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Has hustling lost its cool?

By Grace Ormsby
16 June 2021 | 1 minute read
Tom Panos

Glorifying agents who work hard and play hard is a thing of the past, according to a leading real estate trainer.

Speaking on a recent episode of Secrets of the Top 100 Agents, REB’s own head coach and trainer, Tom Panos, said there’s been a shift away from “the high-pressure, fast-talking, deal-closing real estate agent” in recent times.

“As far as I’m concerned, I no longer think we want to glorify agents who work hard, play hard,” he said.


“I don’t think that’s the look [of] success.”

The man behind Real Estate Gym said “we’ve moved towards our considerate, compassionate, intelligent, trusted adviser who will actually make decisions that are better for the client than what they are for themselves”.

“That’s the only way that we’re going to have an industry that is actually seen as being reputable.”

Acknowledging that real estate is an industry where agents do make money if they’re good, Mr Panos said: “I just don’t think it’s a great look to show a Rolex off in every one of your social media posts — which is saying to the consumer, your money has paid for this watch. Not a good look.”

Taking it one step further, he asked: “How much happiness does that external watch or car or hotel room that you’re in, how much joy does it give you?

“Or, is it something that you’ve been seduced to [by] society to say: ‘Hey, here’s the scorecard. You’ll be seen as being better if you have a Maserati.’”

Drawing on the words of John McGrath, he’s advising agents to “tell the damn truth”.

“Forget the sugarcoating, forget this underquoting, [and] this overpricing to get the business,” Mr Panos said.

“People want straight talking. People want to know the facts. They get pleasantly surprised to know that they meet a girl or guy who’s in real estate that tells the damn truth.”

According to him, it’s no longer just the right thing to do — “it’s the only thing to really do”.

He’s also shut down the idea of the “hustle” as a measure of an agent’s success.

“We’ve got a heap of real estate agents that have probably been inspired by Gary Vaynerchuk to say, ‘Hustle, hustle, hustle. Let’s hustle.’”

But the problem with that, from Mr Panos’ perspective, is that it’s those same agents who will “say the hustle more than they’ll do the hustle”.

He said: “If you’re doing the hustle, you’re probably not spending time telling people you’re hustling because you’re actually working. You don’t actually have time to tell people a running commentary of your life.”

It’s what led the trainer to advise that “practising your values beats preaching them”.

Drawing on the lessons he himself took from a Q&A session with Elle Macpherson at AREC 2021, Mr Panos is urging agents to “aim to have a good life”.

“Make passion your paycheque. Find work that’s effortless, that’s lucrative, and it’s fun, and you won’t feel like you’re working. It’ll feel like you’re just doing stuff that you enjoy and money’s put into your bank account,” he concluded.

Missed this episode of Secrets of the Top 100 Agents? Listen to the entire conversation with Tom Panos here.

Has hustling lost its cool?
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