Joe Learns, Joe Kicks Ass…

Joe Learns to Kick Ass!

If you happen to need a good real estate agent or more importantly, really want (or need) to sell your home, then Joe is my recommendation to you.  He handles my personal business because someone "kicking ass" for me is what I need.

Who is Joe? And why does he matter?  He's a modern success story that you need to hear about...... and my friend.

Joe Blackton, (who you can find on twitter as @JoeBlackton) just sent me a letter a few days by email that I wanted to share with you.  Joe is a real estate agent that I recruited to work at ACCESS when I was CEO there.  I was constantly looking for junior sales talent that could be transformed into All-Stars (still am looking for more), and Joe certainly has become an All-Star -- after leaving ACCESS!

I was first introduced to Joe by a long time friend that I went to High School with.  My friend told me that there was this guy "Joe" who was working really hard and was a great sales guy - so I picked up the phone and called him.  Two weeks later, Joe started working with me learning the ropes on a completely new vertical -- the legal industry.  Instead of tackling homeowners, Joe was talking with attorneys and often working with my own personal list of more than 3,000 clients -- most of which were in the Washington, DC area.  He did a super job, especially when you consider all the obstacles that he faced:

  1. The company was in the process of being sold and the chief sales-dude, ME, was not so available for training like I used to be...
  2. The process of "shopping the company" had created uncertainty within the firm, making it difficult for newcomers to adjust...
  3. Joe was completely new and trying to work with brand-new lingo, law firms, and internal technology teams was brutal...

In spite of this, Joe demonstrated class and talent and was well on his way to becoming a leading sales executive with us.  I was quietly impressed.

Here's the kicker: On the first day that the buyers of our company took over officially, JOE WAS FIRED!  No warning!  No Discussion! No 90-day Goal Period!  Nothing!  Just a pink slip.

And you would think that Joe was crushed -- many people would be!  He wasn't.  Pissed off sure, but when he called to tell me that he had been fired (I didn't know at the time) and that he had to think about things, he mentioned that he would probably be going back to his real estate roots.  And that's where the story really starts.

Read his letter first to me and then I'll tell you the rest of the story:


I know you’re a busy man so I will keep this short and sweet.  I just wanted to take a brief moment of your time to thank you.  You thoroughly changed my entire view point and perspective in this ever changing sales industry.  You taught me that technology is the key factor in not only generating leads but turning the majority of those leads into clients with a “WOW Factor”.

Witty remarks and a down to earth demeanor placed you a step above the rest in my book immediately in addition to your reputation of success.  My respect level was immediate as I found that you were a twenty nine year old CEO of a multimillion dollar industry in Washington DC and after working with you I could not have been more impressed.  With the extreme multi-tasking and technology proficiency you possessed it was as if these were common prerequisites that EVERYBODY had perfected.    I have always been an avid believer that if I see somebody attain a goal that seems nearly impossible with such ease; then there is NO reason why I cannot achieve these same accomplishments in my field or practice.

You have been a true mentor to me in the past year and I felt a thank you letter was in order.  I enjoy our brain storming and networking strategy session phone calls.  Whatever my increase in sales are this year, a better part of it will be contributed to the man that positioned me a step above the rest.

It has been a pleasure, Sir,

Joe Blackton Avery Hess Realtors Direct: 571-437-7285 Office: 702-802-8200

Getting a letter like this is emotionally rewarding and an ego boost -- but it's really a HUGE credo to JOE!

What did Joe do?

The first clue is to take a look at Joe's website (  It's his first one and get's him between 55-100 emails and phone calls a day - every day.  It's a simple website!  Nothing crazy.  In fact, you might even criticize the soft tones (Joe is a tough "fitness nut") and all the information that he provides directly without you having to call him.  According to the leading sales and negotiation books, you aren't supposed to provide that  service without getting something in return.  It's supposed to NOT work!

But something seems to be working, because in a "down turn" economy Joe is busy all hours of the day!  We actually played "phone tag" for a few days until I actually reached him last week around 8PM on my drive home from the office.  Joe is doing the impossible -- selling homes in Northern Virginia while  everyone else seems to be having a problem doing that.

So what is Joe doing? AHHHHH!  Now that this is $64,000 question.

Better yet, what is Joe doing that you should be doing?

  • Joe is using technology to find, track, and manage his clients.  Joe uses some pretty sophisticated technology to match up his sellers with buyers out there and provide value to both.  That enables him to sell homes faster and with both sides feeling great about the process.  It's fun to hear about...
  • Joe is following EVERY lead and clue until it falls apart completely.  Instead of hiding in the corner, Joe is offering advice (like his website) to people who aren't even selling their homes right now.  He is working with entrepreneurs who want to get into the "buy and sell game" and talking to banks who want to unload foreclosures.  He is everywhere twice as fast as the competition...
  • Joe is passionate about his own success.  Joe went from angry and pissed off to completely focused back into his old business of selling homes and he is doing 10x better than he was in the upswing economy days!  WHAT?  Joe is purely passionate about selling homes for his clients and providing value that no one else is taking the time for.
  • Joe is learning.  I like that sentence in the letter where he says: "I have always been an avid believer that if I see somebody attain a goal that seems nearly impossible with such ease; then there is NO reason why I cannot achieve these same accomplishments in my field or practice." Learning from the bad things that happen to us is more powerful that learning from our successes.  Joe learned a little from me.  But more importantly, Joe IS LEARNING from himself and life.

You can be a "Joe" too. Follow the same steps that he did and you'll be "kicking ass" too...


KUDOS to you, Joe, when you happen to read this blog post!  Thanks for the letter.  I am excited to see you put into place the things that we talked about.  I am sure that you will be a high performer this year for Avery Hess and you deserve the awards that are coming to you.  Keep "Kicking Ass".... and keep learning!