Category Archives for "Sales Training"

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?

How Social Scientists Taught You to Close More Deals

People. You just never know what they’ll do next.

But if you really believe real estate is a people business, then any effort you make to better understand yourself and how others tick will make your business flow and your bank account grow.

Fortunately, a couple of social scientists have developed tools that can help you shed light on the mystery of human behavior and get a better handle on personalities…yours and others’.

For example, Wilson Learning’s “Social Styles” puts personalities into four quadrants designed to help you work with individuals in different situations.

The Enneagram Personality Insight for Business sends you on a journey of personal and organizational discovery so you can mesh easier with others.

And the Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation Behavior program uncovers how your needs affect your behavior towards others.

All have received rave reviews.

But the one I’ve found to be particularly useful in real estate is the DISC profiling system (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance).

D relates to control, power and assertiveness.

I looks at how a person approaches social situations.

S is the factor of patience, persistence and thoughtfulness.

C describes a person’s approach to structure and organization.

DISC can help you identify your behavioral profile, appreciate different profiles and capitalize on your own behavioral strengths.

It can also help you anticipate and minimize potential conflicts, hire the right people and manage people in sales environments…all essential tasks in real estate.

Bob Corcoran introduced DISC to one of his clients, Valerie Hunter-Kelly, a Realtor in Clarksville, TN, when she and Bob met about three years ago. She says it has helped her better understand how to relate to co-workers and clients on their level.

“Before, I just communicated based on my personality style, but now I understand others’ personalities so I don’t get as frustrated with them as much because I understand it’s not personal it’s just the way they communicate.”

Hunter-Kelly says she now identifies every client’s personality type based on her understanding of the DISC and then shares that information with the staff member who’s charged with helping the client get to closing.

“I always ask my buyers’ agent what the client’s personality profile is because I know it helps close deals,” she says.

She says now when a problem arises, it’s typically because the agent doesn’t know the client’s personality style.

“As soon as I meet anyone, I automatically identify their personality type so I’ll know how to relate to them,” she says. “It’s just a natural part of what I do now.”

Yes, understanding people, listening to their needs and wants and responding appropriately all take a lot of work and attention. But because this is a people business, it’s simply a must.

And the better at it you become, the better living you’ll make as an agent or broker. I promise.

So tell me, have you filled out any of these personality profile tests? What did you think?

*Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker who is the founder of Corcoran Consulting, an international consulting & coaching company that specializes in performance coaching, and the implementation of sound business systems.

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

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Discover How to Boost Sales by Using a Few Simple Social Scientist Tools

If you understand people then you understand real estate.

Because if it’s been said once, it’s been said a million times: real estate is a people business. And oh how much easier work and life would be if we just understood people.

Yes, humans are terribly complex, often unpredictable and sometimes just plain difficult. There’s the client who insists on knowing everything (and I mean everything) you do as you go about selling his house. Enough to drive some Realtors absolutely bonkers.

Then there’s your buyer’s agent who doesn’t tell you anything unless you pry it out of her with a crowbar.

People. You just never know.

I really believe real estate is a people business, then any effort you make at better understanding yourself and how others tick will make your business flow and your bank account grow.

And fortunately social scientists have developed tools that can help you shed light on the mystery of human behavior and get a better handle on personalities—yours and others.

Next post we will explore some of these great tools.

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

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When You Should Depend on a Team–and When You Shouldn’t

So, you’ve been thinking about starting a team, have you?

In spite of a dismal economy, your market seems to be rockin’…you’re doing pretty well…and, well, you want to grow.

The natural thing to do is build a team, right? Yes.

A team will help you work more efficiently. It will help you grow…

But before you go a step further, though, you need to examine your reasons for wanting to build a team. Let me show you what I mean with a little story from Realty Times columnist David Flethcer:

“I love teams, but only if I am making a contribution. The most exciting team I have been on was as a member of a 23-man crew on a B-36 bomber in the United States Air Force. I was the tail gunner. Not because I said so, but because I was trained to be one. I made a contribution to the team.

“Watching a squadron of B-36 Bombers flying in formation on a beautiful day at 42,000 feet in peacetime is heady stuff for a 19-year-old. It’s great to be on a team at times like that.

“Then one day our crew was sent to “survival” school in Reno, Nevada, where we were taught and practiced survival skills in case we were shot down behind enemy lines.

“That’s when I learned that there will be times in life when the team cannot help me. Only my skills can. When I was alone in the mountains for five days with three days supply of food it was up to me to set the traps, catch the fish, read my compass, and operate my radio.

“My team couldn’t help me. Only my skills could.”

The same is true for your sales skills…

Only your skills can seamlessly draw 12 hours of hostile talks into an objective, feel-good contract for both parties.

Only your skills can save your commission from dying on the vine in the face of a relentless barrage of arguments from a feisty seller.

Only your skills can nail 25 good leads in one night of networking. Or a day of cold calling.

Only your skills can steal the best property out from under your competitors nose with an irresistible listing presentation.

That means you need to develop your skills. You need to make a list of the three sales skills you want to develop–say negotiating, cold calling and networking–and then practice them until you master them.

Because the truth of the matter is…if you are looking to build a team so you can hand off the negotiating to someone else…or the listing presentation…or the finer points of client relationships…then you need to re-examine your motives.

You don’t want to get stuck in a situation where you fail because you depend upon someone else to handle those circumstances.

You want to be prepared to not only survive…but thrive. And thrive well. See you soon.

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

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Quick Tip: 5 Reasons Why Sellers Should Work with You on Both Sides of the Deal

Did you know that one of the simplest strategies to closing more transactions is simply helping your seller’s buy their new home?

If sellers ARE staying in the area, ask if you can help find their next house. It benefits both you and the seller.

Here are five reasons why:

1. They don’t have to interview more real estate salespeople.

2. You already understand their needs, know their decorating style, have an inside look on how they live.

3. If they trust your market knowledge enough to sell their home, they should trust you to find them a new house.

4. You can help coordinate both sides of the deal so they don’t find themselves homeless for a few days between closings.

5. You can make negotiations go more smoothly and quickly. You have dates on both closings and don’t have to wait for return calls from fellow practitioners.

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

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How to Make Any House Irresistable

When Longinotti-Buitoni took over Ferrari North America as CEO in the late 90s,  the U.S. and Canada were in a recession. He couldn’t imagine people would spend their money on such an expensive, impractical car.

Since then, Longinotti-Buitoni has changed his mind.

What he learned was that the desire for a Ferrari comes from our dreams…not the part of our brain that balances the checkbook each month.

Those same dreams fuel our desire for leisure time. It fuels our desire for Gucci purses. Gulfstream jets. Beauty. Exotic vacations. And houses.

You, real estate agent, need to understand these dreams. And reinterpret a house in terms of your client’s fantasy world.

But it’s not about selling homes to people who apear on the cover of Vanity Fair. Average people like you and I have our own set of dreams to fulfill.

That’s why Volkswagon could sell a van called the Beetle to thousands of hippies. Our Levi’s could position a pair of denim jeans like a vein of gold in the foothills of California.

Think about Nike shoes and what they mean to inner-city kids: An escape from his oppressive origins.

Bottom line: People fantasize about the things they can’t afford. Selling a house to a buyer is all about tapping into that fantasy.

The best way I’ve found to do that is to simply show them their dream home. Yes, they might not know it’s their dream home. But when you roll up to the $500,000 house and they gasp, “There’s no way we can afford that,” you need to respond, “Let’s look at it anyway.”

Elevate their fantasy and anything you show them after that will seem below them. They will naturally gun for homes at their high-end of price.

What’s truly heartbreaking about this tactic, though, is this: It’s nothing more than the notorious takeaway. You’ve given them something they want…and now you take it away.

You see this when you prohibit your seven-year-old from playing his Nintendo DS. We, especially Americans, freak when we go from freedom back to bondage.

And bondage is exactly how it feels. No one likes going from abundance to lack. You’re constricted. Restrained.

And you lie awake dreaming about what you once had. Be it a million dollar home or $150,000 car.

Granted, you don’t want to set your client up to fail. So you must be careful when using this tactic. You must use common sense and constantly check in with your client to make sure he’s not getting in over his head.

Yet, this plays into the gambit in two ways.

One, you protect your client. Two, you demonstrate that you aren’t desperate for this deal. That you could walk away. That’s a powerful indication that there’s more to this sale than money, making the house all that more irresistable.

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

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Eliminate This Behavior and Become More Effective

Has this happened to you recently: you tend to become desperate in tight times by trying to aggressively pin down real estate buyers?

But did you know that removing pressure from the sales process will actually cause you to win more listings and prospects and sell more homes?

That’s right. A sales approach where you create pressure-free conversations with buyers is more effective.

However, to do that it’s essential that you eliminate behaviors and language that buyers can perceive as “aggressive.”

We all know what these are — continual e-mail and voicemail “followups” in which agents try to pin down the status of a potential real estate buyer– is one common example.

[And of course it’s becoming more and more difficult to nail down a potential buyer in this market.]

The problem is that prospects react to aggressive–or perhaps we should say “overaggressive”–sales behaviors by withdrawing and evading us.

In fact, what you have to do instead of being passive or aggressive is this: you have to take the “middle ground” by being authentically unassuming, yet effective–and that this is the most stress-free and effective way to sell.

What do I mean by “authentically unassuming, yet effective”?

How to Discover a Whole New Effectiveness

For starters you have to shift away from assuming that every buyer is a fit for your any of your listings.

It’s sort of like the legal concept of “being innocent until proven guilty.”

You can’t afford to make any assumptions about “fit” until your conversation with the buyer indicates that you two mutually arrived at that conclusion.

The aggressiveness that turns off buyer sets in when you assume, every time you pick up the phone, that you have a solution for them.

Your tone of voice and language gives them that message long before they’ve even had a chance to agree that you have the home that they want.

But if you can manage to find that middle ground of not assuming anything while also communicating in a low-key, unassuming manner, you’ll discover a whole new effectiveness you could never have imagined.

Flawed Logic

Can prospects sense when you’re assuming too much? Sure they can–because most of us have been conditioned to present or talk about our solution as a way to engage prospects so they’ll reveal their problems to us.

But that logic is completely flawed.

When you launch into your speal to someone who doesn’t trust you yet, all you do is allow them to pigeonhole you as a stereotyped “salesperson.”

How to Become Unassuming but Effective

First, learn to start conversations by focusing 100 percent on generating discussions around your prospects’ problems, rather than pitching your listing inventory the second you hear an opening.

Second, learn to begin those conversations by converting the benefits of your homes into problems that your homes will actually solve.

Third, after you and your prospects have identified a desires or needs, you can then engage in a discussion about whether meeting those needs is a priority.

It’s only at that point that prospects have finally given you implicit permission to share your inventory with them.

Jumping in with solutions prematurely will only land you back in the trap of being perceived as “aggressive.”

What Do You Think?

Have you found yourself having to get aggressive? Do you approach this market differently since buyers have tightened the purse strings? Or are you in one of these bubble-proof markets?

Let me know what you think.

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

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Five Words That Will Injure Any Sales Call

The key to being successful is sweating the small stuff. That comes down to the very words that you use. That’s why I’ll always encourage you to paint persuasive word pictures for your clients.

But don’t stop there.

Avoid those words that raise flags for buyers and sellers. Words that paint ugly, bad pictures–albeit, stereotypes–of salespeople.

Following is a list of Tom Hopkin’s “Thou shalt not say” words. Words that generate pictures of sleazy car salesmen, images of big city political hustlers. Words that put prospects on the defensive, out of the buying mood.

“Cost” or “Price.”

Here’s what your client sees when you say these words: Money leaving their wallet. Instead, say “total investment,” which creates a picture of putting your money to work.

“Monthly Payment”

Picture of bills. And they already have too many of those.

Instead, say “monthly investment.” Again, a picture of putting your hard-earned dollars to work, which everyone enjoys hearing.

“Sell” or “Sold”

Picture of being pushed or pressured. Think telemarketers and resort sellers.

Instead, say “get involved with” or “helped you acquire.” Pictures of participation and benevolence. Big difference here.

“This Will Be a Good Deal.”

(Personal pet peeve of mine.) Picture of back office, city politics. The pool hall deal. Used car lot negotiations. It’s got corruption written all over it.

Instead, say “opportunity.” “This will be a good opportunity.” Ah. Need I say more?

“Just Sign Here.”

You’re client or prospect sees you holding them hostage to an agreement–forever. Will spook even the most seasoned home buy, I bet.

Instead, say “endorse,” “authorize” or “approve the paperwork.” Pictures of you in the driver’s seat, you with the power.


Remember: a successful sale is made up of dozens–if not hundreds–of smaller parts. Success comes together like a deliberate, systematic arrangement of jigsaw puzzle pieces.

That means the words you use are just some of those parts. A tiny part, yes, but could be the very hinge that closes the door on your “opportunity.” Let me know what you think.

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.

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Another 5 Essential Tricks Every Agent Should Know

Recently during a conversation someone turned up their noses when I mentioned Cialdini’s book, Influence. It took me off guard. To make sure I read them correctly, I asked them if they read it.

“No” was their response.

Interesting. I asked why not. Their answer in a nutshell: Persuasion is for crooks.

Now, some people use influence or persuasion to take advantage of people. Yes, that’s true. So it puts the idea of selling, marketing and persuasion as evil into people’s mind. Puts a bad taste in their mouth.

And yes, of course, persuasion has been abused throughout history. And will continue to be abused.

But there are plenty of legitimate persuasion techniques. In fact, I think when you are chasing down the right things for people and working for their good and you have their best intentions in mind…you owe it to your client to be persuasive.

So building upon a previous post, I’d like to to share 5 essential persuasion tricks with you.

1. Authority Head Nod

Often all you really need to get somebody off the fence is to give them a suggestion from an authority figure. In your case, this could be the house inspector. A lawyer.

As Hogan and James say in their book Covert Persuasion, “A suggestion from an authority figure can often override a person’s visual memory to create a new and different memory.” In other words, people think differently, depending on who’s talking.  Magic happens when you quote someone in power.

2.  Agree with Their Point of View

People instantly resist what they don’t believe, so the moment you sense someone pulling back, affirm their point of view. You may have to find out first what it is that’s causing them to withdraw. So discover their belief and let them know you agree with them. They’ll be in a more flexible state of mind.

3. Avoid Verbal Commitments

Let me qualify this.

When I say “avoid verbal commitments” I mean commitments that you will want your client to change later. For example, avoid having your client state which home they want. If you do that, then you’re going to run into the problem of consistency, which basically says that people, aware that they’ve made a public stand, will hold tight to that stand so as to appear consistent.

Consistency in behavior is good, especially in difficult or tense times…and is the biggest part to influencing people. But don’t over do it. You may end up with a stubborn client when you don’t want them that way.

Granted, this may have happened to you before. It might happen in the future. The key is to learn from it. Keep your eyes open.

4. Limit Choices

This is an oldie, but goody, especially if you want to hear more “yes.”

Copy writing legend John Caples was one of the first advertisers of catalogs to point this out when he discovered that ads that limited choices massively out sold ads that offered too many choices.

The problem with too many choices is that the mind can go into overload. People get confused with too many choices and when they get confused–like me–they walk away. Not good.

So, define a very narrow number of choices. But don’t withhold relevant, important or urgent information. Stay way above the table on this. Your goal is to help your client buy a home. The smart thing for them is too limit their choices.

5. Justify Your Requests

According to popular research, the word because can get your copies made faster, get you through airport security without waiting in line, and get your children to behave.

Why is that? Human Factors suggests that we are patterned to accept requests when they are followed by a reason. But sometimes all we really hear because. We tune out after that.

My point is this: When asking your client do something, tell them why. I bet more than 93% more people will agree with you. How do I know? Because Human Factors said so. 😉

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.

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Real Estate Agents: You Don’t Work for Wal-Mart

The numbers game will wear you out. It will leave you dissatisfied, frustrated, and rejected.

The whole idea of the numbers game is that if you spend enough time dialing, churning through prospects, you’re bound to make the occasional sale.

Burn and churn, baby.

Problem is, when you do make a sale, you believe even more that the number of prospects you burned through was the secret to success.

“I made 100 calls and got 2 deals.” So you make more calls. “If I make 1,000 calls I’ll get 20 deals.”

The thing is, real estate is not a game of small-scale volume. You don’t work for Wal-Mart.

Outside of the exhaustion and relentless rejection behind this approach, here’s the real tragedy: its not about how many sales you are making…but how many sales you are losing.

Count the Cost

Is it really worth mowing through 1,000 calls to get 20 deals? Some might say yes.

But what if I could show you a way were you could mosey through half as many calls and still make 20 deals?

Think about it.

When you’re operating out of the old numbers game paradigm, how many leads do you burn through with every call you make?

And how much time do you spend chasing and following up with prospects who will probably never work with you?

It’s really a bad deal to get into. It’s a treadmill.

And I’ll go on the record as saying that yes, some real estate agents love burning through a list and yes, they will actually make very good money doing it, but…

Just because they’re really good at it and it’s the way they found success, doesn’t mean that it IS the only way to success. If they believe this, then they suffer from the I’m-a-hammer-and-everything-else-is-a-nail-syndrome.

Don’t fall under this guy’s spell. He’ll wear you out. No, he’ll chew you up and spit you out. And when you fail, he’ll make you feel like its your fault.

But it’s not. The approach is just not for you.

Dr. Bernie Siegel said “It was impossible to fail with the parents I had. If I got an F in Music, they’d look at me and say, ‘I guess you’re not a musician’.”

How to Carve Out an Approach That Is Right for You

If something about the burn and churn approach doesn’t sit right with you, reconsider your options. In all probability, if it doesn’t sit right with you it’s because it’s an old school approach inappropriate for our current economic view.

I can’t think of any consumer who appreciates cold calling, hustling, rapid fire questions, impatience.

Besides, when you churn and burn you’ll soon find you’re trapped, making huge numbers of calls to reach that tiny percentage of prospects who will buy from you.

In a nutshell, here’s the ugliness of churn and burn:

  • Burning through calls involves huge investments of time and energy to achieve a few successes.
  • Numbers-game scripts talk at prospects and lead to rejection in all but a tiny percentage of calls.
  • Prospects know that they’re just a phone number to you and that you’re not interested in engaging them on a human level.
  • The only goal is to move the sale forward, or to get a quick “no” so you can move on to the next call.

The mystique of the old numbers game is that you’re bound to “hit” once in a while.

But people who sell the old way never ask themselves how many opportunities they’ve lost in a day because they haven’t gotten to the truth with their prospects.

Now, when you focus on quality rather than volume, when you focus on building a relationship instead of closing a deal, when you focus on every call is a chance to unearth a possible client.

That means your calls have to be more thoughtful and efficient.

And you have to walk into them with this mindset: I’m simply here to say hello to this person.

Now this doesn’t exclude you from the ABC rule: Always Be Closing. If you can bump the fruit into your basket in under five minutes to get a contract, by all means do so.

Here are a few tips to consider when making phone calls to prospects:

  • Starting calls with a focused problem statement makes it easy to create two-way dialogue.
  • Your attentiveness to your prospects’ concerns makes a real human connection possible.
  • The goal is to learn the truth and explore there’s a fit between your solution and your prospect’s problem or concern.
  • And when you’ve learned the truth, whether the answer is a yes or a no, rejection is impossible.


If you’re feeling guilty that you should be playing the old numbers game because your colleagues are making sales from it, consider this: All you’re seeing from them is how many sales they are making–not how many sales they’re losing.

And consider that by refocusing your attention on the quality of each call versus the volume of calls, you can experience new sales success you may never have thought possible.

For more information, see my short story about Tammy and Rick, southern Illinois agents making it happen in this recession. [About half way down the page.]

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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.