Gary Elwood

Author Archives: Gary Elwood

Geoff Colvin on High Achievement in Real Estate

Talent is meaningless.

When I say that, do you believe me or do you think I’m crazy? If you think I’m crazy, then you also think that experts and researchers in high acheivement are also crazy…because they are coming to the very same conclusion!

In his 2009 book Talent Is Overrated Geoff Colvin explains what these experts and researchers are finding and learning. It’s a book I highly recommend you read. Why is this important to you? As I’ve mentioned before, how you think exceptional performances are achieved, whether in business or sports, will affect how you behave.

I’ve seen it in real estate so often. Agents throwing in the towel or dragging their feet because they feel they aren’t talented or the deck is stacked against them. Why bother trying if all your going to do is lose? If that describes how you feel, then you need to stop it…right now!

See, no matter who you are, exceptional performance is within your reach. Colvin explains there are about 8 aspects behind it. Let me show you.

1. Deliberate practice designed to improve performance

When looking at the early careers of greats like Immelt at GE and Ballmer at Microsoft what you will find is no indication of their future greatness. In fact, you’ll find a notable aimlessness.

The same was true with Jack Welch even into his mid-twenties.

But at some point these men decided that they wanted to become great in business. So they hunkered down and worked hard. They made their work a place they could practice to get better. How did they do that?

Well, deliberate practice doesn’t resemble what we normally do at the driving range where we drop a bucket of balls and swing away. Deliberate practice with an eye toward improved performance is practice that wants to work on a specific weakness.

Let’s take this to the real estate world to show you what I mean.

Let’s say for example you want to get more comfortable speaking in front of people. Well, most people will just start looking for opportunities to speak in front of strangers. While there is something to repetition (I’ll explain below), somebody who wants to improve their performance, however, will identify a weakness and then practice to improve upon that weakness.

Maybe more than one person has pointed out to you that you speak too fast. Well, you might find opportunities to speak to strangers and think to yourself, “Slow down. Slow down.” That, in essence, is deliberate practice with an eye toward improved performance.

2. Relentless repetition

Great performers and high achievers will not only look for specific aspects of their performance to work on, but they’ll look for a lot of those opportunities. It’s that repetition that will expose you to better and better opportunities of practice to get better.

And it’s important to work on all aspects of what you do, even on those areas that you think you’ll encounter maybe two or three times a year. For example, Tiger Woods would dump a bucket of balls into the sand trap and hit hundreds of shots even though he might be in that situation just two or three times a year.

So, the moral of this section is to practice a lot on all aspects of your real estate game.

3. Feedback

Critical to high acheivers success is deliberate feedback that is continuously available. Typically this comes through a teacher, coach or mentor, somebody who can watch their performance and then critique them on how well they did and what areas they need to improve upon.

You and I might walk into a listing presentation and think that it went pretty well. Unfortunately our opinion doesn’t count. If you could get feedback from your listeners, that would be superb.

A coach can listen to how you negotiate and critique way before you ever get into the real situation. When thinking about professional feedback, make sure it is someone well-respected. It won’t be cheap, but it will be worth it.

4. Relentless focus and concentration

Another trait of high achievers is an ability not to get distracted. Rather they keep their head down and work very hard when they are in the process of work or practice. This is not the mindless, trying-to-get-through-the-motions that typifies most of our work or practice habits. This is an attitude of paying heavy attention to what you are doing with the intention of improving that skill set.

This means being totally aware when you pick up the phone, dial it and talk to prospects. This means you have a goal you want to achieve, and you are not going to be satisfied until you achieve it.

5. Deliberate practice is hard

Listen, there is a reason why achievers are in the minority: it’s not easy putting in the hours that deliberate practice with an intention to improvement demands. Not very many people are willing to put in the time.

In a sense that’s good news…if all that distinguishes high achievers from mediocre performers is hard work, then you know that if you are willing to put in the years, you’ll one day be one of those high-achievers. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you are ‘talented.” Great success can be yours, too.

This could mean putting in an extra hour and a half every night before you go to bed to practice your negotiation skills or read a book on persuasion. High achievers have a work ethic that never stops, which is totally available to you, too.

6. Determine your goals before the work

Colvin points out that high achievers will focus on an aspect of their work BEFORE they go into it to determine a goal. It’s important to distinguish that their goals are not about the outcome but about the process.

For example, you would set as a goal to hear and understand objections when prospecting. But you would then focus on a specific part of that conversation, say, like listening for words that cue you into when they are raising an objection. You might even go as far as to make a list of possible words to listen for.

7. Observe yourself during the work

High achievers, Colvin also points out, will tend to practice metacognition when they are in the middle of their work. What he means by that is they observe themselves during their activities. They think about thinking.

In other words, they are being self aware, constantly evaluating inside their head how a conversation is going. Because they are observing themselves, they are able to adjust to improve their performance.

8. Evaluate their performance after it is over

High achievers have a chronic tendency to stop shortly after a particular performance to reflect on how well they did or didn’t do. This process will allow them, for one thing, to determine if they reached their pre-determined goal.

Once they make that evaluation, they’ll be able to figure out if they set the goal too high or too low.

This is important, because a goal that is too high will be discouraging but a goal that is too low will not produce exceptional performance nor be very instructive.

Conclusion (answer these two tough questions)

Do not be afraid to stretch yourself. In fact, if you feel a little uncomfortable reaching for a particular goal, then you know it’s a stretch…and that’s good. You are going to grow when you are stretched.

In the end, however, it comes down to two things: what you believe and what you want.

If you don’t want to succeed in real estate, then deliberate practice is going to churn out mediocre performances that burn you out. In that sort of environment your competition is bound to win. You have to love what you are doing to put in the years of hard labor that high achievement demands.

The other part of the equation is what you believe. If you’ve been brainwashed in believing people are born with talent and high achievers are in a class you can never reach because of your genes, then you are doomed to mediocre performance.

So, do you believe that years of hard work can put you at the top of the real estate success world? And do you have the love for real estate that kind of commitment takes?

I hope you do, because my desire is to see you as a real estate agent succeed. I’m there for you if you decide to do it. Let me know how I can help.

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

How to Create, Build and Protect a Fearsome Negotiation Reputation

Are You Making This Persuasion Mistake?

9 Coercive Selling Techniques


Are You Using These 4 “Second Glass” Tactics to Make More Money?

Most real estate agents tend to think about making money in the business as simply closing more transaction. They think about it in a very linear fashion, where you find a home owner who wants to sell, you convince them to let you list the home and then you advertise the home in the hopes that it will sell.

That’s the way an average listing agent thinks.

The average buyer agent thinks about it in terms of finding people who are looking to buy a home, convince them to let you help them do that, find a home and close the transaction.

The average agent then starts searching for the next deal. And that can lead to some serious issues, like burnout and lack of profitability. It doesn’t have to be that hard because if you just looked at those people you just serviced, you will see lots of potential to grow your business in multiple ways.

The Upsell

In Mark Joyner’s great little book The Great Formula he talks about four “second glass tactics.” Second glass refers to things you can do to sell current clients, which ultimately increases your bottom line.

In a business like software, for example, an upsell might be an offer to upgrade to a premium version of your program. If it’s a small physical product you could offer a larger product.

How would the second glass tactic of the upsell work in real estate? You do have to get a little creative, but here are some ideas.

If you are a buyer’s agent don’t forget that buyer might have a home to sell. More than likely if they are looking for an agent they either don’t have a home or they have a home but haven’t found an agent yet. Make sure you ask!

Another way you could keep revenue coming in is to use a discount model. For a particular price you offer to do a particular part of the job. Prospects like the idea of a lower price and it usually draws in more people who are price sensitive. Once you start working with them and they get comfortable working with you, that’s your opportunity to start asking them if you can do other things for them. If they trust you, they might say yes.

Please don’t abuse this approach. Don’t promise an upsell and deliver substandard work. If you do that you will lose that client quickly. They’ll be glad to get rid of you because they feel like you cheated them and then will spread the news that you scammed them. Don’t do that!

The Cross-Sell

The cross-sell in real estate is a lot like the upsell where you can offer additional services for a fee. Very effective way to build a profitable business, especially in a lousy market. Cross sells differ because the price is not going up for the prospect but going down. In other words, they may be paying you a thousand or two to help them sell or find a house, but you can offer another service that’s for much less.

A cross sell is not an upgrade, but just an accessory. Think about it when you buy a car and the dealership suggests you get a brand-name sound system with the car. That’s an upsell. If you have some ideas on how you cross sell in real estate, please share in the comments below. I love to hear from you!

The Follow Up

This is a very important second glass tactic for real estate agents because it’s tapping into an audience that most agents neglect but it is often very lucrative. I’m talking about past clients.

Why don’t agents follow up with their past clients? It is hard work, staying on top of your contacts and past clients while working long days doing the four productive activities of real estate agents. Trust me, I understand.

But if you use an automated referral system to work those past clients you can nurture them and stay in contact with them as they settle in their new home and talk to their friends and family about how great you are.

If you are giving them a monthly newsletter that makes them feel like you are talking to them, you’ll never lose their attention, and when it comes time to buy or sell again, who will they call? You!

Or they are more likely to recommend you to a friend or family member. Most people ask for recommendations when it comes to mechanics, lawyers, doctors and real estate agents. An introduction is your best part to get that lead.

I also recommend that you actually follow up a week or two after you close with your client. Just ask them how everything went and how it’s going. If you have a customer service survey, send that to them, too. Make sure you give them enough time to get settled, though.

The Continuity

What you are trying to do with the follow up tactic is get people to think about you like they think about a magazine or web hosting subscription. Good subscription programs keep you looped in, reminding you to re-subscribe, making offers that seem irresistible. Continuity is a built-in, guaranteed repeat sales.

The cycle is a lot longer for agents, about seven years, but that’s why your follow up program must be a well-oiled, automatic machine. Even sending a simple email is powerful way to stay in contact.

A true continuity program offers monthly payments to clients. That’s a little hard to do in real estate, but I’m sure there are lots of good ideas out there. If you can think of a way to add automatic multiple streams of income to your business, then you can weather economic famines better than if you didn’t have that additional income.

What Do You Think?

Working hard at real estate isn’t enough. You have to work smart, too. That means thinking creatively about ways to keep business and money coming in. Can you think of some second glass tactics that real estate agents can use?

The 7 Proven Rules to Real Estate Training Excellence

Why did you get into real estate?

I meet agents all the time and am always really interested to know more about them and that’s one of the questions I like to ask.

The answers vary.

Some say they got into the business because they wanted to work for themselves. Others say they liked the dynamics of real estate–the negotiations and prospecting and marketing. No doubt these are people persons!

Others liked the idea of the money that could be made buying and selling real estate. Still others chose it because they were having a tough time finding another job.

Although the reasons may vary, one thing that hasn’t changed is the training to become successful. Buying or selling real estate, just like football or chess, is something that you have to train at to get really good.

Success will never fall from your lap. And there is a lot of truth to the saying, “It took me 20 years to become an overnight sensation.” Let’s camp on that idea for a minute.

In most spectacular displays of achievement, whether in the business world, sport world or creative world, all we really see is the tip of the iceberg. We might see an agent and his team clear 700 transactions in a year.

Or we might see the chess grandmaster Gary Kasparov defeat a huge IBM machine.

Or we might listen to a spectacular concerto by a world famous violinist.

What’s your first reaction? If you’re like me, you probably would say, “Man, are they talented.” There is no doubt that they did something exceptionally well. But what we don’t see are the years of relentless practice that went into building up to the moment.

It’s like all their hard work is paying off right at that moment. How does that apply to real estate? Well, just like professional athletes have to train to reach a superior performance, so do real estate agents. Here are seven rules you can follow.

Real Estate Training Rule #1: Hard Work Is Essential

I wish I could tell you that being successful in real estate was easy. But I can’t. Nobody can tell you that. And if you happen to run into someone who does tell you that, don’t trust them.

It takes time to find leads, to perfect your listing presentation and to learn how to negotiate. And you won’t always get it right. You want that to happen, which brings me to my next point.

Real Estate Training Rule #2: Mistakes Are Opportunities to Learn

You are going to fall down a lot in your business, especially in the early years. There is no way around that.

But instead of being frustrated by that, change your mindset to one of growth orientation and realize that you can grow from each mistake.

Real Estate Training Rule #3: Multiply the Mistakes

This may sound strange, “multiplying mistakes,” but once you see the math, it will make sense. The more mistakes you make the better you will get, only however, if you are learning from your mistakes.

If you’re not learning from your mistakes and you keep making the same ones over and over, then you might just end up looking silly. You don’t want that.

For every mistake you make you want to evaluate what you did, correct what you see as the mistake and then try again. What you are doing is refining your technique one micro-mistake at a time.

So the point is to try and practice as much as you can. The more reps you can get in the better.

Real Estate Training Rule #4: Study the Masters

The giants in real estate–both the past and the present–are also great teachers who spend time creating resources to help real estate agents. Resources like books or seminars.

Get your hands on as many of these resources as possible and study them. Stay up late reading. Spend money you might blow on a football game and attend a conference where a bunch of these masters are teaching.

But the masters of real estate aren’t the only people you should listen to.

Real Estate Training Rule #5: Listen to Different Ideas

Early in my career I made the mistake of thinking that no other industry or subject matter or genre could have anything to teach me. Boy was I wrong!

I think it was Stephen Covey in his leadership program that taught me that looking into different industries of business–like automotive, computers or legal–I could learn from the things they were teaching and apply it to real estate. When I started doing that I was amazed at all the great and profitable ideas I started to have.

This is also true with subjects like fiction or biographies. You can learn a lot from reading a history of the Civil War or working through all of Ernest Hemingway’s books.

Real Estate Training Rule #6: Teach

Like I said above, the great real estate agents almost always start to teach, coach or mentor in some capacity. Here’s the trick: they don’t wait until they’re on top of their game to start doing it.

In fact, they start teaching early on, realizing that giving their time, experience and knowledge to others just below them in the ranks helps them to become more successful. Why is that?

For one thing, it’s an opportunity to tell others about the mistakes they made and how to avoid them. In other words, it reinforces the lessons they learn.

Another thing is that by teaching they are pouring into someone else, which builds relationships and reputations, which is the cornerstone to good real estate training.

Real Estate Training Rule #7: Build Relationships

From the clients you represent to your co-workers, real estate is full of relationships. And you need to learn how to manage these relationships so that everyone walks away with a win-win feeling.

You never know how many people just one client can bring to you. Or how many people a colleague might send your way.

Train hard to build the right kind of relationships and people will be happy to send other people your way. Getting things done profitably and on time is so much about who you know.


I hope it’s become clear to you that real estate training is your ticket to becoming a successful agent. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it if you love real estate and love the excitement of selling and buying houses.

So tell me, what real estate training rules do you live by?

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

The Introvert: Networking Tips and Habits for a Little Understood Group

11 Ways to Be the Most Irresistable Person at the Party

How to Open the Vault of Anyone’s Mind

Why You Need to Know How Permission Marketing Has Changed

Back in 2000, Seth Godin defined the new advertising arena with his book Permission Marketing. In that book he taught us how to “turn strangers into friends into customers.”

It was a monument in the advertising landscape. It declared the death of traditional media methods and the emergence of the most effective and profitable way to advertise with people: ask for their permission to advertise to them.

Since then, that concept has evolved.

How Permission Marketing Has Changed

It’s evolved into an environment where more and more control is given to the consumer. The amount of choices for a consumer has flourished. He now chooses not only what messages he will watch, read or listen to…

He chooses how.

This is the idea behind the principle of “the path of consumption” and it represents the changes in Godin’s original idea. It’s an economic model adopted and modified my marketers. In a nutshell, this is what it means: we’ve all heard the refrain that people learn differently…

Some learn by doing. Some learn by watching. Others learn by hearing. Still others, a combination of all three.

Why is this important? Easy. If you want to reach the widest (and still profitable) audience, then you need to figure out how that audience is consuming messages. And then craft and present your message around those mediums.

Three Examples of Message Consumption

Yeah, that usually means that you need to provide the same message in more than one medium.

For example, if you are the top listing agent in your market because you’ve developed an irresistible listing presentation, then that message needs to go in at least three places.

1. Your mind. 

Once you’ve figured out what your unique value proposition (for example, top listing agent in your market because you developed an irresistable presentation), you then need to craft that message into an elevator speech.

2. The public. 

Once you’ve streamlined this message into a tight, potent elevator pitch, head out of the office and start talking to people. Talk to people at networking events. Go to social media events. Travel to conferences. Host neighbourhood clean-up. Get out and start telling people why you are the agent they should work with.

3. Your website. 

Tell your readers in the copy. Tell them in a video. And tell them in audio. Tell them the same message in these three very different channels. That way you don’t have to choose who you’ll promote to. You simply choose the channels to promote the message in. Let your prospect choose the path of consumption.

Of course, this means you have to know who your prospect is. If you’re a fan of personae, then you already know who they are. If you don’t know who they are, you need to get on the ball and figure it out.

Let me show you why this is important.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

In a late 2010 report by Neilson Mobile, people under 24 years of age represent over 71 percent of those who text in America. That’s a huge audience.

However, that demographic only accounts for 5% of home buyers. The largest group of home buyers is from the age 25 to 34 years of age, at 33%. The next group, 35 to 44, represent 23 percent.

After all the numbers are in, do you know what the average home buyer age is? It’s thirty-nine, a group who sends about a tenth of the texts the younger demographic does.

How You Can Capture the Largest Profitable Audience

Here’s my point. If all you do is provide options for texting, you are going to limit those who respond to your messages.

Now, I don’t believe anyone would actually do this (almost every agent I know provides at least a phone number to call, in addition to texting options). But it should force you to think about other channels to communicate in.

Can you create a weekly email newsletter to promote to those who like the comfort and traditional feel of their inbox versus a feed reader? Can you create a video sales letter where all you are doing is moving the reader through your sales message–but in a video, like Stansberry Research is doing?

Can you create a monthly podcast that interviews real estate experts (experts could range from loans to interior decorating) in your market?

The more channels you provide the larger–and more profitable–your audience becomes.

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



The Secret to Making a Living Off of Expireds

Tell me if you see yourself in this scenario: you’re scanning the MLS for expired listings. You find more than 20. It’s a good day.

You then grab the phone and start dialling.

Expireds Can Be Time Wasters

This is not an uncommon scene played out in real estate offices around the country. Unfortunately, chasing expireds this way is a huge time waster.

Nothing against expireds.

In fact, expireds are a great source of leads. I highly recommend agents pursue them. These are people who are motivated. They’ve demonstrated they want to sell and move.

And actually, I believe you can make a pretty good living off of expireds when you approach them the right way.

But the problem is timing.

Real estate agents often approach expireds too soon. Like the moment the expired is out of his old contract.

That’s the wrong time because hundreds of agents are knocking down that poor guy’s door. And did you know that an expired listing gets anywhere from 15 to 25 calls a day?

In that kind of environment you’re liable to get trampled, frustrated and ultimately lost in the crowd.

Expireds Probably Hate You for the Moment

And don’t forget about the feelings of the expired.

Most likely real estate agents ARE NOT one of their favorite  people. In fact, they more than likely have a sour taste in their mouth towards you. These people are upset because they did not get what they wanted: a sold home.

It’s a time when emotions run high. What you need to do is back off and wait. Let the homeowner re-group and consider his next moves.

How long should you wait? About a month.

Expireds Will Wait for You

I hear you screaming foul right now. You’re afraid the expired will be gone after waiting so long.


Homes tend to stay off the market for months. And trust me: expired home owners shun and shut out agents every day. In my experience, I’ve learned that expireds are not going to fall right back into a new contract.

Besides, you won’t look like a desperate agent if you wait a month. Desperate agents are dangerous. And nobody wants to hire them.

Give it time. Let the fruit on that tree ripen. And when it’s ready, it should fall into your lap.

This does mean that you’ll need to create a database of these expired listings and engage software that reminds you when the month is up and it’s time to give them a visit. Any contact management software will do.

Your Turn

So tell me, what’s been your experience when it comes to working with expireds? Have you had luck contacting them the day their listing expires? Is 30 days too long to wait? Should agents wait longer? Let me know what you think. I look forward to your thoughts.

And if you like what you read, subscribe to the real estate marketing blog.

Related Articles

Use the Problem-Agitate-Solve Formula for Killer Sales Presentations

Social Media Does Matter: Selling Houses During Hard Times

Lure Buyers in with Out Reducing the Price

Six Video Interviews to Drive More Traffic to Your Website

As I a follow-up to my last post, I wanted to make another suggestion on how you can pay kindness forward…

But I also wanted to share a conviction that I hold firmly, and it’s this: when you do good things to others good things will happen to you.

Call it karma, destiny, aura, fate or kismet–it’s a concept that holds true. Especially if you keep your eyes peeled for it.

But what does that have to do with your real estate career or your website? A lot. Giving to others is a great strategy to attract business. And it’s a great strategy to drive visitors to your website.

What kinds of things am I talking about giving away? Advice. Video advice to be precise. This was an idea that Steven Schweickart shared yesterday. It’s a great idea and I wanted to expand on it.

It’s a pretty simple concept and drop-dead simple. In fact, if you’ve got an iPhone, then you’re pretty much in business.

The idea is this: interview people who are involved in the real estate and home business. Ask them to give advice on a very specific topic. Then pop that video on your website.

Here are six ideas you can use.

Interior Designer

Ask an interior designer to share advice on essential staging tips for people who are trying to sell. Maybe they could tell you how to make a small space look large. Or what to do with problem areas.

Mortgage Broker

The mortgage broker could tell your audience about the different financing options available.


This expert could point out inexpensive ways to create curb appeal for people who are selling. For home owners, he could share tips on lawn care in extreme weather.


Get a hold of someone who buys homes, rehabs them and then sells him to tell you about what you must do to get started rehabbing homes. He could also explain what makes a home a good deal when looking to buy.


Have an investor share his thoughts on buying homes for investment purposes, like what are the best ways to go about doing just that and what are the advantages of renting.

Home Repair

Invite someone who does home repair projects–builds decks, lays wood floors, fixes sinks.–to share cost-cutting ideas to improve an owner’s home.

By the way, keep the interview under four minutes. Anything longer than that and you lose people. This means you’ll need to do a little video editing.

Your Turn

What about you? Do you have anybody you can think of who should be interviewed? What kind of questions could people ask? Looking forward to your thoughts.

In the midst of your daily struggles…will you consider this?

Will you consider paying a kindness forward today?


It all started this morning…a gorgeous spring morning with the sun twinkling through the bedroom shades. A feeling of joy and gratitude just naturally began to flow into me. I felt this kind of tingling sensation of “I really do love life…I’m so blessed!”

From there I walk into my daughter’s room to wake her up for school. I sit on the edge of her bed and gently stoke her hair, as her eyes slowly peek open. She smiles, looks up and says, “Hi, daddy!”

It’s a feeling like no other. If you’ve experienced it you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, I truly wish I could let you climb inside my senses and experience it…I would love to be able to gift that to you.

However, life unfortunately isn’t like that.

It’s filled with mysteries that test your physical, mental, and spiritual capacities for what sometimes feels like absolutely no objective reason why.

And then there are the joys…like the light in my daughter’s eyes. The beautiful blue color and a sweet voice that almost sounds like birds singing, except when she’s yelling at her older brother, of course.

Well, as I leave her room, my wife asks me, “Did you hear about Chloe’s dad?”

“No. What?”

“He committed suicide yesterday.”

Instantly it’s like an electrical impulse shot through me. I went from joy, gratitude, and love…to “WHAT?!”

It’s hard to fathom the mental and spiritual forces that would take a person to such a place. But the story…it’s actually much deeper and far more heart-wrenching.

See, five years ago Chloe was this amazing little girl with a twinkle in her eye that would melt the most cynical soul and turn it to putty.

She was special…very special. Everyone loved Chloe. When she walked in her smile would light up a room. The kids loved her. The other parents thought she was just the ideal child. And then the crushing news was announced…Chloe was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Worse yet…her disease…this very rare cancer…it was terminal.

Yet, in spite of it she just smiled, loved, and filled everyone who ever met her with a sense of gratitude…something really special.

She and her family were the picture of courage during her fight. The community rallied around this sweet little child. And everyone’s heart was breaking as one…with this family…these lovely people.


It’s one of those great mysteries of life. Why do bad things happen to such nice people?

It’s hard to reconcile. It’s hard to grasp.

Anyway…the fight…they fought it with grace and dignity. But tragically, a little less than 8 months later, Chloe closed her earthly eyes for the last time. The twinkle was gone.

And as a daddy, who gets the extraordinary privilege of getting to see his daughter’s light shine, my heart ached for that poor family. They were mere acquaintances. In fact, I barely knew them.

Yet, every time I looked at my daughter, saw the joy…and life in her eyes…I felt like Chloe’s parents were a part of me. My soul ached at the thought of their loss.

Now, fast forward four years. You’ll see a monument to her outside her elementary school and she’s a quiet sad memory for us. Yet the pain and anguish obviously had raged on for all that time. No peace. No joy. Dark painful memories and the never-ending question…WHY?!

Until finally, it was all he could take.

Now, round two of unimaginable pain and anguish for that poor mother and Chloe’s older brother.

But rather than ask why…I’d like to ask a small favor of you. Close you eyes and send loving thoughts to this poor battered family. Then…TODAY…pay a kindness forward in honor of them.

Today choose to make the world a little bit better place for your being here.

It doesn’t have to be anything huge…a simple smile, with a genuine “How are you today?”

Simply pay a kindness forward and offer that up as you prayer for this grieving family.

In loving memory of Chloe and her dad.

(Out of respect the names and family relationships have been changed for privacy reasons.)

How to Use Your MLS System for Growing Profits Every Week, Month and Year…

I just got a call from a client who shared a positively brilliant strategy for using your MLS system’s auto updating capabilities.

See most MLS systems have the ability for you to put prospects into a “drip system” to receive auto-email updates of the kind and type of property their looking for. It’s a great tool for staying in touch with your buyer prospects. They can look at properties, get updates branded with your info, and all while keeping you and your real estate services “top of mind” with them.

Well…don’t stop there.

This auto-updating feature has far more potential. Yes. It’s great on the buyer side. It incubates leads, matures prospects and helps you serve clients at a much higher level. But the implications are much farther reaching.

Consider the idea of putting your sellers into the system too. When you take a listing prepare your seller with the idea that every time a new listing in the area comes on the market you’re going to send them an email with that info.

This way they can be completely aware of “their competition.” Your sellers will continually be seeing all the properties that represent competition.

What will this do?

It will position you for easier price reductions. In fact, if you position the updates correctly and present it well, you’ll have some clients calling you saying things like, “Well, based on the ‘competition’ we’ve thought about it and we want to consider a price adjustment.”

But even if they don’t call, and it gets to where you want to break into the subject of price…this lays the groundwork for a much easier price reduction.

Isn’t that great? So it’s not only a buyer incubating tool…it’s an easy price reduction tool.

Now…for the final strategy!

How about this? You want to be known as your local “real estate expert” right? How about taking your updating service and using it to stay in touch with your sphere of influence?

Here’s how that works.

Anyone you call, mail, or place advertisements in front of, offer to update them concerning their neighborhood whenever a house goes on the market. Plug them into your MLS updating service, select the neighborhoods they’d like to stay informed about, and let your MLS system stay in touch with them…using the email updating service.

It serves two fantastic benefits. First, it keeps you first and foremost in their minds because the email is branded with your info. Second it positions you as the “neighborhood expert.”

Isn’t that awesome? It’s a simple tool that takes about 3 minutes per client, past client or prospect to enter and now you’re in front of them until they buy, sell or die. Better yet, it’s all automatic…with information they want…and with information that brands YOU as the expert.

So to recap…update buyers quick and easy…position your listings for easy price reductions…and third stay in touch with past clients and your sphere of influence with relevant, valuable information that brands you as the neighborhood expert.

Isn’t that awesome?

So there you have it…take it and run with it.

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.

How to Spot a Bad Blog

I’ve been writing a lot lately on social media. Frankly, the reason is because that seems to be the topic real estate agents want to know about most.

Case in point: A couple days ago I wrote a post in responses to a question by a reader: 7 Correct Ways Real Estate Agents Should Use Social Media.

After that post, I find myself wanting to write about the topic more. But come at it from the other direction, while focusing just on blogs.

So here’s six ways to tell if you or someone else has a bad blog.

1. Writer Behind the Blog Is Dull

The problem here is that the blogger is just flat-out boring. You know, talks about things other people don’t care about–the fine print on a contract, tax law or himself. The last one is the worse…and a sure killer of anyone reading your blog on a daily business. Or maybe he’s just a bad writer.

2. No Engagement

This blogger posts and then disappears. Someone might comment with a sincere question…and all he hears is crickets. Bad. Bad blogger. Instead, he should, as much as possible, treat every person who comments on his blog like royalty. Having a one way conversation is enormously annoying.

3. Isn’t Very Smart

…or experienced. You can spot these bloggers because they make rookie social media mistakes like the above…or try to generate a huge following early on by spamming prospects or using auto devices…or maybe write a wall of text that’s nothing but a run-on sentence. The list goes one.

4. Doesn’t Have Data

A bad blog will spout opinions and substantiate nothing. In addition, the blogger will stiff arm people who disagree by attacking their character rather than there arguments. Also, they may just delete comments they don’t like. Bad blogger. Bad.

5. No Links in His Blog Posts

Bad bloggers don’t share links on their blogs. Either because they don’t know or are simply too lazy. Either way, they are not sharing in the conversation. There are other great ways to share blog posts…but links in your own blog does wonder for building community with like-minded bloggers. Besides, you might need the help in the future.

6. Isolates Himself from the Blog Community

Blog communities grow over time. Only, however, if you avoid the last five mistakes. Otherwise you are doing nothing but talking to your self. That means if you visit a blog with articles that do nothing but talk about the blogger, ignores the comments and is without links, data or intelligence, you, my friend, have stumbled upon the mountain man blogger. Or the hermit. Leave him alone. Immediately.

So what other bad behaviors have you seen in terrible bloggers? Please share! And by the way, got a topic you’d like me to write about? Let me know what it is. I’d love to take a crack at it.

Did you find this article helpful? If so, leave a comment or subscribe to this real estate marketing blog.

Related Articles

Your Real Estate Career: 9 Ways Blogging Can Help You

Social Media Matters: Selling Houses During Hard Times

The 3 Reasons You Don’t Convert Online Visitors to Leads

7 Correct Ways Real Estate Agents Use Social Media

Do you know what a good real estate blog looks like? Could you spot an influential social media marketer? And what makes a real estate agent like Trey Pennington a successful online networker?

If you answered “no,” “no” and “I don’t know” to the previous question, then this blog post for you.

While social media is not a barn-burning profit maker…it is a great tool to emphasize who you are [personal brand] and what you are trying to do [business strategy].

The bad news is if you don’t know how to use social media properly you could foul up your personal brand and hose your business strategy down the drain.

But the good news is you can learn how to use social media correctly. Just mirror these seven traits of successful blogs.

1. Personality

The person behind a great blog or Twitter stream is exciting, risky, interesting and perhaps even flamboyant. In other words, he or she stands out. And the cool thing about social media, even introverts can stand out.

2. Engagement

You need to interact with the people who read your blog or follow your Twitter stream. This means responding to comments. Replying to tweets. Sharing links.

3. Unfiltered

While not a must, the more fluid communication flows [comment moderation on your blog isn’t on] the more real and personal and authentic the social media tool seems.

4. Intellegence

Another trait behind successful social media mavens is smarts. Book smarts. Street smarts. Business smarts. Marketing. Writing. Real estate. It doesn’t matter in what field their wisdom lies…as long as they share. [So if you aren’t wise, start reading. That’s a simple solution.]

5. Data

Original research and analysis is a great draw. Can you share first-hand discoveries you found after a simple, informal survey you took in the shopping mall parking lot? Got a bead on a statistic you churned out after burning housing data through software programs all night? Share it.

6. Links

You add value to your followers when you share links in your blog posts and Twitter and Facebook streams. You also support other people in the social media community, which builds your whuffie [reputation].

7. Builds Community

The endgame for successful real estate social media is community building. Drop the cut-throat, scarcity mindset and get comfortable with working and supporting everyone. [Naturally, the scum of the earth you can avoid.]

Did I miss anything? Please share your thoughts!

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

1 3 4 5 6 7 26