10 Ways to Kill Your Real Estate Business – Part I

I saw one of those classic real estate salespeople stuck in the stone-age again recently, and this time instead of chuckling to myself I actually felt a mix of sadness and shock. Sadness for the obvious difficulty this poor person was having, trying to navigate her stately body out of a well-used minivan with all her antiquated propaganda from yesteryear. Yes, she had the requisite calendars and refrigerator magnets with photos of her overly made up face plastered on them, a bunch of flyers and guides and neighborhood maps and all the rest. But also she was schlepping an entire listing book I guess, and it all made her stumble, shout out an off-color word, and sigh. She reminded me of my grandmother and I truly felt sorry for her – which constituted half of my conflicting emotions.

The other half of me was thinking to myself, “Why oh why doesn’t her broker tell her that these tricks, tools, and even bonafide techniques from the 80’s and 90’s no longer work today in real estate?” Because as most of us know, everything is different today.

I’m not just referring to housing prices being different, (they are), or financing options being different (they clearly are). I’m referring to the most important factor in our success – the customer. And as never before, today’s customer is, as my daughter would say, “way, way” different.

In the University environment, we say that “Marketing is the science of connecting our products and services with certain customers who at a particular time need our products and services.” It implies that not all the people are our customers, and that timing is everything. I can sell an icicle to an Eskimo for $500 if that Eskimo is in the Atacama desert without water during a drought. But I couldn’t sell a glacier to an Eskimo for 10cents if he was back in Alaska during a rainstorm.

Today’s customers are plugged into the internet, are searching for foreclosures and deals, may have to apply for some form of government program or assistance, and don’t give a hoot about our calendars or free moving van services. Over the next couple blogs I’m going to expand on this and detail 10 ways to Resurrect Your Real Estate Business.

As a teaser, and to get you thinking, today I offer you…

10 Ways to Kill Your Real Estate Business Today

  1. Keep Farming Neighborhoods
  2. Keep your old Van and Magnetic Signs Intact
  3. Keep Ordering Calendars and Refrigerator Magnets
  4. Keep Running Sunday Newspaper Ads Only
  5. Have No Advertising using the Word “Foreclosures”
  6. Keep Your Website as is
  7. Have only English-Speakers Working for You
  8. Do Not Participate in Blogs, Twitter or Social Network
  9. Never Serve Clients outside of your Home City
  10. Keep Thinking You are Only in the Real Estate Business

Want to find out if you have what it takes to be a Real Estate Agent or Broker?

About The Author: Geoffrey Thompson is an owner and founding partner of Express Schools, LLC. Since 1996 the companies under this banner have offered online real estate licensing and insurance licensing courses as well as online real estate exam prep and insurance exam prep.

Comments / Questions

  1. LOL. Listing books. Only the real old school agents even know what those are.

    I absolutely agree with above top 10 list. I think you should have added “Keep thinking you have made it when you can advertise on bus benches”. Everytime I see an agent’s face on one of those, I think….”I would love to know if he can ever connect a sale (or even a lead) to the $1000s he spent on bus bench advertising!”

  2. SouthWest Missouri says:

    Ah, yes… A veteran agent from long, long ago once told me the legend of listing books 🙂 I’m one of those agents who jumped on the bandwagon during the boom. I’m one of the few of that crowd that is actually going to stick it out, but it’s evident to me that it’s not going to happen with these worn-out techniques. I’ll be glued to the feed – awaiting the next installment.

    By the way, this is a terrific resource. A surprise add-on benefit to using realestateexpress.com. Thanks for taking the time to blog.

  3. Geoff Thompson says:

    It hadn’t dawned on me when I posted that statement about a “listing book” how antiquated that sounded and how old it made me feel. Of course I didn’t actually see if what she had in her arms was a listing book or not, (in fairness to her it could have been something much more practical), and as you all have pointed out, no MLS to my knowledge actually “prints” these anymore. So I stand corrected! My next post will be better- 10 Ways to Resurrect Your Real Estate Business. I promise I won’t mention slide rules or rotary dial phones in it! Geoffrey Thompson

  4. Kristal Kraft says:

    Actually your list might not apply to everyone. IN fact I know a REALTOR in Connecticut who farms (her entire town) and does so very successfully. I would NEVER in a minute think to poke fun at her, since she would only laugh back, all the way to the bank.

    This same lady has an amazing web presence too.

  5. Geoff Thompson says:

    Good point. There are exceptions to every rule and that probably is a good one. I also know of a real estate professional whose “farm” is just one very small town: Beverly Hills. He hasn’t needed to leave that zip code in more than twenty years, and probably still won’t despite the downturn. In most areas however, where average home prices have at least one less zero on the end, and the communities are more demographically mixed, I stand by my statement. And for the average salesperson trying to grow a business, expanding beyond geography today is a great way to do it. Geoffrey Thompson

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