mask, hand sanitizer, and a laptop


Constantly under financial stress? Here are some ways to live the life you’ve dreamed.

associates can’t have the lives they dream about if they are under continuous financial pressure. One of our responsibilities, as leaders, is to help them achieve financial freedom.


Old school sales management taught us to, “Keep your sales associates broke and hungry. They will sell more.” This has not been my experience. Financially pressured salespeople sell less for two reasons:

  1. They’re not looking out for the best interests of their client. Clients sense this “commission breath” and stop working with them. Associates under pressure sell less.
  2. The financial pressure creates a scarcity (fear) mindset that impacts their relationships, their marriage and their health. It causes career burnout.

In my experience, financially secure sales associates take better care of their clients, are much more productive and are better team members. As leaders, it’s in the interests of our clients, our sales associates and our company to create a system for our associates to create financial freedom.

In the garden at our office are two large stones with 33 names engraved on them. These 33 people have been with our company for 30 years or more—some for 40 years. Anyone who stays with us for 30 years goes on the rock. They are the core of our 200-associate firm.

Nearly all 33 associates are multi-millionaires. It’s part of our culture. In addition, a very high percentage of our other sales associates have already achieved financial freedom as well—some are only in their 20s and early 30s. What’s their wealth secret? They simply do two things: They follow our sales system (Ninja Selling) to increase their incomes, and they follow the Wealth Creation Model.

Astute observers of the overall housing market, not just homeowners, but the whole market, can only wonder how Americans are going to fix this situation without a robust economic recovery—which now seems doubtful with the re-emergence of COVID-19 cases. How will problems in the rental market affect the owned and occupied segment?

  1. Make it a priority. It’s a stated goal and priority in our company to help our people find financial freedom. This discussion is part of the annual business planning process.
  2. Increase income. Coach them on the Ninja Selling System to help them increase their income and their income per hour.
  3. Control the baseline. Show them how to keep their baseline living expenses under control by putting themselves on salary. We encourage them to set up a business account to receive their commission checks. Then out of this business account, they write a check into their personal account each month (or twice a month) for their living expenses. They are putting themselves on salary. In addition, they can set up separate accounts for taxes, college, retirement and investment. We have our accounting department designed to help them with this. Many of our top producers say this simple system, with our help, has made them wealthy. Some have commented, “It’s like magic! I don’t know how it happened, but it did!” Having a system is the key.
  4. Invest in real estate. Help them invest in real estate. We have investment classes every month for our associates and our clients.
  5. Financial Intelligence. Help them develop financial intelligence by offering classes with accountants, attorneys and financial planners. They especially need to learn how taxes work.

Is there anything more disheartening than seeing a $500,000+ income producer lying awake at night worrying about how they will pay their bills or their taxes? As leaders, we can help them find financial freedom. Set up this simple system and make it part of your culture. Your people will be healthier, wealthier, happier, better salespeople and better team players.


This article originally appeared in the December 2020 issue of the REAL Trends Newsletter. It is reprinted with permission of REAL Trends, Inc. Copyright © 2020. To read the rest of this issue & more, please visit our Real Trends page online.

Articles, News and Legal Hotline Q & A's found on the Washington REALTORS® website are intended for Washington REALTOR® members only. None of the information contained herein constitutes legal counsel. Opinions expressed in the articles are those of the contributors. Legal Q & A's are written by the Legal Hotline Lawyer. Always check with your managing or designated broker to comply with your brokerage's practices. If you are a WR member with real estate legal questions, email to contact the Legal Hotline Lawyer. If you have questions about reprint rights, RE Magazine or WR app content, please contact Cara McNeil at (360) 943-3100 x 126 or email