Brand Partner Content

John Gafford Shares His 3 Principles to Success


In a world with lots of information floating around, getting quality advice on success is getting harder by the day. While we could read tons of books on success, looking up to successful people and their careers or fields of influence is always a better option. John Gafford is one such individual. Gafford is the owner of the largest luxury real estate brokerage in Nevada and has developed multiple seven-figure income streams in the real estate space. He previously worked in the hospitality, insurance, and tech industries and is one of the two founders of The Simply Group. He is a sought-after contributor, speaker, and consultant.

John’s biggest secret to winning is learning how to work smart. Before joining his co-owner Gavin Ernstone to create the Simply Group, he says he was working like crazy in his previous company, with massive overhead and seeing the smallest return on investment of any business he had ever been involved in. That changed when he started focusing on quality and not the quantity of input. He has since learned this is the foolproof way of creating and sustaining a seven-figure business.

The Simply Group became profitable by bringing in the top, most experienced producers who needed little training and guidance, ensuring a zero failure rate because they were proven and had minimal overhead. The group had to poach talent from other established businesses, change software, upgrade personnel, and streamline the system, but in the end, it was worth it. Currently, The Simply Group ranks as the third-largest company in Nevada by volume, and they do it with a third of the agents of the top two and have the highest average sales price.

Another lesson Gafford says he learned is focusing on what you know and learning the rest on the job. When he was just starting in the real estate field, he focused on how he has always been good at analyzing trends and is a great developer of talent. He had no website, no leads, and no knowledge of the local market, and yet when the market crashed, and others failed, he excelled. Cashing in on his prior success as an entrepreneur in the hospitality, insurance, and tech spaces, he focused on what had made him good in those industries. He mainly paid attention to becoming an expert at short sales before becoming the largest foreclosure agent in the country. If you want to succeed, sometimes you will have to build the plane as you fly it. You can’t wait until you have a perfect set of conditions to start.

The third principle of success is marketing. Gafford says you have to get the word out there that you exist to succeed in any industry, especially in the early days. People, and the resulting relationships, are important. The Simply Group has become popular through Gafford’s creative and innovative marketing techniques. Gafford is not a stranger to controversy and relishes taking polarization to the extreme. Regardless of what people say about you, the fact they are saying something is all that matters. He also says he wishes someone had told him early on that the relationship, not the deal, is the most important factor in real estate. Speaking of a former client he served, he says, “I told him I was in it for the relationship, he was blown away and instantly started talking about other people in his circle wanted to hook me up with.” Building and maintaining quality relationships is a sure-fire way to achieving success.