.
She’s 100% right. And this is gonna rub people the wrong way. Talk about the Bare Minimum Monday-ers, they’re gonna have an allergic reaction to this type of truth in the world that Barbara’s talking about, where you’ve gotta get rid of negative people—that negative people impact other people…She loves firing people on Friday. The Bare Minimum Monday crowd is not gonna like Barbara’s tough talk, Nicole.
Well, they’re gonna be forced to have a Bare Minimum Monday after Friday.
(I want those two quotes on instant replay.)
Then they weighed in on Barbara’s practice of saving the bad news for Fridays—and loving that she does so:
Well, I’m assuming again, if that person is negative, the last thing that you want is for people to then come back to the workplace the day after—talking to probably the person that is so negative—and that continuing to spread, too, so I do think that Friday is probably the best day because then it kinda gives everyone two days off. If that person is negative and continues to sort of outreach, at least it kind of gives those two days of no one being in the office to maybe get it off their chest and then come back on Monday…I think it stops the spread. I mean, you have to stop the spread.
I think when you’ve got somebody who’s not a fit—for your company, for your team, for your organization—you’ve gotta make the move the minute that you know, whether that’s a Friday or a Monday. I’ve fired people on Fridays, I’ve fired people on Mondays…on Valentine’s Day, at nighttime…When you know and when you have 100% of the information that they are not aligned with core values, that they’re not committed to your company, OR that they are dragging people into drama and spreading lies, that’s the minute you’ve gotta make the move.
To use Byron’s analogy, if a doctor told you, “We found something in your body, we need to cut it out,” you don’t want them suggesting you wait until Friday (or next Friday). You want it out immediately so it doesn’t spread.
The Fortune article drew a parallel between Barbara Corcoran’s approach and fellow entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck’s “jerk-free workplace” and his desire to fire those who are negative to others.
As passionate as Gary Vee is about kindness and empathy, if you’re a jerk in his world, if you’re negative, if you’re drama-filled and you drag other people into it, you’ve gotta go.
Once negative people are removed, typically, the company or office or organization will then grow much faster and much healthier. The culture improves, your people grow, and it becomes a better place for everyone.
That said, waiting until Friday doesn’t make much sense unless you really want to stick it to that person for what they’re doing to your workplace.
Top takeaways for real estate agents
A quick skim of the comments on that TikTok post is enough to get a sense of the typical reaction to Barbara Corcoran’s enthusiasm over firing people.
But if you’re looking at your goals for the company, it just makes sense to let go of the people whose negativity threatens to infect—and ultimately destroy—the company culture.
Corcoran’s enthusiasm about getting into the real estate game young probably resonates with more people—especially those who have the means (or know someone who has the means) to start investing. But it’s absolutely vital to learn the game so you can play it well.