Joshua Tanner, President and CEO/Qualifying Broker at Better Homes and Gardens® Generations, answers ten questions with Clean Slate, discussing the virtues of loyalty and decisiveness, how a blasting train horn led him to real estate, and how his eight-year-old son can quote you Thomas Huxley.
Which of our BHGRE® P.A.I.G.E. (Passion, Authenticity, Innovation, Growth, Excellence) core values do you identify with most, and why?
Authenticity – I truly believe one of the best characteristics in any organization is the authentic nature of the leadership and team members. Too many times you have people who create a false sense of reality around themselves because they escalate the truth just a little. I am authentic in nature, almost to a flaw. Sometimes, I “tell it like it is” when maybe I should add a little sugar to sweeten it up and make it more exciting. At least, that’s what my business partner Leighton Dees tells me anyway.
What are your favorite qualities in a customer?
Loyalty and Decisiveness. The loyalty of our clients, customers and agents is one of the primary factors leading our company growth in a down economy when many other companies were downsizing or going out of business. We have to earn this loyalty, however. Once it is earned, our goal is to never lose it.
Decisiveness is another quality I love in people. There is nothing worse than working with people who can’t make a decision. I love working with customers who know what they want and have the ability to make a decision. If you know you hate the house when we pull up, don’t even get out of the car, just tell me you hate it and we’ll move on to the next one. My objective is to sell real estate, not spend time in houses that you don’t even like just to “Be Nice.” Make a decision and rock on!
What is the one characteristic that’s helped you the most in your career?
Good Character is all that you have in life. I feel that my character is that of honesty, integrity, commitment and caring. There is a natural sense of trust and security that exists when you are dealing with someone with good character, so this has helped me to grow as a person, as well as to grow my businesses over the years.
What was the last book you read?
The actual last book that I read was 365 Things to do With Your Little Man. This was an amazing representation of the simple things we often overlook in our lives that can make a huge impact in those around you. Too many times we think if we are going to do something, we have to do it big, so we end up doing nothing. In reality, it is the small seemingly meaningless things that make all the difference.
The last business book I read was The Power of Discipline by Brian Tracy. My key takeaway from this book was the Thomas Huxley quote, “Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.” Living by this simple statement can change your life. Yes, my eight-year-old son can quote this to you if you ask him what the number one success principle is. He even included this in his written goals for 2015!
If you were not in real estate, what would you be doing?
If I weren’t in real estate, I would probably be a golf pro somewhere. Not because I am currently that good at golf, but because I was working at a golf course in college prior to getting pulled into real estate industry. I pretty much played golf every day and was living the dream except for the blasting train horn that I had to listen to every Sunday morning at 6:00 a.m. This is not a good thing for any college student to hear that early in the morning after Saturday night! Thank you train horn for my new career.
What was the last song you heard that you couldn’t stop humming?
The last song that I heard that I couldn’t stop humming was “Joy to the World.” My six-year-old sang this song in his first grade Christmas program, so he practiced it pretty much all day, every day. Naturally, that penetrated my head and wouldn’t get out.
Who is your real-life hero?
We have all heard the saying “Surround yourself with people who are better than you.” I have been blessed with some incredible people in my life, so it is really hard to pick just one real-life hero. I would definitely have to say my parents and my wife are my heroes. My parents instilled very good morals and values in me at a very young age. This built the foundation for me to go out and make a difference in the world. My wife is also my hero as she is very supportive of me in my ventures, but she also will keep me in check should I ever start to stray. She is an amazing woman and does a great job raising our two boys. (I would probably be lost without her, but don’t tell her that I said that.)
What’s your favorite thing about social media?
My favorite thing about social media is the ability to deliver your message across channels with tremendous reach with very little cost. As long as you have a strategy for social media, you have the power of influence to immeasurable limits. My least favorite thing is all the freaking funny videos that will rob you of your productivity if you don’t stick to the strategy. Stick to the strategy!
If you could sell a home in any market in the world, where would it be?
I would have to say I would love to sell a home somewhere that has access to amazing waterfront condos with white sandy beaches and plentiful deepwater fishing. Or possibly somewhere with plenty of large acreage tracts for hunting, fishing, recreation, etc. Or maybe one of the top 10 hottest cities in the U.S. per recent announcements and publications. Wait a minute…that sounds just like Mobile, AL, where I sell. I am grateful to be a part of selling such an awesome part of the world!
What is your favorite motto, and what advice would you give your younger self starting out in real estate?
Excuse or Empowerment – Too many times people come up with excuses for themselves and/or the situations they are in. The reality of it is that we are all in the situation we are in due to our actions leading up to that time. I ask myself this every day and it is really amazing how much I can accomplish when I decide to go with empowerment rather than making an excuse. I choose Empowerment!
As far as advice for my younger self starting out in real estate, I would tell myself to get out of my own way. Don’t be afraid of not knowing everything about real estate before you decide to get some business. Just get out there and establish relationships and let your mentors and brokers help you navigate through the business.
Excuse or Empowerment?