COACHING TIP: How to Set Yourself Apart from Other Agents in Your Market


So at the end of this conversation, we’re going to do a little table talk just to talk about – not necessarily market-specific state of the industry – but just the industry as a whole and what you think about it. And if you don’t think the industry is going to change, maybe we can talk about it or talk about it with your group.

Why Are You in Real Estate?

But you should really have an opinion on why you’re doing this, for two reasons: (1) to build the kick-ass business that runs without you most of the time, and (2) I think the industry is going to demand it.

Of course there’s going to be, “I go to church with her.” We lost a listing recently. It was a good listing. It was like $500K, which is a good price for our market. And at the end of it, the guy told my marketing agent John, “I know you guys do a better job. I know you would get a higher price. But we just can’t go with you.”

And we pulled the production of the person they’re going with. And their average price was like $140K. We refer our low priced listings to the agent they went with. She sold 9 homes and 4 of them were referrals from us.

I don’t think that’s going to exist forever in the real estate industry. I think it’s too big a decision and most people are going to get more savvy than that. So I think if you’re not going down this path, you’ve got a challenge.

Part of it is having that thing working for you to give you that cool life. And then the other part of it is because the industry I think is just going to make it mandatory.

Most of you know my story. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on it. But I left a really cozy, almost multiple 6-figure job to get into real estate. Everyone thought I was crazy. I had a newborn. So Julie and I got married in October 2006. Anders was born – let me do the math – no, just kidding. November, 2007, so he was legit [laughter].

And then I got into real estate, 2007 was my transition year. 2008 was my first full year. And Julie now tells me that she was so glad that she had a good-paying job. She was making over 6 figures as a CRNA and she said, “I was rooting for you at the time, but I thought you were crazy.”
And now, just recently, she stopped working, and she’s like, “this is cool.” I’m glad I didn’t know that at the time, because I thought she  was, “you’re going to do this.”

A Great Opportunity

I had people, mostly after the fact, saying “Man, I thought you were crazy when you got into real estate.” Because everybody knows real estate agents that there’s no barrier to entry. I don’t think it costs more than $1K in anybody’s market to become a real estate agent. In our market it’s like $400. So for $400 you can help someone sell a $500K home, make $15K. Most people in our market are making under $40K. So it’s the most ridiculous industry in the world. You need no qualifications to sell real estate.

So that’s the one side, people thought I was crazy. I had a job where I was flying around the world and meeting with owners of companies and setting strategy for an aerospace company. It was the ideal job. I wrote it on paper when I left Bear Sterns. I said, I’d love to do corporate development and strategy for an aerospace company. That’s what I was doing.

Everyone thought I was crazy. But the cool thing about real estate is that it is full of agents that just shouldn’t be doing real estate. At least 80-90% of agents just need to go do something else. So that’s the cool opportunity is that you put this thing together, market yourself, advertise your USP-based value proposition. It’s not going to be hard to beat agents in your market.

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