Tony Robbins once wrote, “to really stand out and influence others, your vision needs to capture and grab the hearts, minds and energies of a significant number of people.”

Real Estate is a profession centered on relationships. So, how does a REALTOR capture the hearts, minds and energies of a significant number of people?

I would like to share with you a story of a REALTOR in Gainesville, GA. that started an innocent community project with the hope of creating closer community, while increasing his visibility and influence within the community. In October, 2015 Brad Abernathy started The Faces Of Hall County.

To gain influence among his community, Brad would focus all his effort and attention from this project on the people that live there. The Vision he cast is to celebrate what makes Gainesville such a special place to live, and that’s the people. A community is much more than the buildings and parks that dot it’s landscape. A community is defined by its people. Who better than a REALTOR to tell the story of the local community, one smiling face at a time?

Brad set out to interview two people every week and post the results of his interviews on his website. He would then share those interviews on social media as a way of introducing the people of his community to each other and to the world on the internet. When Brad would share these stories, he would tag the person he interviewed. This way, their social network would see them being celebrated which fostered the feeling of being a bit of a celebrity. The social media engagement was pretty profound. Brad would also share the link with local places/people that were mentioned during the interview. If someone was asked who they would like to have lunch with and where would they take them, Brad would be sure and let them know they were mentioned. They too would share the project/story on social media. They too felt appreciated and valued as part of this project.

When this project began in 2015, Brad had 100 social media followers on his business facebook page and was getting around 500 visitors per month on his website. As of this writing, Brad has nearly 3000 people following him on social media and gets nearly 7,000 people per month on his website. He’s conducted more than 400 interviews. Gainesville, GA. has around 40K people. That’s a pretty significant percentage of the population who’s hearts, minds and energies have been captured by this project. Does that influence create business value?

In 2015 Brad’s group did $26M in sales and led the county. They’ve led the county for 10 consecutive years. Brad’s pretty good at the business of selling Real Estate. In 2016 Brad’s group sold $43.5M in real estate and has averaged more than $40M in sales every year since. The Faces Of Hall County has been the energy supply behind his group’s growth.

In the four years following the start of this project Brad has been able to track over $200,000 in commissions from clients that became familiar with him as the guy that does “The Faces Of Hall County”.  Is Brad influential?

Since starting this project, Brad has been invited to sit on multiple boards, he’s the voice on the City of Gainesville’s video that was created to promote Gainesville as a great place to live. He’s heavily involved in the school system, having had 15 high school interns participate in this project with his group. He’s been a guest teacher for a marketing class a local high school, a guest judge several times for marketing competitions, assisted a high school FBLA group who used The Faces Of for a national student/business marketing competition, winning 3rd place in their state and 9th place nationally. All of these examples are results of Brad’s willingness to celebrate and place other’s interests ahead of his own. Brad Abernathy has become the “unofficial mayor” of Gainesville, GA. and his group’s top producing position in his community has continued growing.

Brad has built a significant Real Estate business by hardly ever bringing up the topic of Real Estate. This project has given him permission to approach and connect with virtually everybody in his community with the goal of learning about them and helping them. Knowing as many people as he does, the way he does, puts him in a natural position to be a connector and help other’s achieve their goals and ambitions.

I’ve had lunch with Brad many times and we’ve never left his office and not had multiple people stop by and say hello. Not once. If you read Ninja Selling, The Go-Giver, The 7 Levels of Communication, they all talk about the value that’s created by serving others. Brad has figured out how to do that at scale in a very meaningful way, proving that good guys can finish first.

In an industry that’s becoming more digital every day, where consumers have access to more information than ever before, I believe that Brad’ approach to growing his business will provide the greatest protection against the cycles in his market. People want to be advised on how to “spend” the amount of money required to purchase Real Estate. They want that advice from someone they trust. Brad Abernathy is a trusted advisor for the community of Gainesville. The beauty of all of this is, he’ll tell you he’s never done anything more rewarding in his Real Estate Career than The Faces of Hall County.