Don’t stop to pick up pennies or you’ll miss out on the dollars

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At one point in my legal career, another lawyer and I were flipping real estate. The market was hotter than Hades and we were making a boatload of money.

I thought, “Why not get a broker’s license and get a piece of the commissions, too?”

Bad idea.

Many brokers didn’t want to work with me. Others were willing to do so but brought their best deals to other investors first.

If you compete with people who bring you deals, you get fewer deals.

I got rid of my broker’s license.

I also realized that if I wanted brokers to bring me the best deals, I had to make it clear that I would never try to cut their commissions, as many investors do. But I took it a step further. I told them that if I made money on the deal, I would cut them in on the profit. In addition, when it came time to put the property back on the market, I assured them that they would get the listing.

Guess who they brought their deals to?

If you want insurance agents and financial advisers to send you referrals, get rid of your insurance and securities licenses. If you handle divorces and you want referrals from business lawyers, think twice before you include business law on your list of practice areas. If you have bar licenses in other jurisdictions where you don’t actively practice, consider retiring those licenses.

When you compete with people who send you referrals, you get fewer referrals.

Think about where you earn most of your money, or want to, and focus on that. Don’t stop to pick up pennies or you might miss out on the dollars.

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Comments

  1. David, this post has some really great advice in it, especially the line “If you handle divorces and you want referrals from business lawyers, think twice before you include business law on your list of practice areas.” As a solo business/real estate lawyer who has never touched a divorce, this is definitely a factor when referring out divorce work. Why would I send work to a solo divorce attorney who claims on their website that they compete with me?

    Keep up the good work, I enjoy reading your posts!