If you came across Claudio Cuomo in 2010 and asked him if he wanted to go it alone and run his own real estate business, he'd have met your question with a firm and adamant "no". Yet almost a decade later he is running his own highly successful company - and was just last year named amongst Eview group's top performing agents. Here we delve a little deeper into his story to discover why he was so convinced by Eview's multi-brand model - and how taking a leap of faith allowed him to develop personally and professionally more than he could ever have imagined.
Fear of the unknown kept me from starting my own business
This is something I think a lot of people on the cusp of entrepreneurship struggle with. Conjuring up the courage to leave another established business when you've been working there for 11 years is a little like having a safety blanket or dummy removed as a child, I guess. It's the environment you've known, grown familiar and confident with. It's all about pushing beyond that comfort zone. I could describe being struck down for days pondering all the things that could go wrong, financial commitments that wouldn't be met if things didn't go to plan - you've probably heard it 1,000 times. It wasn't a feeling of being embarrassed or fear of failure. It was more about not wanting to let anyone or my family down or have them suffer, or take a step backwards professionally and financially.
There was that fear of course of the deep unknown, all the additional responsibility and management commitments. Did I have the right skills, patience and ability to do all that extra stuff?
I felt confident that Eview could help me to start my own agency
There came a point where I just got tired of listening to those little voices in my head. I was tired of living in fear and very blessed that I had a wonderful wife, future business partner and a mentor in Manos who all believed in me, and us. At that point, I just thought f*** it! Let's do it!
I'd met Manos multiple times over many years in training rooms with various industry mentors. I guess it's always a good sign when you're in the same headspace - you both like to learn and have a similar mindset. I'd also heard about Manos' business ethos and philosophy and thought "wow". A system that actually rewards the people that are in the trenches pulling the long hours and doing the hard yards. That sounds amazing - and potentially too good to be true...
I guess ultimately going down and meeting the team was the turning point for me. Getting the vibe, speaking to them - just the way they run the back end support and have this fantastic set-up that is highly professional. It really made me think, and I realised: I can pretty much still focus on what I love doing and not get bogged down in all the boring stuff - stuff I had no interest or passion for. That is the brilliant, magic formula that Manos and the entire Eview family have created - and it's perfect for fledgeling or established business owners who need that support and space to grow.
Working with Eview helped me to develop on a professional and personal level
This has been an amazing journey. It's involved learning so many new skills and tools, continually venturing outside my comfort zone. Interacting with some of the other awesome performers in the group has elevated and changed the game - and my mindset in approaching certain things. An example of this is a conversation I had with Jarrod Carmen at one of the group events. It showed me I should believe in my skills, be proud of my track record and should charge the fee my team is worth. This is just a small example amongst many - each of which have helped me to build a solid, successful company. It's been an awesome business marriage, so to speak...
If you don't build your own business, you risk being unfulfilled in later life
If you continue to live your life and make key decisions about what's possible based around your fears, you will very likely wake up an old man or woman full of regrets - with that "should have, could have, would have" mentality haunting you. I know that after just over a year in business with the group I wish I had taken the leap of faith and done it much earlier. However, myself, my family and my business partner are truly grateful that people like Manos and the team continued to believe in us and didn't give up. We made it. That means it is possible - for anyone who wants it enough.
There's never the "right time". There will always be that bill or commitment around the corner that makes you feel chained down, convinces you that you can't do it yet. Just leave the bullsh** story we tell ourselves behind, trust in yourself and give it your best shot. Believe that you can do it. With Eview there is a seriously massive team behind the scenes set up to help you - from admin, HR and legal, to accounting and business strategy sessions. These guys are seriously well ahead of the game - and actually, do care about your success.
Claudio's top tips
Set sensible goals - and commit to them
I'm intensely goal-driven. I constantly strive to be the best - but for me, that's not just about financial milestones and making more money. I focus on being ethical, genuine and trusted, building a solid client base on word-of-mouth recommendations. My personal morals and beliefs mould my goals and objectives, which I set periodically to ensure I'm staying on track.
Take a leap of faith
I did take a leap of faith when I decided to set up in business. Although it felt as though the risk was greatly minimised with Eview by my side, I still had to make some tough decisions and dive into the unknown. If you want to move forward and progress, you have to face your fear. They say that the things you want always lie just outside your comfort zone - and in real estate that's undoubtedly true.
Embrace new technology and ideas
Real estate as an industry is constantly evolving - and with new technologies released every few months, it's important to stay on top of everything to ensure you're still ahead of the game. It's better to embrace change and implement it sooner rather than later - as sticking your head in the sand or clinging on to old disciplines and mentalities could cause you to fall behind competitor brands.
Massive thanks to M&M and to the countless people behind the scenes that make it all happen. If anyone reading this has any questions or feels the same way I did, on the cusp of something remarkable, why not give me a call? I'm always available to advise and support agents who are keen to carve their own path in the industry - just as others helped me.
Find more professional guidance and industry commentary here on the blog - or get in touch to discover how you can create a business worth having with Australia's first multi-branded real estate group.
"The 60 Second Entrepreneur"
"The 60 Second Entrepreneur" is an important book for any person who dreams of creating a successful business. Many of Manos's examples are taken from his Real Estate experience, but also draws upon over 30 years of being self employed and the lessons he teaches are fundamental business truths which anyone can profit from.