Mindset for Success 2016: Business Mindset Tips from Three of the Industry’s Best

Thanks to the Chicago Association of REALTORS® Foundation, we welcomed a panel of three top Chicago producers who would offer an exclusive insight into their success in the real estate industry and the mindsets that helped them achieve it. The panelists shared messages of encouragement and positivity, discussing not only how to make things different but better. We feel each of them had some top five tips and takeaways worth putting in the books.

Emily Sachs Wong, @properties

  1. Be positive. I think it’s really important to every day just wake up and be really excited about real estate. There are the highest highs and the lowest lows, but there’s no reason to perpetuate negative energy. I just tell myself, I’m a good person, I’m a good REALTOR®, I do a good job.
  2. I don’t “unplug” in the cut-myself-off-during-vacation sense. My unplugging involves doing other things that are still beneficial to you in this industry, like reading a trade-style magazine or going to a merchandise mart.
  3. It’s okay to pick and choose what client communication works best for you. Client parties are great, but if you’re shy like me, focus on those gifts and mailing lists. A meaningful closing gift can really give you the bang for your buck.
  4. Of all the many ways to use your money, you can’t afford to not advertise in some way. It’s the most important thing I can say to you.
  5. I don’t set budgets or large budget goals, because I don’t see the benefit of fretting if I miss them. Instead, I stick to my guns and my work ethic, knowing I will always be putting my best effort forward. I picked what works best for me and I’ve made it the best version I can.

Ryan D’aprile, d’aprile properties

  1. What I work on the most is getting up early in the mornings when I’m alone to start journaling or meditating. It’s how I recharge even if I am not totally unplugging.
  2. I started out with big farming, going from a list of about a thousand to five thousand. But 76% of people are happy with their real estate agent and 74% would use them again, however only 2% do! That’s on me to remind them we had a great relationship and I’m worth using again.
  3. Getting involved in charity— beyond donating— is a huge way to advertise that a lot of people don’t realize. Real estate is so much of a network. By sitting on a charity board, you immerse yourself into those organizations and network real relationships with people.
  4. We look at our training and coaching in two different verticals: one, our managing brokers handle all the technical training, while myself and my match partners handle the coaching and consulting. We focus on the people we have, and we feel company growth comes organically through the growth of other agents.
  5. I don’t think it’s true that millennials are never going to buy homes and that they don’t like talking to people outside the internet. I think they want to talk to people and that they crave human connection. Clients can do this on their own, but they crave a life consultant like us, who is going to take them through the process.


  1. Culture is the number one thing on my team. I treat my team as my number one client, helping them if they have any questions, because without your team, you are no one.
  2. Every month I work on my clients. The same time, same place, I host a happy hour and invite as many clients as possible. Every Monday I have a VIP calling list, and I cycle through all of them, calling 12 new ones each Monday of the month until I reach 50. Also, every Tuesday of the month I call my closings from the previous month and check in and get feedback.
  3. Loving what you do is the most important part of this business. Be happy, be positive. Yes, it’s a fight to go up there when you’re feeling down, but your attitude translates. I truly do love this and to me, it’s worth the effort.
  4. Knowing your money inside and out is essential. I know every penny that comes in and every penny that goes out. Knowing your money and where it’s going matters. For example, I started a portion of my budget on marketing over a year and a half ago and it tripled my business.
  5. If you do not have goals, what are you doing? Goals get you in the right mindset. You set your mind: what do you want to do? It gives you focus.