If you don’t know this week’s Over Ask guest, what exactly were you watching for the past eight years?
Getting Kicked Out
Some people have a head start in real estate, either because of personal connections or through their upbringing. James Harris is not one of those people.
By the time he was 16, James was kicked out of nine schools. You might be thinking: how is that possible?! In comparison, Matt Lionetti was only kicked out of one. As it turns out, James had some behavioral issues, paired with extreme ADHD, and to top it off…anytime he tried to get away with something, he was caught. And then kicked out.
“School just wasn’t for me. Working, making money, and building a career for myself really was.”
Through the madness of adolescence, James always had drive. He knew he wanted a successful career, to make money, and to find out his why. At the age of 16, during his first job in real estate, he found his path.
For all the kids and teens who feel lost, aren’t doing well in school, and don’t know what’s next, it can all work out:
“It’s important for them to know, you’re going to be ok. You just have to figure out what motivates you, what gets you up every day, what gets you excited, and that will come with time.”
James’s Start in Real Estate
Since school clearly wasn’t working out, James started his first real estate gig as an assistant in London. He worked his way into residential, followed by commercial real estate at the same company before he took off for LA. And he never turned back.
New to LA, James had no contacts, no leads, not even a clear sense of direction. But once again, he, along with his business partner, had drive. Together, he and David Parnes founded Bond Street partners and set off to smash the luxury market.
Getting into the Luxury Market
It’s not exactly easy to make a name for yourself in the luxury market, especially when you are starting with nothing. So James and David got creative, using strategies they knew were successful and cost little to no money.
They door knocked for 10-12 hours a day, making a game of who had to go up and deliver the pitch. Nothing intimidated them: they knocked on every single door, including Leonardo DiCaprio’s, Dr. Dre’s, and every top producer in Bel Aire. They were relentless in their approach, and for two years would not go home after a day of door-knocking until they had a promising lead. To this day, James still door knocks when he has time.
Standing Out from the Crowd
In a market full of ambitious realtors, how did James and David make sure they stood out? They utilized everything they could, starting with their energy.
“The glass always had to be half full not half empty. If you set the mentality that you are going to be positive and no matter what leave with a positive result, positive things will come. You have to manifest that positivity.”
James and David also looked for ways to fast-track their reputation. This included working with developers, co-listing with well-known agents, and joining forces with Mauricio Umansky from The Agency.
From the very beginning, they dropped their egos and did whatever was necessary to grow their business. For James, that’s the only way:
“In this business, you really cannot have an ego. We’re in a service industry. We service people….The second your ego gets ahead of you, in my opinion, that’s the end of you.”
After Million Dollar Listing comes…
After 8 years (filming 11 months a year) and 100 episodes, James and David announced they would not be returning the Million Dollar Listing. While grateful for every opportunity the show provided, it’s time for new ventures.
James hinted that more details for upcoming plans are coming soon, but in the meantime, here are two places where you can learn more from James Harris:
The Blueprint is a passion project for James and David. The newsletter goes out twice a week, and contains consumable information that helps agents feel empowered as they go throughout their day.
And what you’ve all been waiting for:
Sign up to win a Zoom session with James! We’ll announce the winner in one week on @brokeagentmedia.
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