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Stop Trying To Look Good – Learn Something Useful

September 21 2011

It’s so ridiculously easy to get a real estate license in most states. Even Dilbert gets some career advice:


Once they have a license, most rookies get deluged with conflicting advice and slapped with dubious training from management. A fair splattering of slick vendors also focus on building relationships with agents friends and acquaintances.

But there is a different, more authentic way to attract future business.


 There are some mind changing conversations taking place online right now. The first conversation that struck me was from Chris Smith’s post over at Inman Next entitled “It Is No Longer A Relationship Business” :

I view buying or selling a home as a transaction, not a process I want to get a new friend out of.

Especially on Facebook by the way.

No doing lunch. No birthday cards. No golf. No friend requests.

Just handle my transaction brilliantly.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Rob Hahn over on Notorious ROBNotorious ROB fleshes out similar thoughts:

Is it unrealistic to think that if you spent less time trying to build relationships and more time being the best damn real estate professional in the world, that you’d end up being top of mind far more often? That if you took all the effort you put into talking about yourself into just blowing the client away, that you might get more referrals than fewer?

Or to put it into Twitter-friendly terms, how about…

Less talk; more doing“.

Stefan Swanepoel wrote about relevant knowledge and quality of service in his article:  “How many real estate agents should not have a licenseHow many real estate agents should not have a license

The consumer is looking for real knowledge, proven experience and professional quality service.

So ask yourself: Do I have all the specific knowledge that may be required for a specific task whether that’s handling a short sale, a foreclosure, a luxury property, the staging of a home or a green transaction?

If not, and if you care in Raising the Bar in our industry, then understand that the time has come to for you to focus on improving your knowledge, your skill set and increasing the value you bring to the home buying transaction.

Inna Hardison was prompted (after reading Chris Smiths post) to write on her blogwrite on her blog about recommendations and referrals:

Relationships, while should not be confused with friendships, still involve obligations and liabilities on both sides.

And people, by and large, are rather protective of whom they’d like to obligate themselves to.

I think that as a consumer, I’d want the same thing from my real estate agent as Chris – save me the headaches of dealing with paperwork, listen to my needs, make the process as painless (for me) as possible and be there when I need you.  In short – handle my transaction seamlessly, brilliantly.  I don’t flip houses, so statistically, you probably won’t sell me another home, but if you handle my transaction brilliantly and I don’t hear from you again unless I have a problem with the home – I will recommend you to my friends and family.  I will even dig for your name if I’d forgotten it, even if I have to resurrect my HUD statement to do that.  What I know for a fact is that I will never refer business to someone just because they keep sending me cards or gifts or because they are my FB friends or twitter followers.

I will NEVER risk my reputation with people I actually do have a relationship with because of convenience.

Anybody seeing the common thread running though these conversations?

Returning to Rob Hahn’s thoughts on his post, here is the takeaway that could change your whole business approach:

In every single transaction, there is at least one opportunity in which the agent can do something memorable. It doesn’t matter how vanilla, how routine, how run-of-the-mill the transaction is for you the agent. For the consumer, this is a major, major transaction. There is at least one opportunity to leave a lasting impression of brilliant execution. If it doesn’t exist, you’re not looking hard enough. Find that opportunity. Do that thing. Leave one lasting memory in the client’s mind.

It will come back to you hundredfold.

My advice is to print up this graphic and stick it to the top of your computer screen where you cannot ignore it.

do that thing

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m not advocating that you abandon your social media activities in the near future, but we will discuss soon how these efforts can be more focused on skills and knowledge.

View the original post on the Web Real Estate MarketingWeb Real Estate Marketing blog.