Dawn McKenna is one of the country’s most successful real estate agents, and one who prides herself on having assisted dozens of individuals achieve their quest for success while leading a meaningful life. Here, Dawn shares some tips on how she aims for success, helps others, and manages the stress that entails.
Leading a team of 21 agents in two states and managing 110+ of her own clients at any one time can be stressful enough. Add in the demands of being a wife, daughter, sister, friend and mother and you have the recipe for incredible amounts of stress. But for Dawn, she believes that finding relief in some of the things that can cause stress can be very powerful.
“Being such a busy mom is hard, but it also makes the down time I spend with my family all the more relaxing,” says Dawn. Whenever possible, Dawn puts down her phone and does the simple things with her family – traveling, eating out, going on shopping adventures or just sitting around a fire. “When I do these things, I feel the stress melt away.”
Surrounding herself with such a great team also helps. “They are a such big part of my life and we do work together,” Dawn adds, “but I really enjoy our quick lunches, shared drinks and just laughing together. It is all some of my best medicine.”
Finally, Dawn relishes getting to know her clients and sharing in their lives. “When a client shares a part of their life with me, whether happy or tragic or somewhere in between, I feel more like a friend than just a broker.” And for Dawn, true friends make life less, not more, stressful. “Transactions and negotiations are stressful, and things don’t always go as well as my clients would like,” Dawn added. “But my clients know I care about them and their happiness, and so the stress ends when the transaction closes.”
When it comes to success, Dawn’s advice is fairly simple: “Put your clients’ interests ahead of your own and close the deal.” It sounds simple, but Dawn feels that too many agents limit their success by putting commissions, rankings and pride ahead of happy clients. All of those the rewards will come, Dawn suggests, but “only if you are taking care of your clients and doing whatever it takes to close the deal.”
For more practical advice, in Dawn’s words, it’s not “brain surgery.” Dawn despises procrastination. As Dawn puts it, “if it’s worth doing later, it’s better done now.” For Dawn, the best “to do” list is an empty to-do list. Additionally, focus on the details. Whether choosing the perfect color for your website, the right font for an ad, or the right outfit for a big meeting, Dawn believes that details matter. In her characteristic no nonsense manner Dawn sums it up as” “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Don’t blow it.”
Many people are fascinated by what inspires highly successful people. Dawn calls it your “Why,” as in “Why do you get out of bed, get dressed and go out there into the cold world and fight for success?” For Dawn, it is important that your “why” being something lasting and meaningful, which automatically eliminates money, ego, rankings or celebrity. Instead, Dawn has a three part “why” consisting of a: happy team – she loves to see her team succeed and reach their goals; happy clients – nothing makes Dawn happier than seeing beaming faces at a new home; and happy family – Dawn’s husband, four children and extended family are the most important thing in the world to Dawn and they are proud and happy about her success.
By having a meaningful, lasting “why” Dawn believes that you can weather the ups and downs of the real estate world, plow through the deals that seem destined for collapse, and truly enjoy whatever level of success you achieve.