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Whatever you are, be a good one.
President Abraham Lincoln

Chapter 87 - "Sales" Business

"There’s no better person qualified to deliver this message - funny, insightful and useful.”
Dominic Nicoli,  Inaugural Member of the Intero Real Estate Services Hall of Fame


for real estate lenders, real estate agents and those who would like to learn about the professions.

I have heard some very smart and successful people in real estate say, “Real estate is a sales business first, sales business second, and sales business third.” I would encourage you to think about it this way: we are in a taking-care-of-other-people business. This is not a black-and-white conversation; there is a happy blend between the Pollyanna thought of helping other people and the sometimes somewhat cold business of “selling.”

Let’s talk.

How many times has someone “sold you,” pressured you, or made you do something that you didn’t want to do? Yes, it happens, but how did you feel afterward? Did you feel happy with yourself and the person that pressured you? You probably felt like a bum and had a very low regard for the person that did it to you.

I have seen colleagues over the years that truly believe that “real estate is 100 percent a sales business.” Well, sure, go ahead and focus on that. But I have seen those same colleagues ten years into their career still “selling” to get low-quality business when others are generating high-quality business from the infrastructure of their operation. If you concentrate your efforts on “selling” as your primary focus, you will always be selling your entire career. If you focus your efforts on taking care of the customer and building your enterprise, as your career progresses, you will spend less time on marketing, advertising, and selling (finding deals) and more time on taking care of those truckloads of great referrals you are receiving (doing deals).

When I made the switch from loans to real estate brokerage, I was sincerely terrified of failing and regretfully found myself focused primarily on the hunt (or selling, if you will). And then a couple of years into the process, I turned around to realize that the quality of my business was average at best (I was not generating an acceptable level of quality referrals from past customers). Thank God I recognized what was happening and made that mental shift to taking care of the customer, period (whatever it took and whatever that meant).

Instead of thinking this is a sales business first, second, and third, try this: How about actually knowing what the heck you are talking about? How about knowing that HP12C inside and out? How about knowing what radon gas means? How about knowing what the secondary market means? How about knowing what a cap rate means? How about knowing how to run a spreadsheet? How about knowing the contents of the contract? Yes, you need to have a marketing plan (finding deals) and execute on that plan, but also focus on your own education and skill development. The more you know, the more valuable you become to the community and customer.

On the Pollyanna side of things: How about truly being in the moment? How about trying to help your customer? How about listening to your customer? How about putting your customer first and your ambitions second? How about managing the process? How about being available? How about being approachable? How about being reliable? Doing that will produce top-quality leads for years to come. And when your tail is in a crack on a rainy day, nothing makes you feel better than a great cash-the-check referral from one of your happy customers.

If you are new to real estate, the more transactions you complete, the more comfortable you’ll become around the business. In the meantime, don’t become some robotic-drone selling machine. Be you, be sincere, don’t fake it. They hired you in spite of your lack of experience; they knew that and hired you anyway. They wanted you, so be honest and be you!

Go get ’em!