Trayor Lesnock: “Always encourage common-sense analysis over sensational analysis”

Don’t over-absorb the media right now, and be wary of going down the rabbit hole of social media wherein the passive-aggressive nature of the interaction on such a platform often allows for discourse to spiral off course or become negative rather quickly. As a part of my series about the things we can do to remain […]

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Don’t over-absorb the media right now, and be wary of going down the rabbit hole of social media wherein the passive-aggressive nature of the interaction on such a platform often allows for discourse to spiral off course or become negative rather quickly.

As a part of my series about the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Trayor Lesnock.

Trayor Lesnock, President & Founder of Platinum Luxury Auctions, created the company with a vision of improving the auction model. This vision led him to develop the luxury auction® process for the auction sale of multimillion-dollar real estate (the term “luxury auction” is now widely imitated by industry competitors). Throughout more than $960 million in completed, luxury real estate auction sales to date, Mr. Lesnock has been dedicated to upholding the highest standards of excellence and integrity in every transaction. He and his team have also advised or consulted on more than $2.5 billion in additional luxury auction property value.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

As in many ‘how did you end up here?’ stories, it’s somewhat of an accident as to how I am where I am today. My educational background was in biological sciences and medicine, and after college, I was first headed towards becoming a physician (like my father) and then decided on becoming a lawyer instead. In the meantime, I was living in South Florida and seeing how insane the real estate market was (2004/2005). I ended up obtaining my real estate license to take advantage, and before I knew it, I had completed several sales. A friend of mine had recently joined a real estate auction firm that was focused on waterfront homes, and he brought me on board as part of building a sales team in 2005/2006. I spent about four years at that firm before leaving to found Platinum.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Frankly, I have yet to find a “life-changing” book (if you have one, let me know!), but I usually tend to extract a few kernels of wisdom from each book I read — although reading time is increasingly diminishing given I have two kids under the age of four! In my humble reading efforts in recent years, I’ve actually found more insights from books about people like great athletes/coaches (e.g. The Jordan Rules by Sam Smith) or those in the armed service (e.g. Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell). Books like these give insight and granularity regarding all of the behind-the-scenes things surrounding these people that lead to the incredible feats they accomplish, which translate well into running a super-competitive small business.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

  1. First, not all ships are going down with the proverbial tide! Platinum hasn’t furloughed or fired any staff or associates, nor have we modified anyone’s pay, and I know many other firms doing the same. It’s only the ‘bloodshed’ events that tend to make or dominate the news on employment (and everything else, for that matter…), but that’s not the total reality of what’s going on out in the world. As of this interview, we seem to be — cautiously — turning the corner on the COVID crisis, so let’s hope we keep moving in that direction.
  2. Always look for the neutral/positive messages in things like the news, and it’s important to be fully present and focused as to the type of news you’re consuming. For example, my wife and I have this dynamic in the house right now wherein she tends to read a lot of news connected to social media, blogs, and what I call the “Red Letter News” (i.e. the ones that tend to flash the scary text on the screen in big red letters — very sensational indeed), whereas I tend to shun all of that and look for more objective and balanced sources of information (although that’s getting harder these days). So, she’ll tell me about some ‘scary article’ she read, but then I tell her that I actually read about the same topic and if you read the entirety of the matter and check the sources, it notes that the situation is really not as dire as that scary headline and the opening sentences made you think it was. In general, I’m appalled at the way journalism is practiced these days, and people should demand more accountability from the press!
  3. Remember that if your business is hurting, many of your clients probably are too. So, what are you doing to do to address that? We’ve been very proactive during this global ‘pause’ to ensure our clients are kept up to speed on the information we are gathering, the data and projections we are developing, and what our plans for them and our business look like when we come out of this situation. Across the board, everyone seems thankful that they are at least being provided with some type of information and presented with a plan, rather than feeling like everything is a TBD or an unknown. There is enough uncertainty out there already, so do your best to avoid getting lost in it and instead focus on the things you still CAN do despite all of this, rather than on the things you cannot do.
  4. The phrase ‘this too shall pass’ is popular for a reason, and it certainly applies here. We’ll get through this in time, and even though there will be a ‘New Normal’ on the other side, what’s important is there will certainly be another side!
  5. Generally speaking, we as a people don’t slow down well. We don’t like to be told what to do or to be metaphorically put inside a box. So even if just for the sake of the catharsis of it, we expect to see folks rebound back to their ‘normal’ habits quickly, and that includes buying cars, homes, having a nice dinner, and more. That said, many businesses will not be able to operate as they did before (or at all), and we are going to suffer from this in the form of a legitimate recession in the mid-to-long term, so we can’t take our collective eye off that ball.

From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?

  1. Always encourage common-sense analysis over emotional or sensational analysis. For example, if you really apply this paradigm to something like watching the basic news right now, you’ll immediately find that very little air time is spent on the presentation of facts and/or objective matters. In the absence of those facts, a huge vacuum is left, which is being filled by opinion, speculation, and emotional responses — and almost always by people who are not at all experts on the given topic. It’s a toxic environment at a time like this.
  2. Don’t over-absorb the media right now, and be wary of going down the rabbit hole of social media wherein the passive-aggressive nature of the interaction on such a platform often allows for discourse to spiral off course or become negative rather quickly.
  3. Check-in with friends and family more often. You likely find you can help one another just by connecting, and you might find some great perspective. For example, my 94-year-old grandmother is a brass-tacks gal and is still sharp as a razor mentally. She’s so calm about all of this; it’s great to hear her point-of-view as someone who prefers to focus on the essentials and why it’s all going to be fine in the scheme of things.
  4. Don’t let folks get carried away with their fears, but at the same time, be sure to respect valid concerns.
  5. Use history for support. From the Great Recession to many other low points in U.S. and world history, we’ve successfully been through a lot, and we’re still here and moving forward. That’s not going to change.

What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?

Look to your positive friends and family members to lift up your spirits, rather than looking for a group of folks who are also feeling down and anxious with whom you feel you can commiserate.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

Well, this might be another unpopular view, but a Black Swan event like this shows how many people never saved or prepared for a rainy day. Instead, they’re living the “paycheck-to-paycheck” life. Just look at how dire things have become for many folks after what is, in fact, a rather brief pause in the grand scheme of things! There is an old, military-inspired quote (I think dating back to hundreds of years B.C. and coming out of the Eastern world) that says, “Chop wood. Carry water.” It’s interpreted in many different ways, so I’ll leave it open to interpretation here (especially since I’ve given a preface).

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

The list of movements I’d like to start to better the world is rather long, ha-ha! One thing that scares me on a near-daily basis, however, is how we as human beings sometimes fail to take a moment to contemplate and apply common sense to the information presented to us, or even develop our own opinions and thoughts. So many people simply regurgitate commentary from televised broadcasts or their Facebook feed, and that’s a dangerous way to live. (Note: I tend to like future dystopian books and films, and I have seen or read many, and it’s no coincidence that the issue I mention here is a common theme in all of them!).

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