Quick, what’s the average return on investment (ROI) you get for 45 minutes of your time? $50? $100? $150? Believe it or not, your ROI for 45 minutes can and should be the same as 45 minutes of Bill Gates’ or Warren Buffet’s time.

Think about it…what was the ROI for the 45 minutes you spent on that first date with your spouse? What was the ROI on 45 minutes spent watching your daughter graduate from college? For most of you, the returns were immeasurable. The return was so great, your life has never been the same since. Why?

It’s not what you do with your time that makes it important, it’s all in how you value your time.

Luckily, we live in an era where the collected wisdom of some of the smartest, most successful people in your industry are giving away their secrets for free.

To help you make the most of your time, below is our curated list of the 19 best talks on real estate and sales strategy, growth mindset, and the psychology of success from the TED stage and beyond.

1. Barbara Corcoran: How Failure Made Barbara Corcoran’s Career

If we had our way, this would be required watching for every bright-eyed real estate school graduate, or really anyone facing obstacles they think are insurmountable. Here’s something amazing: Those obstacles are not only easier to overcome than you think, but can actually be the fire that tempers skill and mindset for exponential growth. As any extremely successful person will tell you, failure, not success, is what propels you forward. Embrace it!

2. Robert Refkin: 5 Ways to Create Stronger Connections

It’s rare for a relatively short talk to cut through the noise and really get through to the heart of the issue. In this case, Compass CEO Robert Refkin does just that. His Ted Talk only runs three minutes, but it manages to boil down your true goal as a real estate agent and offer practical, actionable advice that comes from experience.

Oh, and don’t fall for the “people person” nonsense. You can and must actively work on building stronger connections to become a successful agent. If you’re introverted, you just need to work a little harder. In fact, some think that introverts make better real estate agents. I actually wrote an entire article on this.

3. Angela Duckworth: How Grit Can Transform Your Attitude & Real Estate Career

One of the most important and controversial talks on our list, Angela Duckworth’s talk on Grit is a must-watch for anyone who wants science-backed inspiration. It’s also a fascinating look into what motivates people to succeed despite the odds. Think of it as a psychologist’s take on what Barbara Corcoran discovered through the school of hard knocks. Her book is great too.

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4. Amy Cuddy: How Body Language Can Help You Close More Deals

Although there has been some issues with replicating Cuddy’s results in the laboratory, her talk on body language is still essential for anyone who works in sales. Why? None of us live in a laboratory. Small changes to your body language and posture can spur massive changes in mindset, and as a result, growth.

5. Chris Voss: An FBI Negotiator Teaches You to Negotiate & Never Split the Difference

Like most of you, I’ve been in a few nerve-wracking negotiations in my career. Huge deals hung in the balance and the right move wasn’t always obvious. This was before I discovered Chris Voss. Chris was an actual hostage negotiator with the FBI. Instead of negotiating prices or concessions, Chris had innocent people’s lives hanging in the balance. Over his career, Chris came up with a foolproof system for negotiating with confidence and intelligence. You’re going to want to take notes for this one.

6. Julian Treasure: How to Speak so That People Will Want to Listen

Even if you’re going through life as a self-described “people person,” there will inevitably be situations in your career where the ability to connect with another person determines your success. In this TED talk, Sound Agency Chair Julian Treasure goes over the rhetorical (what to talk about) and physical (how you say it) methods to speak so that people will want to listen to you.

7. Dan Pink: How Motivation Can Be Hacked to Take Your Career to the Next Level

Another talk that changed the way we see the world, in the Puzzle of Motivation Dan Pink goes over the peer reviewed science of motivation. One of the most shocking takeaways from the talk was that studies show that MONEY(!!) is not an effective motivator on its own. How many of your colleagues are trying to motivate themselves with just financial rewards? What motivates you?

8. Pamela Meyer: How to Spot a Liar

While many real estate agents seem to develop a sixth sense about dishonesty, reading your clients and buyer or seller agents can still be tricky. Many people are just hard to read, and their motivations are often opaque. After watching this talk from Pamela Meyer, you will have a more sophisticated tool kit to spot lies in your career and life. How you react is another story.

9. Kelly McGonigal: How to Make Stress Your Friend

Stress! 😳😳😵 That sneaky emotion that can dominate your thoughts, kill your deals, and if you don’t treat it, might even kill you. Luckily, stress is also what helps push us forward, and small amounts of stress are what gives life meaning. Think about it. How bored would you get if you aced every single deal every single time with no effort? This video will show you how to turn stress from your master to your slave.

10. Celeste Headlee: 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation

At the end of the day, empathy is probably the most valuable personality trait an agent can have. Your buyers and homeowners will overlook almost any other fault as long as they feel like you care about their needs.

In this talk, radio host Celeste Headlee gives 10 real world tips to have conversations that can help build that empathy. Not surprisingly, listening is one of the tips.

11. Fredrick Eklund: Interview With Tim & Julie Harris

OK, this is a podcast and not a real estate TED talk, but it’s too good not to include here. Love him or hate him, there is no denying that Fredrick Eklund is living the American dream. Moving from Sweden with almost nothing, Fredrick parlayed his charisma and intelligence into an absurdly successful and lucrative career in the most cutthroat real estate market in the world. In this video, he goes over how to get started, how he connects with celebrity clients, and more.

12. Tom Ferry: Tom Ferry’s Keys to Succeed in Business & Life

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, Tom Ferry shouldn’t need a lengthy introduction. This speech at Gary Vaynerchuk’s Agent 2021 gathering has Tom waxing inspirational on success in real estate AND in life. Sometimes a 30,000-foot view is what you need to see the whole forest.

13. Gary Vaynerchuk & Tom Panos: Secrets to Marketing & Motivation

Two marketing and real estate heavyweights spill their secrets on marketing, motivation, and more in this high-energy talk.

14. Ernesto Sirolli: How Listening Can Be Your Greatest Asset as an Agent

Luckily, this is advice one of my earliest real estate mentors taught me from the beginning. Not only did it take the pressure off, but it turned my job selling Manhattan apartments into something admirable. You are NOT a sleazy salesperson. You ARE helping people achieve their dreams! Until you learn this, you’re going to struggle needlessly.

15. Marc Kushner: Why the Buildings of the Future Will Be Shaped by … You

After relationships, your role as a real estate agent is to sell homes. That may sound obvious, but considering how little most real estate agents know about architecture, I think it bears repeating. In this talk, architect Marc Kushner walks you through the emotional connection that architecture is at its core. Then he explains why homes and public buildings of the future will become more bold and daring thanks to the internet.

16. Santiago Arana & Tami Pardee Talk About Closing $1 Billion in Real Estate Transactions

Another awesome talk with Million Dollar Listing agent Santiago Arana and Halton Pardee founder Tami Pardee. Both have inspiring and fun stories about getting started and getting ahead in the real estate industry. Interesting talk even for people with no interest in real estate! Who doesn’t love a rags-to-riches story?

17. Martin Reeves: How to Build a Business That Lasts 100 Years

While most of you reading this are probably not thinking about your business in generational terms, building a business that lasts should be your core goal as an agent or broker. After all, since we live in such tumultuous times, businesses don’t last as long as they used to. Disruption of the real estate industry can come from anywhere, and if you want to last, you need to learn to adapt. In this talk, Strategist Martin Reeves takes a deep dive into principles from biology that you can apply to your business to adapt to change.

18. Eddie Obeng: How to Adapt to an Ever-changing Marketing Landscape & World

Another take on embracing failure and making it work as an agent of change rather than an obstacle that blocks success. Eddie’s take focuses on the inevitability of change, and how to make change work for you rather than vice versa.

19. Gary Vaynerchuk: Deep Dive Into Marketing & Becoming a Better Agent @ Inman Connect

Gary Vee is one of those people who could not only sell ice to Eskimos, but make the Eskimos thrilled with their purchase. He has an uncanny way of framing his arguments and opinions in a logical, easy-to-follow, and best of all easy-to-remember way.

Over to You

Have a life-changing talk you think belongs on our list? Share it in our Facebook Mastermind Group or leave a comment below.

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