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Referrals – The Never-Ending Stream

“Word of mouth” is by far the most effective type of advertising there is, and it’s FREE.

But, WHY exactly do people refer to you? 

People recommend you because it makes THEM look good.

When your client recommends you, it means they have 100% confidence that you will provide the exact same level of exemplary service to their friends and family, that you provided to them.

When people have this level of confidence in you, they will go out of their way—without being asked—to recommend you.

On the other hand, if there was anything about their experience working with you that wasn’t perfect, they might be unwilling to take the risk that you might make them look bad.

Have you ever thought you did a great job, asked your clients for referrals, thought for sure they were going to come through, and it just never happened?

Maybe they told you they were 100% satisfied and thought you did a great job.  So, why no referrals?

It’s probably...

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True Integrity

The word “integrity” is grossly over-used in Real Estate, including by the worst Salesy Slicksters who have none.  When I say over-used, I’m talking “chef’s kitchen” or “gleaming hardwood!”

Here’s my definition  of what true “integrity” means in Real Estate:

  1. You are an “agent,” as opposed to a “salesperson.” You always act in your clients’ best interest, without regard to your own potential benefit.  Sometimes this means talking yourself out of a commission check.
  2. You perform your duties to the very best of your abilities at all times. Easy to say, not so easy to execute.  It means skipping lunch with a friend, so you have enough time to nail the correct price on your CMA.  It means telling your client the straight-up-truth, no matter how little they want to hear it.  You do the difficult stuff. 
  3. You recognize your weaknesses, and you constantly work...
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The Power of Habit

All this month, I’ve been writing about how to Get Stuff Done, in anticipation of a New Year (and a New Decade) just around the corner (34 days to go).

While I’m in the mood to increase productivity (including my own), I started reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, which provides an extremely insightful look at how habits work and how to change them to have a powerful and positive effect on your life.  This book has confirmed to me that I’m on the right track with my last few blog posts, but it’s made things even clearer.  It’s exciting to learn more!

In Rules and Routines, I described how trying to make radical changes through sheer willpower alone was a recipe for disaster, so instead, you should start with baby steps by implementing simple Rules and then building on those Rules over time to create a Routine.

The Power of Habit refers to these baby steps as “small wins,” incremental achievements that give you a sense...

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The Self-Imposed Deadline

Are you the type of REALTOR® who thrives on deadlines?  You’ve procrastinated on that CMA all week, and now you’ve got 45 minutes to get it done.  No problem!  When you’ve got a deadline, you always come through.

There are two ways you can look at this:

  1. When you’ve got a deadline, you’re able to get a lot of work done quickly and efficiently;
  2. You leave everything to the last minute, and therefore the work is often not to the standard that you’d like.

Chances are there’s some truth to both statements.  Sure, you got the CMA done, and it’s good, but half-way through the Listing Appointment, you realize that you’re missing some critical information.  You msessed up.

If you lose the listing, what’s the potential cost?  Ten grand?  Maybe more?  All because you left the CMA to the last minute?

What if you had completed that CMA 24 hours before and then allowed yourself additional...

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48 Days Until 2020

If you’re reading this on the day it was posted (November 14, 2019), you’ve got 48 days until a new decade begins on January 1, 2020.  Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions planned?

Here’s a better question:  Why wait?

If you’re planning to make improvements, whether personally or professionally, there’s no time like the present; I’ll show you how to get started, easily, TODAY!

When you think about it, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to expect that you’ll instantly change your ways overnight.  You’ll go to bed with ALL your bad habits on December 31, and magically wake up the morning of January 1, with all new good habits?  Uh-huh.  Yup.  Sure you will.

I think it’s great that you’ve got plans for improvement, but let’s give you an honest fighting chance at success.

It’s absolutely fine and good to set New Year’s resolutions.  But, rather than waiting...

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Rules and Routines

Improving your life through sheer willpower might work for some super-humans, but it’s a recipe for disaster for most of us.  You try to do something; you fail, you feel discouraged, you stop trying.

On the other hand, establishing a few simple ‘Rules and Routines’ can add order to your life, and make you feel far more in control and more productive.

You can introduce ‘Rules’ incrementally as a way towards accomplishing a much bigger goal.  For example, let’s set a rule towards a bigger goal of weight loss:

Weight Loss Rule #1 – No snacking after 7:00 p.m.

All you have to do is master that one rule for now.  That’s it.  And by the way, this is a good rule for everyone, whether you need to lose weight or not, because eating late at night interferes with your circadian rhythm.  If you eliminate eating after 7:00, you’ll improve your digestion, you’ll sleep better and you’ll wake up more...

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The Follow-Up

Note from Ted: This is a savagely pared-down portion of ‘The Follow-Up’ module from the upcoming Knowledge First Real Estate Master’s Program.  It’s REALLY hard for me to take something I’ve worked so hard at perfecting and then shrink it to 10% of the size, kind of like seeing only 10% of a painting!  Not that I think I’m an artist or anything, but I’m pretty darn proud of this thing.  Anyway, hopefully, you get a few tidbits out of this portion.

Over the last three Memos, we talked about Building Relationships, The FORD Method, and How to Talk Gooder.  Assuming you’ve now got a nice pile of hot and warm prospects, what’s next?

It’s ‘The Follow-Up’!

First, purge the negative self-talk that is preventing you from following through.

“I don’t want to bother people!”

“I don’t want to come across as too salesy!”

Stop it!   If you use the method I’m...

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How to Talk Gooder

Last week, we talked about how to initiate conversations with people using The FORD Method.

Once you’ve got a good conversation going, don’t be in a hurry to steer the topic to Real Estate.  That’s being a Salesy Slickster.

Do.  Not.  Be.  A.  Salesy.  Slickster.

Just let the conversation go where it may.  LISTEN, show interest, and enjoy the opportunity to meet a new and (hopefully) interesting person.  Maybe you’ll learn something!  Or, at the very least, maybe you’ll enjoy yourself!

Life isn’t ALL about Real Estate, you know.

If you’re enjoying the conversation, chances are the other person is, too.  You’re developing rapport! 

Remember the “O” in The FORD Method (occupation)?  If the conversation starts to lag a bit, you can always ask the other person, “What do you do?”.

Now, listen!  Show interest.  Ask follow-up questions.

Almost...

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The FORD Method

As a professional REALTOR®, you should always be ready to discuss Real Estate.  But, don’t be a boor.

“Hi there!  I’m Jack Smith with ABC Realty!  Are you folks in the market to buy or sell within the next 30-90 days?”

Ugh.  Get away from me, Jack.

Guess what?  The world is sick and tired of salesy slicksters. 

Instead, you should be working on establishing a reputation as a Trusted Real Estate Expert, and conducting yourself like a professional.

Have you ever met a family physician at a party, and all of a sudden, they’re handing over their card and inviting you to come in for a check-up?  You’re trying to get away from them, and now they’re following you around.  “You know, I really think I ought to take a look at that mole on your neck!” ‍

No?  This hasn’t happened to you?  Ya, that’s because physicians are professionals.

You should conduct yourself like...

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Building Relationships

Many REALTORS® believe that Real Estate is a transaction-based business.  Those are the poor ones.

Real Estate is a relationship-based business.

If you want more clients, you need to interact with more people, more often, and you need the right skills to develop trust and rapport with them.

The most successful REALTORS® project these four distinct attributes, all at once:

  • Professionalism
  • Confidence
  • Friendliness
  • Authenticity

What about you?  Ask a close friend or co-worker for their honest opinion, and if you are not clearly projecting all four of these qualities in your interactions, consider how you could improve.

I would say that most agents are weak in at least one of the four.  When you are honest with yourself, and you work to improve your core competencies, you’ll be surprised how quickly people become drawn to you.

Professionalism

In Real Estate, you’re a true professional if you continuously work towards improving your knowledge and...

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