Gary Elwood

Author Archives: Gary Elwood

Never Say These 4 Phrases When You Are Negotiating

Every real estate agents spends a good deal of time negotiating. It might be a little haggling with the buyers to go in half on a sump pump for a home or a full-blown, knock-down, drag-out fight with another agent over multiple offers.

Whatever the case and no matter how experienced you are…you can often sabotage your work with careless and silly mistakes.

Mistakes I’ve seen even veterans make.

It’s going to happen. You are in the heat of an exchange and out it pops. This is why you need to be aware and alert.

So let’s look at four phrases you should never use.

“Go to hell.”

It’s easy to get offended. Someone insults our hard work and out pops a snide comment that means nothing less than you wish they were dead.

You might be right, but the problem with this is you’ve just burned down that bridge between you and that other person.

If it’s a client…say good-bye to any trust or rapport you’ve built up with them. If it’s another agent…watch your back. You will more than likely have to work with that person again…and it might not be pretty.

“We’re getting close.”

Signalling to the other side that you are getting tired of the negotiation and you would love simply to come to an agreement is a nothing more than a white flag that says, “I surrender. Come pillage me.”

A negotiator who knows what he is doing will stall and ask for more concessions.

And since you’ve imposed this imaginary deadline on the negotiations you are going to feel pressured to give you because, man, you just want this to be over with!

Don’t do that.

Instead, give your opponent the feeling that you have all the time in the world to close things. Let him or her get fatigued. And when they say, “I think we’re getting close,” come in with your concessions.


Never offer a range–whether it is a price or a date–when it comes to negotiation. If you the person on the other is naturally going to choose the one most beneficial to him.

For example, if a buyer wants to know when he can move in, the wrong thing to say is, “Between December 2 and the 20th.” Why wouldn’t he choose the earliest date?

If a seller says that he would let the house go “between $505,000 and $515,000” any sane buyer is going to offer the lowest price. Using a range concedes negotiation ground without a return concession. Don’t do it.

“You make the first offer.”

Conventional negotiation wisdom always says that you never be the first to name a price. Let the other person do that. That way you understand their position and actually have an advantage.

It may be way higher than you expected…or it may be way lower.

Well, new studies are beginning to reveal that the first number has a way of grounding the conversation.

In other words, even if the number you offered is way higher than what the other person expected you may still get it because they now feel obligated to work around that number.

So, if you have the chance, be the first one to make the offer.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Related Articles

10 Must-Read Post on Great Real Estate Negotiating Ideas

10 Must-Read Posts on Great Real Estate Sales Ideas

How Social Scientists Taught You to Close More Deals

Agents: Want Your Tweets to Go Viral? New Study Says It’s All in Your Timing

To say real estate agents are busy is a gross understatement.

You more than likely are juggling more plates than any sane human being should be allowed to do.

Throw on top of that the pressure to use social media, and you more than likely threw up your hands.

Perhaps you simply plunged into social media and started throwing a shed-load of stuff on the wall hoping something sticks.

How’s that working for you?

Probably not very well.

In fact, recent data from bitly, the tool commonly used to shorten URLs, has collected metrics on the links that are shared across networks…and their conclusion is that the timing of your Facebook posts or tweets will impact the ROI from each little meta action.

In other words, post on Facebook on the right day at the right time and you’ll get more mileage out of your efforts. Same thing with tweets and Tumblr posts.

Let’s take a look at bitly’s data.

Timing Facebook Posts to Go Viral

To raise the click-through rates on the links you share in your Facebook posts (preferably your links back to your own content), then bitly’s data says that you need to post between 1 and 4 P.M Eastern Standard Time.

What’s the best day of the week to post? Wednesday at 3 P.M. EST.

Bitly data also suggested that traffic tails off after 4 P.M. EST and don’t expect to get much traction from posts shared on the weekends.

Moral of the story: Share posts on weekdays between 1 and 4 P.M. EST, Wednesday being your best day.

Timing Twitter Posts to Go Viral

What about Twitter? Going on bitly’s data it looks like your best bet to get a link to go viral is to send a tweet between 1 and 3 P.M. But this works for Monday through Thursday, with the days coming earlier in the week being better producers of traction.

Friday is in a class all it’s own. Sharing a link any time before 3 P.M. could go viral. After that things to slow down dramatically as people get ready for the weekend. And anything after 8 P.M. is a wash.

Just like Facebook, weekends are not good days to share tweets.

Timing Tumblr Posts to Go Viral

While Tumblr adoption by real estate agents has been slow, it’s starting to gain traction as a decked out version Twitter with an amplified share effect known as “retumble.”

So what are the best times to post on Tumblr?  Well, Twitter and Facebook shared a lot of things in common, there usage patterns looking very similar. Tumblr is much different.

Bity says that links spike from 7 to 10 P.M. on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Friday evenings are equally hot time to post with links getting clicked way more often over a 24 hour period when share after 7 P.M.


While social media and this new study may give you a headache, and you’ve decided to wash your hands of social media…or not even participate to begin with…I think this data is good news for those real estate agents who’ve jumped in.

For one you now can focus your efforts instead of just randomly posting at will. Now you have a timing target to aim at.

In addition, you can now maximize your potential audience by targeting different time frames. What doesn’t work on the weekdays can now work on Friday evenings and part of Saturday, thanks to Tumlbr.

So what do you think: Is this good information? Do you use social media? Do you have corraborating or conflicting evidence with bitly’s data?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Related Articles

Real Estate Lead Generation in the Age of Social Media

What Kind of Time Are You Putting into Social Media?

The 3 Best Social Media Ideas for Improving Your Sales

Real Estate Lead Generation in the Age of Social Media

Lead generation is critical when it comes to a real estate agent’s marketing efforts. If leads aren’t coming in then you will eventually go out of business.

In the past a real estate agent could depend upon tools like direct marketing mailers and response hotlines. Now social media and all it’s promises of great lead generation have come along and seduced a lot of agents without delivering any verifiable goods.

Don’t get me wrong…I like social media and think that it can be a great networking tool. But there are some key things you need to think about.

First off you need to stop saying things like “I need a Twitter account” or “Oh man, Pinterest is blowing up…I need to jump on their and get started using it for homes and stuff.”

That’s jumping the gun and putting the horse before the cart.

Instead you need to think more strategically.

Understand your prospects

Good lead generation always starts with knowing your target prospect inside and out. This means good research about this audience. Go door to door, call them on the phone, talk to them at the local groceries or park. Get to know them. A good social media lead-generation strategy is always established on good customer research.

Understand the local economy

How has the recession impacted your market? Is unemployment high? Foreclosures high? When it comes to social media you need to be sure you are talking to your audience with a sensitivity that respects the local economy. If you sound like you are out of touch then you’ll ruin your reputation.

Capture and maintain leads

Once you’ve understood your market and the economy, your social media lead generation strategy needs to look at how you intend to capture and maintain data on your leads. CRM programs like Batchbook can help you manage social media leads.

Give good customer service

You need to think about how you treat customers is going to impact your social media efforts. Reviews on your services could show up in places like Yelp. People are always looking online for opinions. What they read will definitely impact what they think of you. You have to make sure you are giving great customer service. Bad feedback can easily hurt your efforts.

Evaluate tools

The worse possible thing you could do is jump onto every new, shiny social media platform that comes online. Instead you need to think about what you are trying to accomplish, who your ideal customer is and where he or she will likely spend time online. Facebook has proven to be very effective lead gen social media for real estate agents, with Twitter a distant second. Blogging has also proven to be effective in generating leads. Pinterest has potential in that you could build boards of house or interior designs ideas people could follow. YouTube might be helpful, too.

Your Turn

The goal with your social media lead generation campaign is not to waste your time. And that’s exactly what can happen if you don’t approach social media thoughtfully.

So tell me: have you had any success using social media to generate leads?

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Related Articles

What Kind of Time Are You Putting into Social Media?

Nine Dead-Simple Ways to Persuade People

The 3 Best Social Media Ideas for Improving Your Sales

How to (Always) Remember People’s Names

Part of a series on real estate persuasion training.

When it comes to being persuasive, one of the most important, effective and easy ways that you can make an impression on people is by simply remembering their name. That’s pretty cool, because you will more than likely meet thousands of people during your career as a real estate agent…and the last thing you want to do is forget someone’s name you just met.

So how do you keep from forgetting someone’s name? I mean…most of us forget people’s names within seconds of meeting them. We get distracted or preoccupied with what we want to say to them because we really want the conversation to go well…and then comes the time you have to part ways and you have done the most awful thing…you’ve forgotten their name!

Has that ever happened to you? It has me hundreds of times. I hate it so in order to help me and you remember people’s names I’ve developed this technique.

The essence of this technique to make a concerted effort to remember their name the FIRST time they say it. If you don’t get it right the first time around you may have to embarrass yourself to get it at the end of the conversation.

Of course you can always ask a friend what that person’s name you just met is…as long as they know it. If they don’t then try this…

  1. When the person says hi to you, repeat their name like this: “Oh, hi Allen.”
  2. Then start repeating it dozens of times in your head.
  3. Next, ask them about their name. “Allen. Is that spelled with one or two l’s?” This works especially great if their name is unusual, like Malchus. “Oh, hi Malchus. I’m not good with names. How do you spell that. Is it M-A-L-C-H-U-S?” The goal behind this is to get them to repeat their name a few times to help you cement it in your head.
  4. Now you can introduce your self. “Hi, Malchus, it’s nice to meet you. I’m Gary.”
  5. At this point you want to let them talk. Listen carefully to what they are saying…even ask some leading questions about their job or life. What you are trying to do is create some kind of association between them and their name. This is especially helpful if their name is common like “Bob” or “Susan.” Think of something like “Bob who went to Baylor.” Or Susan who went to “San Diego.”
  6.  When it comes time to say good bye…because to be the life of the party you will eventually move on…this is where you close with, “Hey Susan, it was great meeting you. I need to go deliver this drink to my friend but I look forward to talking to you again.”

This will take some practice to make it natural and not feel so awkward, so be patience and keep trying!

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Related Articles

Your First Step to Persuasion: Knowing What You Want

Make Sure You Know the Answer to This Question Before Your Next Presentation

7 Ways to Make People Feel Like the Center of the Universe

3 Tactics for Closing a Sale

It’s pretty common in real estate…sales people are moving down the sales presentation beautifully, hitting all of their points, handling objections, making clients and prospects feel like their are the center of the universe.

And when they come to the close…they get stuck in the mud.

It’s like all of their real estate training goes out the window!

What gives?

Well, to be honest, this situation is most often seen at small businesses versus large brokerage houses. Why is that? Well, the large houses usually invest in significant amounts of real estate training, especially when it comes to closing a sale.

The smaller brokers tend to have the perception that agents should already know how to do this. Have you ever experienced this?

Let me show you how to revamp your sales strategy so you can boost your closing rates. Here’s my advice:

Sales Tactic #1: Boost your confidence

Really good sales people not only know how to talk to complete strangers, compliment people, show off their wonderful personality and demonstrate great skills in presenting…but often they struggle in the area of asking for the sale.

Sometimes this comes from a lack of trust in the company or the product. Other times it’s rooted in a fear of personal rejection.

To overcome this you need to start learning more about your customers and what you are selling…and then practice these skills. In addition, approach your broker and ask if he or she will invest in sales training. Tell them it will be a good return on investment.

Sales Tactic #2 – Induce scarcity into your presentations

Scarcity is a great tool to use to get people to close sales themselves. If you can put into the mind of a client that you only have one of something…one ranch in this neighborhood with four bedrooms and three baths…they will feel a need to hurry and place an offer on it.

If you don’t use the word “only” and make it seem like the supply is abundant, then your client will feel in no hurry to place an offer. That’s why you have to make things seem like a one-of-a-kind offer.

Some people feel like the word “only” is one of the most powerful words in a sales person’s vocabulary. If you are really creative you can make every home you represent a one-of-a-kind place.

There is “only” one condo on this block that has two bathrooms and is near the subway. Or, there is “only” one villa this a block away from the beach that has a garage.

See how that works?

Sales Tactic #3 – Never wait for “yes”

When  you are a real estate agent, you need to be impatient. What I mean by that is you can’t wait for a prospect to tell you that they want to buy or sell. You have to assume that they want to buy or sell.

You say, “Okay, any more questions before I sit down to write up the contract?”

When they say “no,” that is your cue to start filling out the contract. As you can see, the word “no” actually becomes a positive.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Related Articles

Eliminate This Behavior and Become More Effective

Bait and Switch, Selling and Telling the Truth

How to Make Any House Irresistible

The Science of the Giving and Receiving Compliments

Part of Real Estate Training Series on Persuasion

If you think about it, flattery is the grease that makes the social wheels glide. Now, I’m not talking about brown-nosing, but giving sincere compliments. Do that and you will generate such positive energy with other people that real estate deals will close like magic.

See, they make the relationship between two people a relationship built around trust and kindness. But like I said above, there is a way you have to do it. Plus, there is a way to receive them.

When to Give a Compliment

Might seem pretty obvious but you give a compliment when you notice an effort or situation that deserves a compliment, which makes them a way to show people that you are paying attention to them.

If you think about it, we need to cultivate this identification of good things happening around us.

Once you notice something that is worth a compliment, say it. Say it out loud…and make it clear to who you are complimenting and about what you are complimenting them about.

Whether your client or co-worker, people get a lot of value from a compliment. The value comes from them knowing that we are noticing them. And you can get a lot of mileage out of a compliment since people tend to feed off of compliments.

Personally, giving compliments will also help lift our mood as the positive energy returns to us from a person who is feeling good about themselves because you complimented them.

Insincere Flattery

These are powerful gifts that you give freely that tell a person he is special and you care about them. However, they only work if you are sincere about them. Nothing can put off a person more than a fake compliment. In fact, they’ll backfire if you do that.

All you have to do to use this social skill is be honest. Tell people what you think. If you see someone wearing a jacket you like…tell them. If you see someone driving a car you admire…tell them.

It’s really that simple. And the returns are huge.

They do a great job of elevating the atmosphere of good, positive energy. Compliments are also a great way to open up a conversation…and a spectacular way to end one.

How to Respond to a Compliment

There is also an appropriate way to respond to a compliment…which is to say “Thank you.” Instead, too many people tend to brush it off with a “Oh, that was nothing. Slapped that thing together in 5 minutes.”

Or, “Well, I feel about 15 pounds heavier today.”

There is only one good way to receive a compliment and that is to smile and say thank you. Don’t deflate the person giving the compliment…which can make things very awkward. No matter how difficult it is for you to receive a compliment, don’t deflate someone’s judgement by brushing it off.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Related Articles

Make Sure You Know the Answer to This Question Before Your Next Presentation

Powerful Persuasion: 10 Simple Ways to Establish Rapport

Your First Step to Persuasion: Knowing What You Want

7 Ways to Make People Feel Like the Center of the Universe [Real Estate Persuasion Training-Part 2]

Part of a series on real estate persuasion training.

Real estate agents invest in people, not houses. As a real estate agent, you need relationships to succeed.

But that means you need relationships with not just clients, but those in your office or across town. Heck, even across the nation. And the best way to build those relationships is to make them feel special.

Make them feel like they are the center of the world.

How should you do that? Here are seven ways that Brian Tracy outlines in his wonderful little book “No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline.”

•  Accept people the way they are. Most people will be rude or mean, critics and judges…so you can offer people unconditional love for who they are. You can take the time to bolster their self-esteem and build up their self-image. This will give you an advantage among your competition, and persuade people to listen to you and even follow your lead.

•  Show your appreciation for others. People love it when you recognize what they’ve done because it makes them feel good about themselves. And do you know what’s cool? You don’t have to buy them expensive gifts. All you have to do is say Thank you. Thanks them for everything. Ideas, opinions, time, suggestions, leads and business.

•  Be agreeable. Ever work with someone who is high-maintenance, never happy and negative? It’s a real drain, isn’t it? Well, when you are positive and agreeable, people will love to work with you and for you. Real estate agents who are combative and pessimistic will have a hard time ever signing any contracts. Sure, they might bully a person or two into it, but in the long run they’ll lose.

•  Show your admiration. People love to show off their possessions and achievements, but they love it even more when you go out of the way to notice it and then compliment them on it. It’s like they are getting the recognition they feel they deserve, which in turn makes them trust you even more.

•  Pay attention to others. There are lots of ways to give attention to people, but one of the most powerful ways is to simply listen to what someone is saying, ask questions and then understand their point before you speak. You will appear like a very intelligent and interesting person before you even say a word.

•  Avoid the 3 Cs. Just like in every other area of life, condemning, criticizing and complaining will destroy people, lower their self esteem, turn them against you and ultimately lead to your failure. And please, don’t criticize someone who is absent from the room, because all that says to the person you are talking to is that you are not to be trusted.

•  Use these 3 Cs instead. People will feel loved when you are considerate, concerned and courteous…and when people feel loved, they will respect and value you. So get in a habit of thinking about other people, understanding and connecting with their emotions and say things that are important to them.

Look back in your past…you’ll notice that price was almost never an issue when you were dealing with someone you trusted, respected and liked. However, price became a real issue when you were dealing with people you felt were deceptive, unkind and rude. In fact, you probably didn’t even do business with them.

If being a leader in real estate is important to you, then you need to make your prospects and clients feel like they are the center of the universe. Use those seven tips to make people feel great about themselves and you won’t have any problem generating a following.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Related Articles

Make Sure You Know the Answer to This Question Before Your Next Presentation

9 Dead Simple Ways to Persuade People

Your First Step to Persuasion: Knowing What You Want

Your First Step to Persuasion: Knowing What You Want

Your first step in becoming more persuasive is to know what you want. Here are some past posts that can help you know how to know what you want.

How to Become a Leader: Tax Reform Advocate Norquist’s Advice

In a recent interview with U.S. News, tax reform advocate Grover Norquist shared three keys to becoming a leader in any high-pace environment: Work hard, do not whine and know where you are going.

Your Real Estate Career: How to Create a Happy Ending

The ending is everything.

That’s why Greek heroes like Odysseus–who were able to look beyond the present and plan several steps ahead–seemed to defy fate. In fact, men like Odysseus mimicked the Greek gods in their ability to tell the future.

The comparison, today, is still valid.

If you can think further ahead and patiently bring your plans to fruition, you’ll seem godlike. And naturally be more successful.

8 Solutions to Keep 2009 from Going Down in Flames

here’s a list of 8 solutions to your current economic, real estate woes. Hopefully these will keep you from pumping a ton of money into something that returns little to nothing. When you’re finished, let me know what you think.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Related Articles

Make Sure You Know the Answer to This Question Before Your Next Presentation

9 Dead Simple Ways to Persuade People

Get Attention: 10  Unorthodox Ideas That Work

Powerful Persuasion: 10 Simple Ways to Establish Rapport

Anybody who loves real estate probably loves it because they love the opportunity to use their personal influence to help people achieve their dreams, get things done and earn a great living.

In other words, they love persuasion, which boils down to these three keys: establish rapport, establish rapport and establish rapport.

You can’t really have an persuasive power over people unless you have their trust…and you can’t have their trust if you don’t take the time to build a relationship. A solid relationship is the groundwork for persuasion.

But how do you create that relationship…how do you build that rapport? In the coming up months I’m going to run a series on developing persuasive power. Today, to get you started, here are ten ideas you can actually start using this very day:

  1. Know what you want. You have to understand what makes you tick before you will ever be persuasive. You have to understand what you want out of life and who you are. What drives you? Is it power or money? Making people happy? Who are you? Powerful persuasion starts with soul searching questions.
  2. Make people fell like the center of the universe. Get your head out of your rear and out of your navel and start caring about people. Start treating them like royalty and you will begin to have incredible influence over their lives.
  3. Compliment people constantly. Sure, it’s flattery, but there is nothing like buttering people up…even if they know about it. People love to feel like the center of the universe, and they like to be told good things about themselves. That bolsters esteem for them. For you it’s like investing in that person that allows you to make withdrawals when the time comes.
  4. Remember people’s name. You can’t really start to make someone feel like the center of the universe if you don’t remember their name, can you? Look for tricks to do that.
  5. Give power to other people. This includes things like freedom and purpose. Give them room to make decisions and make them see the bigger purpose. Help them achieve their dreams and you are giving them power.
  6. Be positive. Even if a negative situation arises, you can control and influence people if you can find ways to remain solid and upbeat even in the midst of a storm. That kind of influence attracts people. You can also help avoid people making bad decisions by guiding them towards thinking about situations and questions when they are not so emotional…whether positively or negatively.
  7. Understand the person. Of course, if you don’t know anything about your prospect, you really don’t know what to give them to influence them. Take the time to get to know your prospect or client. Try to invest as much time into the relationship as you invest into getting the deal closed.
  8. Develop a sense of humor. Have you ever noticed that some of the most influential people are very funny? They like people and they like to make them laugh. Give it a whirl…learn a few jokes, learn how to tell a story and start making people laugh.
  9. Ask better questions. You can influence people by simply asking questions. Ask the right questions and you will be irresistible.
  10. Relax. Even the most influential people lose. When that happens to you, don’t take yourself so serious. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

Look for future posts on each numbered point in the coming months.

Your Turn

What tips can you share that have helped you to be more persuasive?

Did you find this article useful? If so, leave a comment. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Related Articles

Make Sure You Know the Answer to This Question Before Your Next Presentation

9 Dead Simple Ways to Persuade People

Get Attention: 10  Unorthodox Ideas That Work

5 Twitter Tools to Make Real Estate Agents More Effective

It’s hard to ignore the influence that Twitter has these days. With over 328 million active users, you are a real estate agent need to decide if it is going to be part of your overall marketing strategy.

Don’t get me wrong: I believe you can ignore it and still make a great living as a real estate agent. But I think it’s also useful for driving business leads and building relationships. If you use it correctly.

With the following tools I’ve found my own use of Twitter to be more effective and profitable. Here are they are. Enjoy!

5 Twitter Tools to Make Real Estate Agents More Effective

  • Buffer – This is a great tool to use if you are the kind of person who tweets in little spasms…like twenty minutes in the morning…maybe twenty minutes after lunch…and another twenty minutes before bed. Well, Buffer will take those tweets and spread them out over your Twitter stream during peak times so they get more exposure.
  • Tweriod – Another great tool to help each tweet you post be more effective is called Tweriod. The idea behind this app is to find out when it is you and your friends are online. You’ll see the time of day most of your followers are online, meaning you have a better idea of when you should be tweeting to get the most exposure for your tweets.
  • BackTweets – If you are interested in the impact of every tweet…and the total reach of each tweet…then you need to use BackTweets. It’s an analytic tool that will show you the full extent of a tweet’s reach. This is great stuff for anyone who is trying to maximize the power of what they share online. You can see what worked and didn’t work, adjust, analyse, adjust and tweet. Repeat that process until you have a winning formula.
  • Twilerts – Do you like to know when someone tweets your name? Then use Twilerts to send you an email any time someone tweets about you. It could be your full name or Twitter handle. This is like Google Alerts for Twitter. Why is this important? It helps to manage your reputation…seeing what people are saying about you so you can stay on top.
  • Tweepi – A lot of users of Twitter get in the bad habit of following everybody who follows them. Or they go on a follow campaign and end up with a big, messy list of friends and followers. Tweepi will help you clean up that mess by getting rid of the people who don’t follow you, taking off the Twitter accounts that are inactive and even suggesting people you should follow.

What third party Twitter tools do you use? Share in the comments below.

And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Related Articles

What Kind of Time Are You Putting into Social Media?

Nine Dead-Simple Ways to Persuade People

The 3 Best Social Media Ideas for Improving Your Sales