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Keller is Adamant About Focusing on the Main Thing

April 2013

Gary Keller is adamant about one thing, and that’s the one thing.

As the chairman of Austin-based Keller Williams Realty Inc., Keller is a best-selling author who recently published “The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results.”

He spoke about his latest book at the Austin Business Journal’s Face 2 Face program Tuesday morning.

“It’s surprisingly simple, but are you going to give yourself up to simplicity or are you going to argue for complexity?” Keller said.

The secret to success is figuring out what matters most and then wholeheartedly pursue that one thing, while letting most of the rest fall by the wayside.

Multitasking, he said, is the opposite of pursuing that one thing and is the reason for a lot of failure or underachievement.

“Multitasking is a physical lie,” Keller said. “The truth is you can’t do two things at the same time, so what’s the one thing that you could do?”

The one thing Keller figured out he could do was sell homes.

He started selling homes after receiving a bachelor’s degree in real estate from Baylor University in the late 1970s. That’s when he moved to Austin and sold six homes in his first month on the job.

The key to his success, he said, was being the first person there when somebody was buying or selling a home. What that often meant was prospecting or cold-calling to ensure that he was the first one in line to help someone who was in the market.

“Almost 70 percent of sellers and buyers go with the first person they talk to,” Keller said. “Real estate is very proactive. I knocked on doors. I worked expired listings.”


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